With diet culture screaming from the rooftops about what, when and how much to eat, we can completely lose touch with our own appetites, preferences and sense of satisfaction.
When you’ve internalised so many messages about what’s healthy and good for you (and what will control your weight) and what’s not, it can be incredibly challenging to make decisions about what to eat.
One thing you can do is to ask yourself a series of questions to help you tune in to what you actually want to eat. Things like, do I want something:
- hot or cold
- fresh/ raw or cooked
- smooth or crunchy
- savoury, sweet, sour, bitter
- a meal or snack
This is a helpful tool. Yet, if, at the back of your mind you’re still attached to a weight outcome, you might steer your decision away from what you truly want, to something that diet culture tells you is a better option.
So here’s another question you can ask yourself:
If I knew for a certainty that my choice won’t affect my weight, what would I choose to eat?
Asking yourself this question will help you recognise whether you’re subtly restricting.
Now you might be thinking, ‘but if I really chose what I wanted to eat, I’d never stop eating [insert fear food].’
But that simply is not the case.
The main reason you can’t stop eating [insert fear food] is that you tell yourself you shouldn’t be eating it, or shouldn’t be eating this much of it. Even if you give yourself permission to eat it, you’re not giving yourself wholehearted permission to eat it, because you’re still feeling scared and guilty about it.
So go ahead. Eat what you want, as if it would have no impact on your weight, and stay connected with yourself while you’re eating. Taste it. Enjoy it. And you’ll find you’ll stop when you’re satisfied. You’ll also find that the more you truly allow yourself to eat what you want, the more you’ll want to eat a range of things.
Need help making peace with food?
If you’ve had enough of being on and off a diet, feeling ashamed of your body and how you eat, binge eating or emotional overeating — you’ve come to the right place.