Weight Balance

5 Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Relationship with Food

Written By: Kripa Jalan

5 Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Relationship with Food

Our thought patterns have developed over our lifetime based on how we’ve internalized our experiences and the information we’ve been exposed to.

Our thoughts eventually become automatic and usually, we don’t even notice them! 

Some are irrational and unrealistic. They tend to be fuelled by anxiety and low self-esteem. These distorted thoughts negatively affect how we feel, how we behave, and therefore, how we eat!

We call these irrational thinking styles “traps” because they keep us trapped in unhealthy habits.

#1 “I’ll be happy when I lose 5 kilos.”

We all think that once we become skinny, or beautiful, or rich we will finally be happy. But the truth is, the way we seek things out is the way we will experience them. If we seek out a relationship in insecurity and neediness, we will most likely spend that relationship in the same state, still insecure and needy and seeking constant validation. 

Same thing with weight loss. Losing weight doesn’t cure the emotional state you’re in. 

Losing weight doesn’t change the way you feel about yourself or the beliefs you have about yourself.

Reframed thought – “My happiness doesn’t depend on my weight.”

#2 “I’ve eaten one slice; I may as well eat the whole pizza.”

Well, sure. If you’re hungry for it – go ahead.

But, if you’re eating it because of the “screw it effect,” past a point of satisfaction, we may have some rethinking to do.

The truth is that the all-or-nothing mindset puts food on a pedestal and makes it exciting and daunting.

But when you know that a food is no longer off-limits, you will discover that when you eat past satisfaction, the pleasurable taste of food diminishes, and the physical discomfort from eating too much will become apparent. 

You’ll come to recognize that overeating your favorite foods is no longer worth it.

Reframed thought – “I’m going to savour a few slices until I feel satisfied, not stuffed.”

#3 “I cheated and gave into cake – I’m so weak!”

The ‘labelling’ thought distortion is when we attach a negative label to ourselves or others after making a mistake. 

But labelling can be harmful to our self-esteem and relationship with food when we’re using derogatory terms (i.e., “fat, lazy, weak, helpless”) or grouping too many items under a broad term (i.e, “healthy, unhealthy, good, bad”).  

Also, we tend to believe the mean names we call ourselves and end up acting in accordance with those self-perceptions.

I mean, think about it. Who/what are you cheating on? Carrots?

Reframed thought – “I’ve been indulging a lot these days. What is it that I really need. What can I do to satisfy that need?”

#4 “I just ate an entire bag of candy. I’m going to get fat!”

When we’re worried about food and our weight, we blow things out of proportion, or in other words, “catastrophize.” 

For example, “falling off the diet” can feel like we’ve lost complete control, when in reality, all we did was eat some type of food  that we had forbidden ourselves from eating. 

We assume the consequences are catastrophic and quickly feel hopeless and defeated. 

In reality, your body is completely capable of handling occasional indulgent meals!

Reframed thought - “In the grand scheme of what I eat, this one bag of candy will not make a big change to my health or my body.”

#5 “I feel fat.”

Straight up, fat is not a feeling and you are not your emotions.

Often, when we’re preoccupied with our bodies and also struggle to express our emotions verbally, we can become body-focused and make “fat” the umbrella term for a range of negative emotions e.g. sad, stressed, lonely, etc.

Reframed thought - “I feel [ insert the underlying emotion or bodily symptom that you really feel, because fat is not actually a feeling]”

Do you recognize any of these thought patterns and feel like you could benefit from working with an expert to identify and work on the major thinking traps that hide behind unhealthy or disordered eating patterns, such as binge-eating, restricting, and dieting? 

Check out our 1-1 nutrition coaching program!