When health becomes unhealthy

You’re probably aware of the times you’ve made unhealthy food choices. Perhaps you found yourself eating takeaways all the time and ate very little fresh food. You knew your choices weren’t contributing to your goals of a healthy lifestyle. However, for whatever reasons you continued to make unhealthy choices.

It’s worth also taking a look at the other end of the spectrum – obsessive food behaviours. These can also be considered as ‘unhealthy’, even though on the surface they may appear ‘super healthy’. These behaviours are not always addressed and can often go unnoticed, especially by the person who is making them.

Here are some signs of obsessive food behaviours. They have the potential to cause problems in various areas of your life so take a look and decide whether any of them are affecting you.

1.            Food at social gatherings

Do you worry about visiting friends’ houses for meals in case they’ll serve you something that doesn’t fit in with your idea of what you should be eating? If you feel this way, do you either avoid visiting them or, when you do go, find yourself stressing about the food you’re eating? Do you similarly find you’ve got a lot of resistance to going out somewhere like a café with friends? Either you sit and starve because there’s nothing ‘healthy’ on the menu, or you avoid going all together so you can stick strictly to your diet without succumbing to temptation?

These scenarios can highlight a food obsession. Have a think about whether these ingrained ideas are seriously limiting your opportunities to enjoy spending time with the people you want to nurture meaningful relationships with.

2.            A long list of ‘can’t have’ foods

Have you created a very large list of foods that you can ‘never’ have? We’re not talking about foods you avoid due to problems such as allergies and intolerances. Perhaps you’re worried one muffin or a piece of bread, even on a very occasional basis, is going to ruin all your hard work and set you back? The conviction a slight deviation from your ‘rules’ will stop you achieving yours goals.

Making nourishing food choices is extremely important if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. What you need to be aware of is whether those healthy choices have turned into obsessions that are instead becoming the most important thing in your life and are affecting your happiness.

If you suspect that obsessive behaviours are holding you back from enjoying the journey and life in general, becoming aware of this is the first step. The next step is to work on changing your beliefs, perhaps with a health coach or NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner if required. You might be worried that making small adjustments to your beliefs will turn you into an ‘unhealthy’ person. This is not the case at all. You can shift your mind-set slightly and still make consistent, positive food choices for a healthy lifestyle. The difference is that your choices will be more likely to be sustainable. They won’t rule your life and will make you feel happier instead of less happy.