Healthy & Happy  

Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food

By: Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist and Weight Loss Specialist

Are you in a dysfunctional relationship with food? If so, you are not alone; In fact, the majority of Americans experience the same issue! Use these 4 proven principles to change your perspective on health & nutrition and develop a healthy relationship with food:

Trust your body

The human body has built-in cues to tell us when to eat and when to stop eating. However, we are not always listening. In order to develop a healthy relationship with food, you must try to only eat when you are physically hungry.

One tool that you can use to practice getting in tune with your physical hunger cues is the hunger-fullness scale, which rates your level of physical hunger on a scale from 1 to 10.Aim to start eating when you reach a 3-4. Once you reach a 6, you should feel satisfied. Within 15-20 minutes, you will likely be at a 7 – full, but not uncomfortable.

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Eliminate food guilt

Many foods come with an inherent “good” or “bad” label, (i.e. Ice cream, chips) versus nutrient-dense foods (i.e. Kale, broccoli). Categorizing foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fuels shame and guilt, which in turn affects how and what you eat.

It is important to understand that you are not what you eat, and you are not defined by your diet. If you’re feeling guilty about your food choices, reflect on what you can do in the future, rather than what you should have done.

Think of food as fuel

Do you view food as something that causes weight loss or weight gain?  If so, I encourage you to redefine food. It isn’t evil, nor is it a reward. It is simply fuel for your body.

Food is something that nourishes your body, gives you energy to enjoy your daily life, and gives you the nutrients to achieve optimal health!

Remember that health is a lifestyle, not a phase

Healthy living is all about being in the right mindset and enjoying a healthy balance of things. You don’t need to restrict yourself – you just need to remember to eat in moderation!

Author Image

Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Red Mountain’s Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist. She specializes in weight management, body image concerns, and eating disorders & prides herself in her ability to educate, guide, and inspire patients to overcome obstacles and ultimately achieve their goals.