What Should You Do When Eating Feels Hard?

eating feels hard

Whether it’s a food rut, ED thoughts are feeling loud, you’re experiencing low appetite, stress, or just not feeling it — some days, eating is just hard. And, your body still needs food. Here are some things to try if this is you, or feel free to save and keep it for a future hard day (they happen).  When it comes to taking care of ourselves, nourishment plays an important role. Our bodies need adequate fuel and essential nutrients from all food groups to function properly. However, if you struggle with your relationship with food, it can be challenging to give your body the nourishment and energy it needs. We still need to eat, even when eating feels hard. The tips in this article will help you challenge destructive thoughts and continue to give your body what it needs even when it’s difficult.  

Tip 1: Call a Friend

Sometimes a mix of distraction and support can help when eating feels hard. You can call a friend to chat while you pick up groceries or prepare a meal. If you’re planning ahead, you can also schedule a meal or coffee and snack with a friend during the week or weekend.

Tip 2: Make Your Eating Environment More Pleasant

Even when eating is feeling hard, we can think of some ways to make the meal even 1% better. Choose to eat in an area that looks out a window or is outside (weather permitting). Use plates, placemats or utensils that are fun! Paint-your-own-pottery studios, colorful dishes and placemats you like can brighten up your eating experience. You could also put on your favorite show or listen to a podcast you like. In these cases, whatever will get you through the meal is fair game.

Tip 3: Think About What You Would Make For a Loved One

Part of working towards a healthier relationship with food is treating yourself the way you’d treat someone you love and respect. When eating feels hard, imagine what you would prepare if a good friend came over. What would you put together for them? Would you tell them that there is more available if they want it? Would you add something to the meal just for fun? Maybe you’d try a Chopped-inspired, throw-something-together combo.Doing this can be a way of sharing some of the compassion you’d typically offer to others to yourself.

Tip 4: Order in.

Not every meal has to be an opportunity for you to flex your gourmet chef muscles. Ordering in can take the stress of meal prep out of the equation. Let someone else prepare the food for you. Instead of thinking about all the ingredients, the prep work, and the cleanup, all you have to do is focus on eating. In times when eating feels hard, that’s more than enough.

Tip 5: Eat With a Supportive Friend

You may not be able to do this immediately, but scheduling a meal with a friend or family member could be a nice way to get ahead of things if eating feels hard around certain times. Perhaps there’s an anniversary that always gives you pause or maybe Thanksgiving is extra challenging. Planning to be around people who make you feel safe and supported is important in times like these.

Tip 6: Grocery Shop Ahead of Time

Grocery shopping during the weekend or when you have some extra free time can be a game changer when it comes to making eating a little bit easier. If you’re in eating disorder recovery, you start to notice some patterns around when eating feels hard. That sense of awareness is great! Now the task is to challenge those moments and set yourself up for success. While you’re grocery shopping for the week ahead, look for a few easy-to-grab items. Having these on hand will be essential on days when eating feels exceptionally hard. 

Working Through Eating Difficulties

Eating challenges  can stem from so many different places, including physical, emotional, or environmental influences. If you’ve noticed that eating feels hard more often than not, it may be worthwhile to consider working with a registered dietitian like myself.

Eating isn’t easy for everyone and that’s okay! I’m here to show you how to incorporate food into your life in a way that’s guilt-free and devoid of diet culture. Our work together will give you:

  • Unlimited support- I’m here to be your biggest cheerleader!
  • Food freedom
  • A better relationship with exercise, food, and body image
  • A newfound awareness of your hunger, fullness, and satiety cues
  • A better experience with eating, stress-free
  • Tons of valuable resources
  • ..and so much more.

I want you to learn how to trust your body and live a life that’s full of joy. Eating might feel hard now but it doesn’t have to be that way in the future. I’ll show you how to get there. Nourishing your body when eating feels like a chore is a skill, but it’s one you can build with the help of the right team. You don’t have to do it alone. At The Wellful, we provide community support and nutrition therapy to help you rebuild a healthy relationship with food and your body, free from restriction or obsession. 

Contact The Wellful today at 925-725-2761 to take the first step in rewriting your wellness story – we’re here to listen, understand, and help. Start by scheduling a free 15-minute consultation with our founder, Brenna, RD today.


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