We all begin life as “picky eaters”. The majority of people are born with a natural dislike of sour or bitter foods, which may be nature’s way of preventing us, as young children from eating potentially poisonous food that a child’s undeveloped digestive system just couldn’t cope with.

As we grow, we also need to ingest large amounts of calories and so we naturally tend to have a preference for sweeter foods or higher calorie foods. However, as adults, our intake requirements decrease and our tastes tend to widen and most adults learn to enjoy the taste of spices, bitter and sour flavours.

However, some people find that trying new foods can make them feel rather nervous and even anxious. I have helped people who couldn’t eat certain textures or can’t swallow certain foods or don’t like the particular colour of certain foods, these can often be fruits or vegetables or foods such as pasta or fish.

Other people can also create rules and rituals around eating, such as never eating foods that have touched each other, or only eating one type of food from their plate at a time. These sorts of patterns create lots of difficulties, particularly when socialising. Being a picky eater can make going to a restaurant or a dinner party pretty uncomfortable, especially when with others, who may find that way of eating quite unusual and make the person feel very self-conscious.

I have found that for most “picky eaters” have two factors that hold the pattern of being a picky eater in place. This first being a negative expectation about tasting new foods, and the second is anxiety about leaving the familiar “comfort zone” of what they normally eat. Those people who tend to be a picky eater have a perception that different foods will taste terrible, and if they are about to try something new they will screw up their face and get all tense and make a disgusted noise in their head (or out loud), so that by the time they actually taste the new food, they have already given themselves a pretty powerful suggestion that is will be disgusting.

Many picky eaters also feel anxious around new foods. It is as if the more primitive, subconscious part of the mind has branded certain foods as being dangerous and the mind is trying to protect them from food it thinks will be a poison to them, even though rationally they know the food is safe to eat.

Therefore, allow hypnotherapy and counselling to assist you to:

  • calm down your emotions around the thought and feelings of the inappropriate response
    to foods;
  • learn to relax and have a more open minded expectation about what you can eat, and
  • allow you to broaden your tastes in food and discover more foods to enjoy providing you
    with opportunities to enjoy your life more.

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Image credit: David Goehring Flickr