Healthy Eating Habits – Based On Eating Psychology

Changing Our Eating Habits

Changing our eating habits can feel daunting.  Many of us go through life beating ourselves up internally for not going to the gym enough, not eating healthy enough, or not having the same body shape or weight we used to…

I want to share a new perspective on how we can change our eating habits and how we can do it in a peaceful way. 

Specifically, this perspective looks at you as an eater and what ‘role’ you are currently playing.

Changing Roles Changes Our Eating Habits

We all play different ‘roles’ at various times in our life.  Essentially, it all depends on the current phase of life we are in. 

To illustrate, at one time we might be the ‘health nut’ (at the gym 5 times per week, eating mountains of vegetables). Another time we are the ‘rebellious teenager’ who does not want to be told what to eat.  Then we are an ‘athlete’ training and eating for a marathon.  Then ‘free spirit’ going with the flow wanting to experience life and food in all its forms. Perhaps then we are the ‘parent’ who has to juggle a million responsibilities.

Basically, every diet is a reflection of where we are in our lives.    

Critical Questions To Reflect On Current Eating Habits

Basically, the food that we eat changes as our priorities change.  Essential questions to ask yourself are:

  • What phase am I in?
  • Who am I as an eater?’ What is my role?
  • Who is really eating?


Decide the role you are in right now, wholeheartedly.  Give yourself permission to be that person.  Because even when we change these roles, we can eat well and be content.  Finally, by allowing ourselves to ‘be’ we do not resist what ‘is’

Maybe this is the key to peace, contentment and freedom when it comes to food and our eating habits.

Create peace with your habits first

Frequently, clients tell me ‘I want to be the weight I was 15 years ago’.  And I ask, ‘What did that require of you to do to achieve that weight?’ They say, ‘Well, I didn’t eat sugar or carbohydrates and went to the gym six times per week’.

This is where I ask – ‘Do you want to live that lifestyle right now?  Do you want to play this role right now?’

Quite often they say ‘No, I can’t do that.  It is not my priority as I have children’. 

Importance of healthy eating habits

I hear people saying: “I can eat what I want, I don’t gain weight” or “as long as I don’t gain weight, I continue eating what I want”.

Healthy eating is not only about weight. Our food choices have so much more impact on us than we think.  Here are the top 10 benefits of healthy eating:

  • Heart health
  • Mood
  • Energy Levels
  • Digestions and gut health
  • Health of our skins, hair, nails
  • Sleep
  • Bone health
  • Weight
  • Diabetes management
  • Long term implication of food choices

Changing Roles Changes Our Eating

Changing roles changes our eating. For example, I was working with a client who wanted to travel.  However, she believed if she travelled, she wouldn’t be able to follow her diet plans.  Basically, she was so anxious about travelling because she felt she would lose control of her strict eating regime.  Indeed, her fears and beliefs around this issue were controlling her life!

Consequently, we dove deep inside and asked ‘Who do you want to be and what role do you want to play?’  She said ‘Actually I don’t want to be an obsessive health person anymore, I want to be a traveller’.   So, that is what she did.  Essentially, she experienced different ways of eating, places, and exploring. Moreover, when she came home she actually did not need to go back to the strict diet because she had changed her identity and was now an explorer.  In fact, she now loves trying new recipes and new ways of eating. Essentially, she changed who she was!

Is Self-Compassion The Answer To New Healthy Eating Habits?

Try asking yourself these questions before committing to improving any habits, whether it’s eating, exercise, or daily routine:

Give yourself this compassion to explore who you are and who you want to be.

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What role are you playing?
  • Who is really eating?

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