Unhealthy Relationships with Food

Most Americans have been on a diet. An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and, on average, we spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products. Yet, an estimated 95% of people who diet gain the weight loss back in 1-5 years.

Going on a diet does not mean that you fit the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder. However, frequent "fad dieting" may indicate that you have an unhealthy relationship with food. Believing that your worth depends on your size and shape is maladaptive thinking. You are so much more than your size and shape.

Spending a large amount of time counting calories, label reading, and tracking what goes in your body can develop into thought-consuming behaviors. Maybe you miss out on spending time with friends or family because of the kinds of food that will be available at the events. If you find yourself thinking about food nearly all of the time, you may want to step back and consider your motivation for dieting or calorie counting.

I firmly believe that it's important to seek out a registered dietitian (RD) if you believe that your relationship with food has become unhealthy. RD'S can work with you to create a plan of action to eat nutritionally balanced meals.

I also believe that it's beneficial to seek out a counselor if your relationship with food has become unhealthy. When I work with individuals struggling with food and body image concerns, I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to examine faulty thoughts or beliefs and replace them with more adaptive and logical thoughts. I also work with them to improve their perceived body image and self-esteem. Loving your body and making peace with your plate is the first step to living a full and meaningful existence. 

 

 

References:

https://www.bmc.org/nutrition-and-weight-management/weight-management

https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/special-issues/dieting

Emily Teegarden