How to Stop Comparing Your Food Choices to Other People’s

Robin-cronut-2

Me enjoying a cronut. No food comparing here!

Last week, I shared a post that I wrote for The Real Life RD and let you know that I had another one in the works. Well, it was published last Friday! So I thought I’d share this one with you today. It’s all about why it makes no sense to constantly worry about how your meals and snacks stack up against other people’s eating choices—and how to stop the cycle of comparisons. Here’s a preview:

I love going to dinners with girlfriends, but almost every time I do, the same question comes up: “What are you ordering?” There’s nothing inherently wrong with the question; if it comes from a place of curiosity, then it’s really just showing an interest in the other person. But many women I know don’t ask the question that way (and I know I often haven’t in the past).

They’re asking because the answer will dictate what they choose to order—or make them feel bad about what they’re getting. Many women feel like they don’t want to be the one person at the table getting a big bowl of pasta when everyone else is eating a Caesar salad. I’m not a big fan of food guilt or just eating things because you feel like you should; why should choosing to nourish your body with whatever it’s truly craving in the moment—rather than depriving yourself—ever be something to beat yourself up over? (You can read more about my views on food guilt and food shaming.) But somewhere along the way, we’ve become obsessed with striving for this impossible ideal of “normal”—including with our food choices.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of how it happened for me: I’ve always had a large appetite. I can remember being about four years old and shocking my babysitter with how much cornbread I ate in one sitting. Then, in high school, it wasn’t uncommon for me to out-eat the boys whenever we ordered pizza. I never felt self-conscious about my hunger—that is, until I moved to New York City after college to start a new job there. That’s when people’s comments about what I was eating stopped feeling like simple observations and started feeling more critical (or at least that’s how I started perceiving them for the first time).

You can read the rest of the post at The Real Life RD (including my top tip for how to stop food comparisons). Is this something that you’ve ever struggled with? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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