How to be a Healthy Eater

August 16, 2018

Alexandra, Eating Disorders, Food

If you struggle in your relationship with food you may have lots of emotions surrounding food; fear, guilt, anger, excitement. Many who struggle in their relationship with food don’t have an idea of what a “healthy eater” looks like or what healthy eating would mean in their life. Furthermore, many people who don’t struggle with disordered eating still have lots of feelings of guilt around food. Just think about the way we describe food with words such as “sinful”, “bad” and cheating”.

These feelings of guilt that we have around eating often keep us from enjoying the simple sensual pleasure of food. If we aren’t allowed to enjoy our food we don’t feel satisfied and will often eat past the point of fullness or we may use food as a coping skill to try to calm emotions such as anxiety or fear.

Living in a culture that puts so much fear and shame around food it may be challenging to know what a healthy eater looks like, or what a healthy relationship with food can be. Here are 5 characteristics of healthy eaters;

  1.  They understand that food is just one of the many pleasures of life
  2.  They are aware of their physical hunger cues and eat to the point of fullness; they don’t stuff themselves & they don’t allow themselves to get ravenously hungry.
  3.  They eat food that tastes good & makes them feel good
  4.  They believe that they deserve to nourish their physical body and do not deny their body food to punish themselves or others or over-feed themselves to cope with overwhelming emotions.
  5.  They use food to feed their physical hunger and develop & practice other skills to feed their emotional and spiritual hunger.

To begin to heal your relationship with food try taking inventory of your beliefs around food and your body. Do you believe that you deserve to eat? Do you believe you deserve to eat food that is nourishing and appetizing? Do you use food to punish yourself or others? What adjectives do you use to describe food? Understanding your beliefs about food & your body can help you identify your emotional/spiritual needs and increase your ability to nourish your physical body.

by Alex House