Books to help you reset your relationship with food
Ali Roff Farrar shares three books to help you change your relationship with food, from intuitive eating guides to scientifically backed studies. If you want to know how to stop counting calories and reduce anxiety around food, look no further.
Our relationship with food is complex; from emotional connections to addictions, and even the way it can affect our feelings self-worth. But when it comes to nutrition and our approach to it, what do we really need for a healthy mind and body? Here, Ali Roff Farrar shares three books from the experts, which will help you reset your relationship with food once and for all.
Try this: ‘Understanding emotional eating’ from How to Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PhD
‘In your journal, write out all the functions that food has served over the years that you have labelled as ‘emotional’, ‘stress’, or ‘comfort’ eating.’ For example, celebration, self-soothing, dealing with loneliness. ‘Next to each one, write down any associations or memories you have with food. Did this give you any clues as to your own unmet needs?’
Try this: Written Exercise: ‘My Body Deserves’ from The Last Diet by Shahroo Izadi
Start learning to love and care for your body rather than punishing it for not meeting standards by journaling some new habits which are non-diet related. ‘Note down some suggestions of new self-care habits you could adopt to treat it [your body] with more gratitude. Ones that may not be directly related to diet or exercise. Anything from deciding to play music to please your ears while you do household chores to booking yourself a regular massage to thank your muscles.’
Try this: ‘Breaking Bad . . . Habits’ from How Not to Diet by Michael Greger
It’s easy to form, and much harder to break, bad habits around food. ‘The first time you snacked in front of the TV at night, you may have been genuinely hungry, but over time, the two activities can become indelibly linked such that your prime-time shows trigger snack cravings even if you’re not really in the mood to eat. It can become something you can’t help—in other words, a bad habit.’ To break these habits you can ‘change the cue, or change the action.’ Changing the cue may mean that ‘If you’re used to having a cookie every time you see the cookie jar, it might be better to replace it with a fruit bowl.’ Whereas changing the action means actively choosing a new behaviour, for example ‘If I get hungry after dinner, I will eat an apple.’
*Weight Loss and Weight Management Diet Market by Product Type (Better-for-you, Meal Replacement, Weight Loss Supplement, Green Tea, and Low-calorie Sweeteners) and Sales Channel (Hypermarket/Supermarket, Specialty Stores, Pharmacies, Online Channels, and Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021–2027, Himanshu Vig , Roshan Deshmukh, June 2020