Change A Relationship With Food

How To Change A Relationship With Food For Weight Loss & Weight Regain

June 27, 2022

Change A Relationship With Food: It’s common to see people blaming junk food or other food items for their weight gain. They use food as a source of emotional comfort to celebrate, relax, and deal with stressful and sad situations. It’s pretty obvious that you’ll gain weight when you’re eating without any check and balance, so should you blame food for this? It was you who had your favorite food when you were happy or feeling down; that food item didn't force you to have it. So, your weight gain and weight loss entirely depend upon you, not food.

By considering and changing your relationship with food in a healthy way, you can lead a healthy life without worrying about weight loss or regain. Here, we'll discuss the healthy and bad relationship with food and how you can improve it to achieve your desired weight goals.

Understand Your Relationship With Food

A good relationship with food will make you feel better both mentally and physically. You won't need a specific list of foods to have a good relationship with food; instead, you should be guilt-free no matter what you eat. Improving your relationship with food is essential, as it allows you to eat more and with freedom, without worrying and guilt.

Before we discuss how to improve your relationship with food, you need to understand your relationship with food. It can be good or bad, and the following signs will help you identify it:

Signs of a Bad Relationship with Food

  • You feel guilty before and after eating.
  • You try to avoid foods labeled as "bad" for you.
  • You make a long list of the foods you can and can't eat.
  • You use calorie counter apps to check the calories you can consume daily.
  • You don’t consider the natural hunger cues of your body.
  • You have followed Yo-Yo dieting or the latest dieting fads in the past.
  • Your stress and anxiety levels rise in social settings because of the fear of getting judged for your food choices.

Note: You don’t have to feel all these signs to confirm a bad relationship with food. If you feel any kind of stress, fear, shame, or guilt regarding your food choices, then you have a bad relationship with food.

Signs of a Healthy Relationship with Food

  • You allow yourself to eat the foods you like.
  • You don’t ignore the natural hunger cues of your body.
  • You eat when you feel hungry, and don't overfeed yourself.
  • No foods are listed as "off-limits."
  • You don’t allow other people to decide the foods you can eat.
  • You don’t bother explaining your food choices to others.
  • You have all of your favorite foods, but in moderation.
  • You don’t count calories while making food choices.
  • You understand that your food choices don’t define you.

If you’re reading this list and questioning your relationship with food, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to develop a healthy relationship with food because of tons of dieting advice they get from everyone from a young age. Keep reading to know how you can ditch the diets and improve your relationship with food.

How to Change a Relationship with Food for Weight Loss

If you want to live a healthy life without restricting your movement and having chronic diseases, you should reconsider your relationship with food for weight loss. Here are some ways that can help you change your relationship with food for weight loss:

Have a look at your attitude and eating habits

Before making any changes in your food choices, look closely at your attitude and eating habits. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you eating because you’re feeling emotionally down due to a bad day at work or an argument with someone close?
  • Do you crave food when you're bored?
  • Do you consider food a reward whenever you achieve something?

Give up the habits that are unhealthy

If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, you need to change your attitude and eating habits to improve your relationship with food for weight loss. Mindful eating is the key to weight loss. You should know your mind state before, during, and after making any food choices. Here are some tips that can help you lose weight while having a good relationship with food:

  • If you're planning to have anything, ask yourself about your last meal. What did you have, and how long has it been? If your previous meal had more calories, try to consider something healthier with fewer calories.
  • If you have a craving for a food item when you're emotionally down, try to opt for something that is sugar-free and contains fewer fats. Cravings aren't bad; your food choices make them look bad.
  • Avoid eating your foods too fast, it'll slow down digestion, and most of your nutrients will be wasted. You'll feel hungry soon and consume more than you require to stay healthy while losing weight. Also, eating your food too fast can cause inflammation and digestive problems. With more and more nutrients accumulating in your body and not being digested, you'll only gain weight, not health.

Changing a Relationship with Food for Weight Regain after Bariatric Surgery

Losing weight with bariatric surgery is a hectic process, but maintaining that weight is even more challenging. Most people fear weight regain after having bariatric surgery. Of course, you would not want to gain the weight you had lost the hard way. But you’ll gain weight if your relationship with food before and after surgery remains the same.

For example, if your obesity was because you consider food a way of emotional comfort, then that state of mind will still be there after the surgery. You have to work on changing your mindset that you’re eating to get the energy, not because you had a bad day.

You should control your eating habits; your eating habits shouldn't control you. You can decide how you should pass a stressful situation and celebrate a happy movement, not your food. To get rid of the emotional dependence on food, you should find comfort in other things. There are many things that you can do for this purpose, such as:

  • Read
  • Keep a diary
  • Call a friend
  • Take a hot bath
  • Take a walk
  • Meditate
  • Hit a punching bag
  • Have a good cry
  • Learn a new hobby
  • and much more

Changing your relationship with food after bariatric surgery is essential to stay healthy and maintain the weight you have lost.

Bottom Line

Food is a fuel that provides the energy you need to survive. Many people use food to comfort themselves, and their eating habits become worse with time. A bad relationship with food will take you nowhere; you'll feel stressed, anxious, and unhappy with yourself. To get rid of this, you should improve your relationship with food to maintain a healthy weight. A good relationship with food will help you retain bariatric surgery results. If you can't change your eating habits and attitude, there is no point in getting weight loss surgery, as you'll gain weight, if not immediately, but eventually!

Tammy J. Colter is an OH staff writer and has proudly served the ObesityHelp community since 1999, helping members and professionals alike. Tammy wears many hats at ObesityHelp, she works as an author, editor, and account manager. Read more articles by Tammy!