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Subtle Eating Behaviors That Indicate an Unhealthy Relationship with Food

Being in an unhealthy relationship can make you feel unloved and unappreciated, but did you know that you can also have a dysfunctional connection with food? Both are destructive, however, the latter problem is harder to recognize because its signs are usually subtle.

When you’ve been dealing with an unhealthy relationship with food for some time, it may even be more difficult to notice the red flags. So we round up signs that you are suffering from this:

Strict Rules

We all want to indulge ourselves with ice cream or cake or a bag of chips now and then and there’s no reason not to do it, especially if it’s bothering you so much. However, what is not OK is when you feel so guilty about this that you turn to excessive exercising or starvation because you feel it would compensate for what you ate.

Muhammad Ruqiyaddin/Unsplash — Stop categorizing food as good or bad

This behavior may look harmless on the surface but it could turn into a vicious routine. Nutritionist Zoey Bingley-Pullin suggests to stop beating yourself whenever this happens, eat in line with your natural hunger cues, and enjoy working out.

Labeling Foods

More common for people who are on a diet is the labeling of food as good or bad. However, this shouldn’t be practiced — everything edible is OK as long as you eat in moderation.

The nutritionist pointed out that as long as it will constitute a well-balanced diet, then there’s no reason to see certain foods as enemies. Rigid rules imposed on food will only stress you out.

Managing Emotions

Most people are guilty of binge-eating when they are stressed but it’s a big sign that you have an unhealthy relationship with food. This behavior shouldn’t be used to deal with emotions because it’s not going to solve anything at all.

Tamas Pap/Unsplash — Don’t pour your emotions while eating

You should have put something in place already for when you’re feeling blue. Drinking a cup of warm, calming tea or a walk around the neighborhood may make you feel more relaxed than finishing an entire cake.

Eating Too Much or Not Enough

It’s simple: people should eat until they feel satisfied. However, others misconstrue this as being too full, so they keep on devouring food until they can’t take another bite.

Ashes Sitoula/Unsplash — Too much food can make you feel sluggish

Then there are some who are too busy to eat thrice a day. It can be problematic, especially if you are moving around the clock.

Food is the fuel for the body so eating too less will make you weak, sluggish, and sleepy throughout the day. Too much of it, however, can also make you feel tired, lazy, and drowsy – the key is to think about what will make up for your nutritional requirement.

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