Today I want to write a short blog post about the Food Police, our first Food Voice!

Characteristics of the Food Police

The Food Police are constantly criticizing and second guessing your choices. These thoughts and voices have you unsure of your next move when it comes to food. The Food Police is one of the Destructive Dieting Voices that I’m sure you will be all too familiar with. The Food Police is “a strong voice that’s developed through dieting. It’s your inner judge and jury that determine if you are doing ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ (Source: Intuitive Eating, 3rd)

If you are someone that has dieted a lot during your life, the Food Police is going to be quite strong. It is literally the sum of all your dieting and food rules. And if you have had a lot of rules in your years of dieting, you can only imagine the list of rules the Food Police is carrying around!

Do any of these sound familiar to you?:

  • Don’t eat before your “eating window”
  • Don’t eat more than your allotted macro count
  • You can eat that AND just shift around your macros to make it fit
  • All refined flours and sugars are bad for you and you shouldn’t eat them
  • Only eat ‘bad’ foods during your cheat meals
  • It’s not time to eat
  • You shouldn’t be hungry yet
  • You are eating more than you need to according to your tracking app

What Strengthens the Food Police

Anytime you start a new diet and add new rules, the Food Police gets stronger. Sadly, even if you just read “health” articles or magazines with new ideas of ‘bad’ foods or ‘miracle weight loss’ plans, without the intention of following them, the Food Police gets stronger.

Essentially, even if you are not currently dieting, the Food Police is still alive and well, waiting for you to question your current eating habits or plan.

Your doubt in your own body’s cues will strengthen this voice. The Food Police wants you to scrutinize every action and choice. This voice thrives when you feel at war with your body and with food.

What weakens the Food Police

There are a few key things that will weaken the hold this voice has on you. The first is your resolve to stop using food rules and ditch the diet completely. As you stop looking at these rules to ‘fix’ you, you will learn to stop listening to the Food Police altogether.

Time is also a key factor in weakening the Food Police. If you have dieted for years, the Food Police will take awhile to get rid of completely. You might notice that the voice tries to creep in… I know that I have, even years into my IE journey. Just being aware and having thoughts such as “Oh, that’s just the Food Police talking again” or “Dang that Diet Culture is hard to let go of!” helps me to see those thoughts for what they are and move on.

The other voices that I will detail in the coming days often can transition to a Food Ally. But the Food Police is the one voice that does not help you at all. There is no value to the messages that it tells you.


Brooke Spendlove

I’m a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and the owner and creator of Spendlove Coaching.

My own wellness journey led me to getting my Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness Coaching from Creighton University – Go Blujays!

I help my clients discover that they are the experts of themselves. Using the tools learned inside my program and during coaching sessions, clients learn how to shift their mindset, taking back the power they have lost to dieting and diet culture