We’ve all been there, I’m sure- I mean I know I have...we start following a diet and after a few days make one single slip-up or veer “off plan” and find ourselves saying screw it then eat allllll the food.
While this way of thinking is certainly really common, it also keeps us struggling and makes sense whatsoever if we wanna get some results!
Making one “off” food choice and then saying, “Screw it!” and eating with abandon is like getting one flat tire and slashing the other three because the damage has already been done! I mean…you’d never do that, right?
So now let’s talk about how to not let things spiral. I’m gonna give you 2 tools you can use to quit this all or nothing mindset when it comes to food.
1) Stop Labeling It!
Research has actually found that labeling foods as “good” or “bad” actually makes us eat worse. And that makes total sense because the more we tell ourselves DON’T EAT CARBS, for example, the more we’re gonna want to eat carbs. We’re sort of unknowingly increasing anticipation and mental fixation on that food. So of course we are going to feel deprived, and we’ll be craving carbs or whatever food we’re trying to avoid like crazy.
Good vs bad is a no-win scenario when looking for long-term results because if we’re constantly categorizing food as one or the other, it sets us up for failure at the first taste of food from the bad list. We tend to go move overboard due to restriction and think we’ve failed.
Then comes the guilt, regret and negative self-talk about having no self-control and not being able to resist temptation so we ban the food from our house all over again only to repeat the same mistake next week.
So remember, nutrition isn’t black and white, bad and good, healthy and unhealthy. It’s food. Start paying attention to the thoughts you have about food and remind yourself to just keep it as neutral as you can. Food is just food and when it comes to food, there are a million shades of grey. No more labels….got it?
2) Give Yourself More Allowance
Back when I was depriving and then bingeing week after week, day after day, it felt SO GOOD sometimes to just eat anything and everything I wanted. It was like permission to finally eat all the this that I had been wanting to eat, but trying so desperately to willpower and white-knuckle my way to resisting.
So when I would binge, it would be like this huge wave of stress relief. I didn’t have to worry about willpower or restricting- I could just eat! It was a very short blissful moment of relaxing mentally and getting that hit of instant gratification.
But after the binge? It was a completely different story. I felt HORRIBLE, bloated, uncomfortable, guilty, sad, more stressed and felt like I needed to restrict harder next time and for longer.
But here’s the thing- we can’t restrict and deprive and not expect a rebound. It’s like slowly pulling back on a bow & arrow…eventually you can’t pull back any longer and have to let it go. And that arrow’s gonna fly straight into that pint of Ben & Jerry’s!
Giving yourself permission to eat a little chocolate or chips or ice cream here and there will help keep your eating habits a whole lot more consistent. You’ll never feel the need to go all out and eat everything in sight when you allow yourself to have your favorite foods throughout the week.
Now this is totally a practice and it takes time, especially if we’re used to restricting and dieting, but it’s possible to just have a few cookies here and there if you know you can have them literally any time you want. I’ve seen it happen time and time and time again with my clients.
In fact, last month I had a one-off coaching call with someone who won a free call with me and we talked about this very strategy and she emailed me the other day to let me know that since giving herself more allowance to eat once forbidden foods, she’s lost 6 pounds & feels a lot more in control around food….so this stuff works!
So lemme just wrap this up in a little nutshell…
The more restricted you feel and the more you look at food as good or bad, the more likely you are to overindulge later or overindulge when you eat those “bad” foods. Perfect eating, clean eating, eat this not that eating is overrated. And actually, perfect eating isn’t even real- no one eats perfectly- whatever that means. No one.
Being a little less perfect makes you a lot more consistent. Choose consistency over perfection and you’ll be amazed at just how quickly your nutrition habits turn around for the better!
If you’re finding yourself falling victim to the all-or-nothing mindset, constant emotional eating or you’re feeling like you know you want to make a change, but you just need some extra help and accountability, click here.
Nutrition Revival is a one-on-one, 12-week coaching experience for women who are ready to drop the diet rules and confusion they’ve been feeling as a result from allllll the conflicting info out there, and instead, start implementing simple, actionable and result-driven steps that actually work- for good!
Imagine walking into your kitchen and eating a little chocolate and feeling totally satisfied and NOT feeling like you need to eat the entire package and NOT feeling guilty about it…I can help you do that! During your Nutrition Revival, we are going to partner together for 12 weeks so that you can get on the road to amplified energy, abundant confidence and a relationship with food like you’ve never had before.