In recent conversations I’ve had, i have experienced that many people are facing food anxiety. It’s a block that prevents them from eating healthy and having a good relationship with food. But many of you are probably asking, “What is food anxiety?”. So, I’m sharing with you today what food anxiety could look like in your life, so that you are able to identify if food anxiety is a challenge you are experiencing in your health journey.
In terms of clarity, food anxiety can be any of the following:
- Fearing eating
- Fearing the result of eating
- Becoming emotional after eating
- Becoming distressed at the thought of meal prepping, shopping, or cooking
- Fearing gaining weight or fat during, or immediately after, eating
- Panic about how your body will immediately react to a meal
- Any discomfort, panic attack, or anxiety that results from thinking about, preparing, or eating a meal
Food anxiety comes in different shapes and sizes for each person. And it can be debilitating for anyone. Food anxiety affects your relationship with food and and can cause a negative view on food. Experiencing food anxiety can cause you to ultimately fear eating and meal preparation, causing you to either avoid it, or avoid anything that might set it off.
It’s not realistic to avoid food completely-it is fueling your LIFE after all! So, you will have to come up with another solution. Food anxiety should not stop you from living your life. Just as you would solve other problems, you can approach this in a similar way.
In my video, I explain a few tips to start the process of healing food anxiety. Let me reassure you that this IS a process. Healing and problem solving takes time. So give yourself some grace if this takes more than 2 days. Listed below are my starting tips to help you heal your food anxiety:
- Test and record your emotions and reactions to food. Say every time you eat a cheeseburger you start feeling anxious and “fat” afterwards, I want you to write that down! It would be best to record your meals for 2 full weeks so you can identify “triggers” and “safe” foods.
- Avoid foods that cause bad reactions. This is key if you have medical conditions such as food allergies, IBS, Celiac’s disease, etc. So many people tell me that they have some kind of medical condition related to food, yet they still continue to eat it! That’s crazy! Especially when you are sitting around waiting for when the bad reaction is going to happen! If you have foods that you KNOW cause a bad reaction with your body, avoid those foods for at least 2 weeks.
- Eat healthy! Did you know that a lack of healthy foods and exercise can lead to depression and anxiety? By maintaining a healthy diet, you are able to make sure that you are receiving the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for ultimate health. I’m not saying this will prevent food anxiety (there IS an emotional side to eating of course), but this is you doing everything in YOUR power to help your body.
- Find foods and recipes you love! What is a better way to end food anxiety? Create a positive identification with foods. If you find (healthy) foods and recipes, you’ll start to see food in a positive light. Ideally, you will find food as a source of fuel that enables you to have energy and strength! This begins by exploring your food options.
Food should never limit you. Yet, for so many of us, it has or still does! If you get anything from this post, it’s that food anxiety is something you can work through. You can create a healthy relationship with food that enables you to pursue your life freely! That is a process, but it is one that I would love to help you work through!
** I would like to note that if you have an eating disorder, these tips may not necessarily help you. You should seek professional counsel and help if you are struggling with any eating disorder.
Do you have food anxiety? I would love for you to comment below with your story (or if you’re not comfortable, you can shoot me an email)! Did you find this process helpful?