These Books Will Help Heal Your Relationship With Food – The New York Times

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We asked experts in psychology, nutrition and body image for their top picks.

How is your relationship with food these days? For many of us, the honest answer is “it’s complicated.” Perhaps you stress-eat more than you’d care to admit or are always on the latest diet. Maybe you just spend too much mental energy on food and have a nagging sense that it’s supposed to be, well, easier.

If you’re looking for a reset, you might start with some reading — we’re in something of a heyday for books about food and bodies. We asked nine experts in psychology, nutrition and body image for their recommendations. These picks will help you understand why many of us relate to food the way we do, and how to shift into a healthier way of thinking about food.

Most of the practitioners we consulted mentioned this bible of intuitive eating. “It’s a classic for a reason,” said Christy Harrison, a registered dietitian and author who hosts the podcast “Rethinking Wellness.”

The authors are dietitians with a bold claim: We were all born knowing how to nourish ourselves, and we get into trouble when we start trusting the voices around us instead of our bodies. They walk readers through the process of unlearning “diet mentality” and reconnecting with their internal cues about hunger and satisfaction.

While intuitive eating is somewhat well known today, the book was truly “groundbreaking” when first published in 1995, said Shelly Russell-Mayhew, a psychology professor and director of the Body Image Research Lab at the University of Calgary.

Part intuitive eating guide, part cookbook, “Gentle Nutrition” teaches readers to take care of their bodies through nutrition without strict rules or diet dogma. “This is one of the few nutrition books that I can confidently recommend,” said Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor.

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