I get this question quite often actually.
"I just can't stop thinking about food. Why is that?"
Can you relate to this? Maybe you're always thinking about the next meal or maybe it's indulgent foods that take up space in your mind. Or maybe you keep reviewing your shopping list in your head or attempt to mentally count the calories of your previous / upcoming meals.
Preoccupation with food and obsessive thoughts can occur for a few different reasons in a variety of people. How to end this habit can be tricky and challenging, but once you know WHY you're thinking so much about food, you can then move forward in overcoming that habit.
If you're finding yourself thinking about food so much that it begins to interfere with other areas of your life or inhibits your focus, it's likely that you are moving into a domain of an unhealthy relationship with food and toxic thought patterns.
More than likely, this can be attributed to one of these reasons below:
You are not eating enough Meaning your body is not getting the calories and nutrients it needs. Evaluate your plate at meal times, and listen to your hunger cues.
You are restricting certain foods or food groups Is there anything you've cut out from your diet for non-medical reasons? Try adding those things back in!
You're denying yourself what you truly want There's nothing wrong with enjoying a cookie or a french fry! It's just as important to honor your body's wants as it is to honor its needs.
You are surrounded by people who frequently talk about dieting What are the conversations like with your inner circle? Does it include body bashing, diet talk, and the push for physical affirmation?
You have certain rules around food that limits your eating habits This could look like only allowing yourself to eat at certain times or placing any kind of limit or restriction around your eating habits. Try to let those go. Challenge your food rules one by one.
You have an intense focus on weight loss Preoccupation with weight loss can lead to toxic thought patterns around body image and food choices. Be wary of this mindset, and always approach weight loss from an inner health standpoint. There is much more to being healthy than food and exercise.
You use food to cope with emotions Instead of using food as a comfort blanket or bandaid for unfavorable situations, think through actions you can take to help mend the situation or genuinely improve your wellbeing.
You use food as something you can meticulously control and manage Sometimes when we feel like areas of our lives are out of control, we turn to food as a source of control where we can exert our power. This perpetuates a very unhealthy relationship with food as it promotes restriction, calorie counting, and typically several rules.
If you feel like your obsession with food is interfering with your life, relationships, socialization, mental focus, or is disruptive in any way, I encourage you to reach out! I would love to talk to you and see how I can help.
It's important to remember that we eat to live, and that's a beautiful thing, but by no means should we live to eat.
Are you struggling with your relationship with food? Check out this post on disordered eating habits to get clarity on how to move forward in your journey!