How to Release the Negative Emotions We Have Surrounding Food

As far back as I can remember, I’ve struggled with healthy eating habits and my relationship with food. In this two part series I’m talking about the negative relationships with food I’ve struggled with, the science behind exercise nutrition, and the solution and psychology that helped me overcome my issues.

In my last post I talked a little more about thermodynamics and caloric balance, but that doesn’t always get us where we want to be. Sometimes a step in the right direction isn’t changing what you’re eating but how you’re eating it. Are you experiencing cravings and then bingeing on a particular food you labeled as off limits? Do you feel virtuous for skipping meals? Does it make you feel empowered if you wait until you’re ravenous before a meal? I see these habits in my clients, and in myself. Simply looking at when you’re eating, and how much of it, can be a great step in the right direction for your metabolism. That’s right, ladies, if we constantly under eat or wait very long between meals, it can actually have a detrimental effect on our metabolisms and push us further in the wrong direction. In many cases, we need to eat more (or at least more consistently) in order to reach our goals.

When you combine the balanced proportions of the three macronutrients I discussed in my first post, with consistent, mindful eating I mentioned above, you can achieve the healthy relationship with food so many of us strive for. In the health and fitness industry this macronutrient focused approach has become very popular, and while some may see it as overly complicated, I see it as a great tool to helping me feel great about how and why I’m eating. The formula brings balance and flexibility to my nutrition. I have learned exactly what my body needs to feel good. I know when my body needs it, based on my activity levels. I can make well educated and strategic choices about which foods I’d like to indulge in, and I am absolved of any guilt I may have felt in the past about eating foods that otherwise I would have considered unhealthy.

While everyone’s body is different, and some feel that too much focus on food quantities can cause relapses of eating disorders, I’ve found this to be a great modulator to help me recalibrate what healthy eating is for my body. The “formula” can change and adapt to your needs and goals. The beauty of applying what is essentially a math formula is that it allows you to prioritize your food choices, not just on a day to day basis, but month to month and year to year. You continue to learn more about your body, what it needs, and what makes you feel great. Since finally committing to tracking my macronutrients I have felt more energized, empowered, and I consistently see improvements in my workouts and body composition. If you’re seeking overall health and wellness, and also want to be in control with an action plan, I encourage you to look at the science behind nutrition and strive for balance. I believe it is possible to eat healthfully, happily, and release all of those negative emotions we have surrounding food!

Ashley is a Pilates instructor and entrepreneur in NYC who specializes in biomechanics and exercise nutrition for women. She uses the science behind exercise physiology to empower her clients to lead healthy, happy lives. Her passion project is writing “The LEAN Life Newsletter” which goes out every Tuesday and focuses on Lifestyle, Exercise, Active recovery, and Nutrition and serves as the backbone for her L.E.A.N. Life online health and fitness programs. She aims to get this information into the hands of as many women as possible so they can feel stronger and more confident in their bodies. For more information head to or @AshleyBrownPilates on instagram, or click here to get on the L.E.A.N. Life List!

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