In talking about how her relationship with food has changed, a client described her decision to order some hot chips. She was hungry, she likes hot chips and they were one of the only gluten free options (she has Coeliac disease). In the past these chips would have come with a massive serve of guilt and shame, or she would have let herself go hungry, and getting over-hungry usually led to eating way past comfortable fullness that evening.
This time, my client was not only able to enjoy the chips free of shame, the lack of self judgement meant she was able to tune into her bodies appetite cues and she ate to the point of satisfaction rather than demolishing the whole lot just because they were there.
As we discussed all the benefits of rejecting common diet mentality around food, that is; chips are bad, chips are unhealthy, chips are fattening, you won’t lose weight eating chips etc etc, my client expressed a new understanding that “every food has value”. I thought this was a brilliant way to look at food.
In this case, the value lay in the freedom to enjoy food without mental distress or shame and honouring hunger which prevented over-eating and the mental and physical discomfort that comes with that. The fact that chips are also a nourishing food was more a bonus in this instance.
For so many people, not only does eating chips result in shame and mental distress over food, but the judgement about “being bad” or eating “wrong or unhealthy food” usually prevents people from tuning into their bodies needs. This often results in eating past satisfaction, to a point of feeling over-full with the thought that “I’ll be good tomorrow” or “It’s the last time I’ll have them.”
If you feel your relationship with food could use some help, or if you would also like to enjoy your food free of guilt, give us a call, or find a non-diet/intuitive eating dietitian near you (just make sure they are HAES®️ aligned).
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