Do food and your weight preoccupy your thoughts? Are you struggling to determine what’s “normal” in regard to how much you think about food and your body? This article will help you notice the signs of food and weight obsession and give you practical tips to stop obsessing over food and weight.
Signs of food and weight obsession
It’s important to highlight that food and weight obsession is not your fault. Diet culture perpetuates a body and weight “ideal” and it is understandable that we want to try and achieve this standard. But, obsessing over food and weight can be damaging to our physical and mental well-being. Recognising the signs of food and weight obsession is the first step toward a healthier relationship with food and your body.
Trying to count calories constantly
Weighing out every gram of your meals or snacks and trying to mentally calculate calorie counts when out and about can indicate an obsessive relationship with food and weight. Food isn’t just the sum of its parts and the energy it holds. Food is holidays, time with family and friends and comfort. Reducing food down to only the calories it contains can be indicative of becoming obsessed with food.
Saying no to social occasions because of your weight
As mentioned above, food isn’t just energy. So many social occasions like religious holidays, birthdays, weddings and holidays are centred around food. Saying no to social occasions because you are worried about the food that will be on offer or because of the way you look creates social isolation and takes you away from the things in life that really matter.
Becoming anxious if plans change because it may change your planned meal or snack
If something happens that disrupts your plans and you are concerned about how this may impact the food you have planned for the day, then this might indicate an obsession with food or weight. Being able to roll with changes and accept that not every day will go to plan is vital in developing a healthy relationship with food, movement and your body.
Five ways to stop obsessing over food and weight
Understand that no foods are good or bad
Accepting food neutrality is the idea that foods don’t fit neatly into a “good” or “bad” category, despite what you may have been told. Identifying and breaking the food rules we have imposed on ourselves can help us to stop obsessing over weight and food
Stop restricting foods
To move away from food obsession you need to be eating enough. If you have been a chronic dieter restricting your energy intake for a long time, then no wonder your body is telling you to eat. Thinking about food is actually a hunger cue…so listen up and eat!
Make peace with your body
Easier said than done right? We get it, we’ve been told we should be shrinking our bodies for the majority of our lives. Accepting that body and size diversity exists, and that thinness doesn’t necessarily mean health can help us to make peace with our bodies.
Diversify your social media feed
In order to recognise that body diversity exists and can be celebrated, take time to cultivate your social media feed to represent a variety of different body shapes and sizes. You can also mute or unfollow accounts that make you feel uncomfortable or bad about yourself. Put yourself and your well-being first.
Work with a professional
Still struggling to stop obsessing over food and weight? If it is accessible to you it may be beneficial to work with a non-diet professional to help you untangle your feelings on weight and food. Learn more about working with one of our nutritionists to break free from food and weight obsession.