Eating should bring pleasure and satisfaction!
Diet culture shifts the focus away from positive feelings and instead teaches us to fixate on guilt when we choose foods that don’t fit the “good”, “healthy” or “clean” labels.
Enjoying the eating experience means choosing the foods that you are craving in that moment … and by doing so you are much more likely to feel satisfied. For example, if you’re craving ice cream but try to satisfy the craving by eating frozen fruit, you are likely to eat more than you intended, trying to fill that need. Many times you will end up overindulging in the food you were initially craving after all. By allowing yourself to choose the foods you desire, you build a more trusting relationship with your body.
A common fear many people have is the fear of overindulging in a previously “forbidden” food if they allow themselves to eat it. Just because you allow yourself to have a food that you enjoy doesn’t mean that you will ONLY eat this food. You may end up eating a lot of the particular food every day (or multiple times a day), but eventually this “honeymoon phase” will end because you are comfortable knowing you can have it anytime you want.
Satisfaction comes from more than just eating the foods you are craving. It also comes from taking your time to enjoy your food in a relaxed environment (alone or with others) with few distractions.
This means trying not to eat while walking, driving, etc. Eating in a positive environment allows us to tune into our emotions along with the taste of the foods we are enjoying. This can only ADD to the satisfaction factor (2)! Another important thing to remember is that you are not obligated to finish a food you started eating if it’s not satisfying. “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savour it.”
Next time you are ready to eat, ask yourself the following questions:
- "What do I really want?"
- What does this taste like?"
- What is the texture?"
- How does it smell?"
Here are some anti-diet accounts we think you might like:
REMEMBER: “When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes just the right amount of food for you to decide you’ve had enough”
Check out the resources linked here, and get curious! This is a process and change doesn’t happen overnight.
BEFORE YOU GO: This program is not a replacement for eating disorder treatment. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, don't hesitate to reach out to our Dietitian (see below), or any other trusted health professional for support and guidance.
Connect with us!
UBCO’s Registered Dietitian is here to help!
And for nutrition tips, recipes, and more, visit the UBCO Food Services Nutrition Blog.