Recognizing The Top Signs You May Have An Unhealthy Relationship With Food
Diagnosing eating disorders can be complex, and there are a lot of different things that can cause disordered eating. If you think that you might have an eating disorder, the best place to start is by understanding your relationship with food.
Here are a few of the top signs that your relationship with food may be unhealthy, and that you may wish to speak to your primary care physician about eating disorders, and potential next steps for getting the help you need.
1. You Constantly Think About Food All The Time
As long as you have enough food to eat while you’re hungry, food shouldn’t be occupying your thoughts all the time. If you are constantly thinking about food, even right after you eat, this may be a sign of a larger issue.
2. You Often Binge And Eat Until You Feel Uncomfortably Full
Ideally, you should eat until you feel full, and then stop. If you find that you continue to eat more at mealtimes or for snacks, and binge until you feel very full or uncomfortable, this is abnormal, and could contribute to lots of other health issues.
3. You Feel Feelings Of Guilt Or Shame After Eating
Even if you eat “healthy” foods, you may feel guilty or ashamed about what you ate, how much you ate, and other things related to your eating habits, particularly if you eat something you weren’t intending to eat. You should feel neutral-to-positive after you eat a meal, particularly if you eat balanced and healthy food.
4. You Prefer To Avoid Eating Around Others
If ordering and eating food in public makes you feel self-conscious and you always prefer to eat alone, this could be a sign that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, especially if you avoid eating around others because of feelings of shame or embarrassment about your eating habits or preferred foods.
5. You’ve Tried Lots Of Different Diets And Nothing Works
If you’re always trying different diets but nothing seems to “work,” this may indicate an unhealthy attitude toward food, weight loss, and your overall health. People who often try different diets also sometimes frequently go between a very strict, new diet, then give up and return to eating without any kind of diet plan.
6. You Continue To Eat Certain Foods Even Though They Make You Feel Bad
For example, if you have lactose intolerance but you still find yourself eating a pint of ice cream even though you know it will make your stomach hurt and cause you indigestion, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food and eating. You shouldn’t be intentionally putting yourself into distress.
7. You’re Embarrassed About Your Portion Sizes
Maybe you feel self-conscious because you think you’re not eating enough, or your portion sizes are larger than those around you. Either way, you shouldn’t feel bad about how much you eat as long as you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet.
There are many different reasons why your required portions may differ from those of others. People who are taller, for example, require more calories to maintain their bodies than smaller people, and men need to eat more food than women.
8. You Binge-Eat Food Without Even Realizing It
You settle in to watch some Netflix, and two hours later, you’ve eaten two full-sized bags of potato chips. If you tend to eat a lot of food and snacks without even realizing you’re doing it, this may indicate disordered eating habits.
9. You Can’t Talk About Food Or Dieting With Others
If you have difficulty engaging or even listening to other people talk about food, dieting, exercise, and other such topics, you may have an unhealthy relationship with food and your body. While these topics don’t have to be your favorite things to discuss, they should not cause you serious stress and anxiety when others talk about them around you.
10. You’re Scared To Try New Foods
If you have lots of anxiety about trying any kind of new food and prefer to stick to just a few different meals and foods, this may be a sign of an eating disorder, anxiety, or some other mental health issues.
Need Help? Come To Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center!
If you’ve discussed your relationship with food with your primary care physician and they recommend therapy and counseling, Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center is here for you.
At our office, we specialize in talk therapy for a wide variety of mental health issues, including eating disorders, and also offer services such as hypnosis for weight loss. Contact us online for a free therapy consultation, and get the help you need.