Do You Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Food?

I talk a lot about my relationship with food, but what does it actually mean? Ironically having a healthy relationship with food has nothing to do with what you’re eating, such the amount of calories, macro-nutrients or vegetable servings. Your relationship with food is actually your learned behaviours, perceptions, emotions, and mindset around food. It’s basically how you feel about food.

So what does a unhealthy relationship look like? There are actually some signs that you can look our for:

signs of an unhealthy relationship with food

  • You feel shame or guilt when you eat certain foods or eat more than you feel you should.
  • Certain foods are “off-limits.”
  • You tend to overeat without realising it.
  • You find yourself eating when you’re not hungry.
  • You find yourself eating in response to emotions like disappointment, anger, stress, nervousness, or excitement.
  • Calories or macros determine your food choices or how “good” you diet is each day.
  • You’ve tried numerous diets without success.
  • Food choices determine the quality or success of your day.
  • Daily food choices are considered a reflection of who you are.
  • You avoid eating around others.
  • You have anxiety or stress before events where food will be served.

A peaceful relationship with food is the foundation of good health and well-being. 

Carolyn Williams


Over the years, my relationship with food has been an interesting one. As a kid I couldn’t care less about what I ate… however in my early twenties I experienced disordered eating (read about that here). I was SO conscious about what I was eating but it was when my relationship with food was at it’s worst. 10 years later I can say I’m almost there (hello sugar when I’m stressed)… It’s been a long journey but worth every ounce of effort.

What did I focus on?

It’s hard to say specifically but I have become very aware of my feelings around food. If I start to implement food rules, or have feelings of guilt associated with certain foods, I’m now able to recognise and rectify it using a number of tools.

If you think you might have an healthy relationship with food and would like to improve it, check out my health coaching programs. Improving your relationship with food may bring up uncertain feelings and emotions and that’s why I work with clients in a supportive and safe space.

Love Emma x

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