Feel More in Control of FoodJan 06, 2023
Here’s a mindset tip for you, if you want to feel more in control of your food choices, stop trying to control your food choices.
Just when you thought you had figured this whole "dieting" thing out, I throw this at you. If you are reading this, I am betting that you are feeling a little frustrated and maybe confused.
But hear me out.
All this time, you have thought that "controlling what you eat" was the answer to losing fat and achieving your fitness goals. You were sure that more control was the intervention that you needed.
But in fact, trying to control your food might actually be the problem.
If you want to reach your fat loss goals, you need to stop trying to control your food so much, and here’s why.
Why More Control Over Food Is Not the Answer
Any kind of restriction, even the mental restriction you are practicing by telling yourself what you "should and shouldn’t" eat, can set off the binge and restrict cycle, which ultimately leads to that "I'll just restart tomorrow" mentality.
This mindset then keeps you in the cycle of trying to control your food but constantly feeling like you have no control over food. You might even feel like food has all the control over you.
Here are a few things you can do now to start breaking this cycle:
Make Sure You are Eating Enough
If you try to restrict yourself to the point where you aren’t eating enough, you’ll just end up spending the whole day thinking about food.
Sure, you may get through the day without eating much, but what happens in the evening?
Chances are, you’re going to raid the pantry and end up overeating.
Had you fed yourself enough throughout the day, you wouldn’t feel the need to go overboard on snacks and other foods after dinner.
Stop Labeling Foods as "Good” or “Bad," "Healthy” or “Unhealthy"
Food is food.
Food is energy for your body. It does not have a moral compass.
When you stop trying to have so much control over your food, you’ll find that you’re able to indulge in some treats without going overboard and without feeling guilty.
There’s room for all kinds of food in a healthy diet. Yes, that includes pizza or a doughnut.
At KJO Coaching, we encourage our clients to embrace an 80/20 approach. That’s 80% whole, nutrient-dense foods and 20% indulgent foods.
This way, our clients can enjoy their favorite foods without giving them labels like “healthy” or “unhealthy,” and they can still make progress toward their fitness goals.
Keep Tempting Foods in the House
I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it can actually make a significant difference in your sense of control around food.
Start keeping foods that you feel "out of control" around in the house and available to you, and allow yourself to eat them.
Once you realize that the foods are always available to you, you’ll realize that you don’t have to have a scarcity mindset around them.
You can have a little bit now and then put them away until a later time when you’re in the mood for them. Knowing that you can have the food later will help you feel less like you have to have as much as possible now.
Feel Confident About Your Food Choices
If you are still with me, you likely think that 1 and 2 are easy peasy. You’ve got this!
But 3, not so much.
Hear me out:
This might mean keeping an "out of control" food in your house and allowing yourself to eat it when you crave it. In the beginning, you might eat more of this food than you planned or would have liked.
This is OKAY.
As you continue to allow yourself to have it, you start to re-train your brain and reassure it that this food is available and you can have it when you want. It's not going anywhere.
And over time, you will start to crave it less and less, and it will be just like any other food in your house. You will feel in control.
You won’t be afraid to have this food on a random Tuesday because you’ll know that it will be okay and you can have it again whenever you want it.
Feeling in control requires you to let go of trying to control your food.
Improve Your Mindset Around Food
Improving your mindset around food can take time, trial and error, and it will certainly require patience.
One of the things we work with all of our clients at KJO Coaching is improving their mindsets so they can feel more confident in their food choices and develop habits that support their health and fitness goals.
Click here if you’re interested in working with one of our incredible coaches to improve your relationship with food, lose fat, or get stronger in the gym. Our team can teach you to make lifelong changes in your health, mindset, and physique.
You can also get started with making positive changes to your mindset by taking our FREE self-sabotage workshop.
With this free five-day workshop, you’ll receive short, daily trainings and exercises to finally learn the “why” behind your cravings, all-or-nothing thinking, and other psychological barriers that keep getting in the way of your health and fitness goals.
Click here to get started.
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