BLOG

THE NOURISHRX

SEPARATING NUTRITION FACT FROM FICTION

Deepen your sense of freedom, confidence, and resilience with strategies, tools, and how-to articles on balanced living, diet culture, self-care, and more. 

Free!

10 step guide to heal your relationship with food

CATEGORIES

eating disorders

intuitive eating

diet talk

meal planning

movement

parent support

work with us!

tell me more!

I'm Ryann. Founder of NourishRX, mom of three and a certified eating disorders registered dietitian. To us, you're a unique individual with a story that led you to where you are today - not a stereotype or just a name on a chart.

Hello!

6 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Food

Eating Disorders

February 19, 2021

So you’ve started to focus more on taking steps to improve your health, maybe through trying new foods or engaging in different types of movement. But how do you know if these changes have gone too far? With many of our eating disorder clients, it starts with small changes that eventually build up overtime and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise that can actually negatively impact your overall health. 

While physical health is typically the one on the forefront of our minds - health itself is so much more broad and nuanced than what we eat or how we move on a day to day basis. Health expands to other areas of our lives including spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social aspects. With many of our clients, we find that their fixation on healthy behaviors typically focuses solely on the physical determinants and can leave the other areas unaccounted for or even negatively impacted. 

With this in mind, we’re going over 6 warning signs that healthy behaviors have gone too far: 

 

Signs of an unhealthy relationship with food: When healthy habits go too far

 

1. You Find Yourself Constantly Thinking About Food

Take a moment and ask yourself - how much of the day (in a percentage) is spent for you thinking about food and your body? Now reflect on that number - is it more than you expected or maybe more than you have in the past? Less? If you’re noticing that the percent that you are thinking about food (when you’re going to eat, what you’re going to eat, how it’s being prepared, etc.) has increased or is greater than time spent thinking about other meaningful things, chances are you’re not giving yourself adequate nutrition. Our body has a lot of mechanisms to let us know if we are adequately nourished - one of those is increasing our food preoccupation when we are not getting enough food. 

 

2. You Have Started to Ignore Your Hunger Signals

Have you found yourself ignoring your body’s cues to eat if it’s not a scheduled meal or snack time for you? Many of our clients have engaged in this behavior with the explanation of “I shouldn’t be this hungry” based on previous intake on other days of the week or maybe the intake of those around you. We’re here to tell you that your hunger fluctuates based on a wide variety of factors (sleep, stress, movement, etc) and it is completely normal to have varying levels of hunger depending on the day. Sometimes it's helpful to compare hunger cues to the urge to pee. Some days we pee more than others but we never doubt our bodies when they give us the cue that it’s time to go, so why do we do this with hunger?

 

3. You Are Avoiding or Cutting Out Food Groups

This one is a big one. If you’re finding that increasing healthy behaviors to you involves completely removing food groups or types of food all together (besides if you have a diagnosed allergy such as Celiac disease) then it might be a sign that your healthy behaviors have gone too far. Removing foods can be a slippery slope and lead to a very small group of “good” foods very quickly. Although foods provide varying levels of nutrition what we find is that removing certain types of foods all together only increases food preoccupation and your anxiety around incorporating those foods in - which can ultimately backfire if your overall goal is improved health.

 

4. You Are Starting to Avoid Social Gatherings

Do you find that you’re isolating yourself or turning down plans because you’re afraid food may be involved? If so, this could be a sign that things have gone too far. While food is fuel for our bodies it is also so much more. Food can be a part of meaningful connection and experiences with those who love and support you. Removing yourself from those situations can cause an increase in feelings of isolation and only becoming further stuck in negative thoughts around food. 

 

5. You Are Noticing Increased Anxiety Around Food 

How do meal times feel to you? What would happen if the food was not prepared by you or was outside your comfort zone? Take time to think and reflect on those emotions. Where do you feel that they are coming from? Remember, health in general goes beyond the physical and expands into emotional well being as well. If you’re feeling increased anxiety around foods in general you may actually be negatively impacting your health. 

 

6. You Feel the Need to Compensate After Eating Foods

Take some time to ask yourself what would happen if you stepped outside of your comfort zone with food? What thoughts are popping up for you? Are there any urges to compensate afterwards through diet or exercise? If yes, then there is a red flag that your relationship with food may need some reexamining. Remember, you are allowed to have all types of foods. Your body knows just what to do and how to process them. 

 

Health, although a subjective term, is highly sought after in our culture. We are typically taught that with improved health comes improvements in other areas of our life - increased energy, decreased risk of disease and overall increased functionality in life. Which are all true! And we want those things for you, as well. However, we need to remember that health expands far beyond what you eat or how you move. 

Take some time to really assess how healthy your “healthy” behaviors have become. Think about how the other areas of your health (remember: spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social) may be affected by these changes. 

 

If you feel that you are struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise please reach out for support! Contact our office or join our newsletter today to learn more about how our practice can join your journey to improving all areas of your health - including your relationship with food and movement. 

share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Plus, a BONUS exercise so you can feel empowered in yourself, confident in your nutrition, and in awe of your incredible body. 

10 step guide to heal your relationship with food

free!

Free!

10 step guide to heal your relationship with food

CATEGORIES

eating disorders

intuitive eating

diet talk

meal planning

movement

parent support

work with us!

tell me more!

I'm Ryann. Founder of NourishRX, mom of three and a certified eating disorders registered dietitian. To us, you're a unique individual with a story that led you to where you are today - not a stereotype or just a name on a chart.

Hello!

© 2020 NOURISHRX | PRIVACY POLICY | PRACTICE POLICIES