From friends and family to romantic partners, human relationships are what make us… well, human. Over time, we move in and out of relationships—breaking up, making up and losing touch.
But there’s one long-term relationship that all of us are in, all the time. It’s the one that influences everything from our confidence and social life to our happiness and health—it’s our relationship with food.
Our food relationship is something we don’t usually talk about. But to make it healthier, it’s time we start.
So... what’s your relationship status, and how do you go about updating it?
Relationship status: it’s complicated 😰
Over 50% of new Wellory members start off with a complicated food relationship. With plenty of ups and downs, this relationship can be pretty stressful.
Signs that your food relationship is complicated:
You talk about certain foods as being “good” vs. “bad”. (If you could throw a loaf of bread in jail, you would.)
You’ve created rules around what to eat and when, then feel bad when you break them.
You know what we mean when we say, “This week is a total wash, I’ll just start again on Monday.”
So how can you uncomplicate this all-or-nothing relationship? It all begins with changing the way you think about food.
To ditch those “good” and “bad” labels, try focusing on a different type of goodness. Start by identifying how you feel both before and after you eat. Over time, you’ll learn what foods make you feel good in a long-term way (think better mood, increased focus and more energy) versus a short-term way (like those cheese fries that taste good for 5 minutes but make you bloated the rest of the day).
By tuning into the way different ingredients fuel you, you can start to lean more into the foods that love you back.
Relationship status: over it 🙄
Over the idea of dieting? Us too.
From low-carb diets and no-carb diets, to counting calories and counting hours until your next “cheat day”, years of yo-yo dieting can make you want to just give up on a healthy food relationship altogether.
Signs that you’re on the verge of a breakup:
You turn to food when you’re stressed or bored (shoutout to chocolate, chips and pizza delivery).
Cravings hold a place in your daily routine, and day after day, you feel you’ve “given in” to them.
You’re convinced that a “balanced diet” isn’t achievable—or better yet, it doesn’t really exist.
Sound familiar? You are so not alone.
After all that dieting, it’s no surprise you’re ready to call it quits. But the good news is, we see these weary relationships mend.
To start rebuilding yours, try identifying where things went wrong. Was it the crash diet you went on in high school? The breakfast you began skipping after gaining the freshman 15? Or maybe it started during a stressful time when you turned to food for comfort?
Figuring out where things went south can help you pinpoint what’s going on now. And once you do, it’s all about making small changes that can help you fall back in love with eating well.
Relationship status: pretty good 🙂
In a “pretty good” marriage, there might be a few things that you wish you could change (most notably, your partner’s snoring).
When it comes to your food relationship, it might be your caffeine dependency, ice cream addiction, or snacking your way through busy workdays.
Your food relationship is pretty good when you...
Feel good about most of the meals you eat.
Sometimes get set back after a weekend. (Ever have an indulgent Saturday drag on until Tuesday?)
Regularly eat a few foods that you don’t consider “healthy”—like the usual side of fries or evening dessert.
So how can you turn pretty good into really good? It starts with figuring out what can be tweaked, then making those tweaks one by one.
Need 3 coffees to get through the afternoon? You might need a more nutrient-dense lunch. Can’t end the night without a bowl of ice cream? Try swapping it with a healthier banana-based treat. Can’t say no to those salty office snacks? Prep your own!
Once you identify opportunities for improvement, it’s all about figuring out what habits will fit into your lifestyle. And when you find the right fit, those habits last for the long haul.
Relationship status: on point 👌
What to do if your nutrition is already on point? It’s all about making the most of a good thing.
Your food relationship is on point if you...
Eat foods that make you feel good and shy away from the ones that don’t.
Aren’t thrown off when dining out and sharing plates. (A meal with friends doesn’t set you back.)
Don’t roll your eyes at the word “moderation”—you know how to have your cake and eat it too!
With the right nutrition, you can improve everything from work performance, to athletic recovery, to healthy aging. So to get the most out of your food relationship, try making healthy micro-adjustments to your daily routine.
Consider swapping out ingredients for more nutrient-dense options, stepping up your hydration game, or adding superfoods to your meals. Over time, these micro-adjustments will help optimize your nutrition for life-long health.
Ready to work on your relationship with food?
Let us set you up! Find your Wellory Nutritionist to change your relationship with food for good.