You might have a bad relationship with food if you feel guilty or ashamed every time you eat a food you “aren’t supposed to.” Or, if you always deny yourself your favorite treats and punish yourself when you do indulge.

Fortunately, you can work to improve your relationship with food. Follow these 3 important guidelines:

One, eat mindfully. In other words, engage all of your senses. Instead of slurping down that smoothie, drink it slowly. Notice how sweet it tastes and how cold it is on your tongue. Mindful eating allows you to be fully present in the experience and let go of guilt that sometimes accompanies eating. 

Two, don’t declare any food off-limits. Remember that everything is okay in moderation, even foods you might have labeled as “bad” like French fries or ice cream. A healthy relationship with food is eating to nourish one’s body and soul.

Three, put the scale away. Base your food decisions on how you feel, rather than the number you see on the scale. Do you feel energized? Are you in a better mood? You’ll likely find that the foods that are healthy and good for you will also make you feel good inside, as opposed to unhealthy foods which will usually leave you feeling tired and uneasy.

These three guidelines will help you improve your relationship with food.

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