How to trust yourself around food
Do you fear that you can’t trust yourself around food?
When clients come to me, they’re often fed up of diets and being preoccupied with food.
They want to learn to accept their body and stop dieting, but they has this one BIG fear.
So in this post, I’m sharing three perspectives to help you trust yourself around food.
Listen or read below:
I can’t trust myself around food…
This comes up with clients who want to quit dieting and stop attaching their worth to their weight.
The thought of giving up on diets can be scary.
Clients often say, “I can’t trust myself around food” because they worry that, without a diet, they’ll gorge on ‘restricted’ food and gain weight.
And it’s not surprising serial dieters feel this way.
Diets tell you exactly what to eat, when and in what quantities, labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
These rules set you up to feel guilty about having hunger or cravings.
Yet, it’s these rules that create the unhealthy preoccupation with food and your body, not the food itself!
And this is not a nice place to be. When you devote all your time to thinking about what you can and can’t eat and what you weigh, it slowly sucks the joy out of life.
How to trust yourself around food
So, if you’re fed up with diets AND you worry that you can’t trust yourself around food, what can you do?
I’ve got three perspectives to bust some of diet culture’s myths about your hunger!
Restriction results in binges (not your lack of control)
When you restrict or deny certain foods, you’re more likely to binge eat them.
Your body is programmed to fight restriction to keep you alive. The moment you mentally or physically restrict foods, you’ll crave them even more.
That’s why you break your diet, or binge on a ‘cheat day’, because you don’t know when you’ll get to eat that food again.
If you allow yourself to eat ALL foods, you’re less likely to experience out of control eating.
This may seem counter intuitive – but think of it this way, when something doesn’t have a limit on it, it’s not so special.
When you know you can have a food at any time, you’re less likely to binge eat it while you can.
You can’t outsmart hunger
It’s not the case that you can’t trust yourself around food, it’s that you can’t outsmart your hunger.
Hunger is simply a message from your body that you need to eat.
Yet, diet culture teaches you to control your hunger, encouraging strategies to trick your body into thinking it’s full like drinking water or chewing gum.
But the more you try to deny your hunger, the more preoccupied you become with what you’re eating or not eating.
You wouldn’t try to outsmart your other basic needs like, using the toilet or getting a good night’s sleep, so why deny hunger?
For example, you wouldn’t try to convince yourself you don’t need a pee by saying, “I just need to drink less water” or deny your tiredness by saying, “I’m not tired, I just need more coffee.”
When you deny your basic needs, they catch up with you.
So, if you don’t get enough sleep, you might fall asleep at work. When you try to control your hunger, you’ll eventually end up bingeing.
You CAN trust your body
Your body is smart. It’s designed to send signals of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction.
Diet culture interferes with these natural signals so that you don’t trust yourself around food.
When you drown out the noise of diet culture, you can recognise and respond to your body’s natural cues.
So, tune into your body and detox from the diet culture messages, whether they’re coming from social media or friends and family.
The belief that you can’t trust yourself around food is just that, an unhelpful belief you’ve learnt from diet culture.
Diet companies need you to be invested in dieting to keep you coming back for more. Making you believe that you can’t trust yourself around food is a very effective strategy!
If you believe you can’t trust yourself around food, I hope you found these perspectives helpful. I’d love to hear how these resonated with you, so please leave a comment below.