Imagine this… You are sitting with your friends at the dinner table. You order your favourite dish and someone comments, “Oh god! How can you eat that?” This makes us wonder, ”why do people judge what we eat?”. Hence when we hear comments like – “You eat so little/ so much”,” How can you finish all that?”, “If I were you, I would skip that meal”, we feel judged when we eat.
There must have been occasions where you have also passed a comment or remarked on someone’s food habit. We are all guilty of food shaming at one point in our life or another. Let us understand why.
Learned Behaviors and Difference in Opinions
Another possible reason why people judge your choice is a difference in preference. When “I”, don’t like what “You” like, I judge. Hence, people find it difficult to understand and accept your choice. As mentioned above, our exposure may create a strong bias in our minds. This means that they have a strong opinion for or against a certain type of food. However, when people judge our food choices, we feel that they are judging us as people.
Rigid belief in good and bad food
Closely associated with preference is the firm belief in “good” and “bad” food. This happens when we attach morals to food. Therefore, if people feel what you are eating is “wrong” or “bad”, they are most likely to judge you for it. With such an outlook, people may take a moral high ground and as a result, make snarky remarks.
Genuine Concern for Your Health
In some cases, however, there is a genuine concern for you. If so, you need to observe if you are eating something which is genuinely unhealthy or following a bad diet.
What to Do When People Judge What I Eat?
Is It a Concern or Judgement?
First and foremost, not every remark is a judgement. One simple way to recognise this is by understanding the context and tone of the comment. Sometimes, people close to us may genuinely worry about our food choices. If it is a comment out of concern, make a note of what you eat. If after understanding the eating pattern you realise that the habit is harmful, seek help to change it.
Speak to the Person
Irrespective of the tone and intent of the remark, if you are still feeling hurt, talk to the concerned person. Share your feelings with them emphasising how the comment hurt you. Be clear about them crossing a boundary. You will also get an idea of what their intention was behind the comment. People who are genuinely concerned will be apologetic and mindful not to comment again. In such situations, communication can help get a better perspective and clear any misunderstandings.
Be Comfortable with What You Eat
If you are aware of your habits and comfortable with the choices you make, other people’s judgements will not affect you. Sometimes, people project their insecurities onto us. It is important to clearly understand the distinction between people’s perceptions and our own beliefs.
Be Prepared for Judgement
Be ready with a response in a situation where people judge what you eat. We don’t mean a negative comeback, rather a positive response which makes light of the situation. If you downplay the situation with a funny remark, people will not focus on it either.
Don’t Take Everything Seriously
People’s comments don’t need to be taken so seriously. Everyone views life differently, therefore it is natural to have a different opinion on food as well. Many of the comments that people make are personal views on the situation, and hence they are not absolutely true.
People will judge no matter how much you try to change. Thus, it is important to accept yourself and the life choices you make. Not everyone will like everything you eat but that doesn’t mean you completely modify your diet. Similarly, if someone passes a judgement, you don’t need to stop enjoying the food you like. Be kind to yourself and the choices you make. Remember you have the right to decide how you want to live your life. Similarly, you have the right to adapt to a new diet or indulge in a cheat meal on special occasions.
Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
Remember, food forms an integral part of a person’s life. For many of us, food has been a constant source of comfort during tough times. Therefore, everyone’s relationship with food is different. The way we have been brought up has formed our choices, likes and dislikes. Hence, one person or a few people’s opinions should not matter. It is absolutely alright to enjoy your favourite dish or change a part of your diet.
If you want to know more about this topic, check out. You can also read this interesting article to get more information.