Recognizing “fear foods” (aka “challenge foods”) and learning to overcome them in treatment is not easy, but an important part of recovery. (Fear foods do not refer to foods to which you are severely allergic.)
Fear foods vary for each individual. Some may have an aversion to specific foods (bread), while others avoid foods of a particular type (carbohydrates).
Avoidant behavior around food may initially develop as a way to create a sense of control. However, the more a food or food group is forbidden and avoided, the more power it holds. Ironically, in the presence of these forbidden fear foods, you’re more likely to feel a loss of control. This loss of control may trigger feelings of shame, thus reinforcing fear and avoidance around that food… and the cycle continues.
Behaviors that increase one’s anxiety, stress, or shame around certain foods are not healthy – no matter what those foods may be. Small, consistent exposures to fear foods over time can help to alleviate anxiety and stigmas around fear foods while simultaneously providing opportunities to practice coping mechanisms that will help you as you continue to heal your relationship with food.
IDK who needs this, but it’s ok to eat bread more than once a day without taking compensatory measures the next da day.
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