What you think is causing your food struggles is very unlikely to be the actual problem.
I used to try to solve food struggles within the sphere of food. In other words, if I had a struggle with my eating, it would be fixed by changing something with my eating.
It makes sense. And sometimes a food struggle can be fixed by adjusting your eating in some way.
But more times than not, food struggles are a symptom – not a problem, and need to be addressed outside the sphere of food.
Beyond having some very basic nutritional education and awareness, most of the progress you make with your eating is going to be a side effect of fixing problems elsewhere.
For example, if you’re using food to manipulate your body instead of using it to meet your body’s needs, you’re going to be working against your own body’s built in regulation system.
This system is meant to regulate hunger, signal when to eat and when to stop, and even what to eat. If you try to fight against it, your eating will become inconsistent and you will struggle.
Then we also have issues happening in our life outside of health and fitness. Stress, boredom, lack of connection, shame, guilt, and discomfort stemming from circumstances outside your eating can’t be solved by manipulating your eating.
Yet using food to distract and cope with uncomfortable feelings is likely one of the biggest issues people face.
And don’t forget about your lack of body acceptance. This rejection of your self influences how much you eat, what you eat, when you eat it, and the type of exercise you do, and how much of it you do.
If you don’t accept yourself you end up restricting calories and depriving yourself of needed satisfaction, which just throws you into the binge/restrict, weekday/weekend, or daytime/nighttime cycles.
This is why improving your relationship with your body has such a dramatic effect on improving your relationships with food and exercise.
Reject your body and you will struggle with your eating. I guarantee it.
So if you’re struggling with your eating, look outside the sphere of food to fix it. That’s likely where you’ll find the problem that needs to be addressed.