Do you eat in secret?
"We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink" - Epicurus
It is the time of year when many people are taking trips, or this year, going somewhere else in the country for a change of scene. It is also the time of year when my of my clients worry about their food choices whilst away. Worrying about how they will be able to eat the foods they want to eat and make nutritious choices whilst eating in the company of others and at restaurants.
Yet interestingly, something I have noticed, is that people tend to most over-eat or binge-eat... when they are alone, eating secretly or eating discretely by themselves in a way that is mostly hidden from their loved ones. Yes people can have slightly larger portion sizes than they want to when they eat with their partner and yes they can have indulgent 3-course meals with friends - but often these are enjoyed and savoured. Often the individual will eat these meals with a positive mindset and enjoying the flavours of the food.
The unhealthy relationship with food tends to come in when that individual eats those same foods but alone, or when their partner is away, or in the evenings when everyone has gone to sleep. Or the unhealthy mindset tends to kick-in when they think that they have "blown it" by eating an unhealthy meal out and then snacking on biscuits and chocolate once they get home because "they might as well, as they have fallen off the wagon already". This is when they then tend to think things such as "let me just eat as much as I can right now and start being good again tomorrow". This is also when they tend to over-eat far more than they would in the company of others and feel immense guilt after over-eating. When alone and in this mindset, individuals can also be more vulnerable to over-eating in response to stress, sadness, boredom, loneliness or anxiety. With nobody around, and an emotional hole to fill - suddenly emotional eating can lead to really over-indulging on foods that the individual does not necessarily want to eat and that cannot satisfy them emotionally (so they will often keep going for more and more).
I often say that there is nothing wrong with eating anything sometimes. What is far more important than WHAT you are eating, is YOUR MINDSET whilst you are eating that food. Are you enjoying that food and savouring it or do you feel guilty whilst/after eating it and eat it really quickly without even noticing what you are eating?
If you have noticed that you struggle with your relationship with food - and that you would like to stop eating in secret, when alone or mindlessly in response to your emotions - please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a free 20 minute consultation. Once you develop a new and healthy relationship with food - it really is a joy to just enjoy a delicious meal without feeling guilty or beating yourself up over it.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” ― Ruth Reichl