As a therapist I have come across many distressing issues. One such is the unhealthy relationship many people have with food. In sessions with the client we can look at their relationship history with food, emotional experiences and triggers.

Causes can be varied but sometimes parents can unwittingly create problems by offering food for comfort. It can be sexual abuse, depression, social pressure or critical comments creating an unhealthy relationship with food. Whatever the reason it is my role as a therapist to help the client understand the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviours which can help to bring about changes to the here and now and break the cycle that is holding them back.

If you are in this vicious cycle you may be wondering what you can do to change things. Arranging to see a therapist would be a good first step towards breaking the cycle. Meanwhile, here are a few things, which can help you look at the issue with a more positive attitude.

  • The first thing to do is to stop punishing yourself for what has happened before, this is unhelpful thinking and will achieve nothing.
  • The cycle of sticking to a rigid diet, craving food, feeling guilty and ashamed when you break the diet and back round to rigid dieting again can stop now.
  • The body needs food like a car engine needs fuel, but put the wrong fuel in your car and it won’t work, similarly the body. Educate yourself on a whole range of healthy food you will enjoy.
  • Breakfast is extremely important to kick start your metabolism and eating three meals a day plus healthy snacks will stop cravings.
  • Instead of calorie counting think about the vitamins and minerals your body will gain from healthy eating.
  • Listen to your body and learn to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger.
  • Keeping a diary will help you see patterns, which connect periods of cravings.
  • Exercise will boost your mood, reduce stressful feelings and lift depression, which in turn will improve health.
  • Instead of using food try rewarding yourself with fun, relaxing and enjoyable treats for yourself.

I hope this has helped you begin to look at some changes you could make towards having a healthier, happier relationship with food.