At the risk of sounding redundant, I have to blog on this topic today. It’s feeding off my recent Halloween post a little, but it’s also one of the issues I hear most with clients. “I can’t keep x in the house because I’ll eat it all at once.”
Maybe it’s chips. Or its Oreos. Or bagels. For me, it was my favorite cereals, peanut butter, and anything I baked.
But, not anymore.
Look, we all have those foods we love that we would generally eat more than usual of. And guess what? You still might. However, if we are talking bingeing on those foods, we can change that behavior. I’ve talked about physical ways to change it in the past so today I just want to touch on the mental shift you can make, starting right now.
ALLOW IT. I don’t binge on cereal because I allow myself to have it.
You can do two things:
1. Eat that food every time you want it. Even if you overeat it. Even if you eat it everyday for 2 weeks. Eventually, it’s going to balance out. I guarantee, if you told yourself to eat cereal everyday for breakfast, you’re going to get to a day you don’t want it as much. Or you want something else. And then voila! You can choose to not have it!
Think of an allowance to a kid. If you were getting $10 a day everyday, eventually you’d be like eh it’s just $10, I’ll get it again tmw. You prob wouldn’t even spend it everyday. It wouldn’t seem so cool. And if it’s allowed, it’s nothing special. It isn’t forbidden or bad. You don’t have to feel guilty or regret that you get that.
But if you had to wait several weeks or months before you got that allowance, you would probably blow it right away because you’re so excited about it. Because you aren’t allowed to have it those other weeks. Because it was still on a pedestal as something you can’t have. You’ll likely blow it because you feel like you’re bad if you get it, or feel guilty or regretful and try to just get it gone right away to help erase those feelings.
Basic brain science. Tell yourself NO. Act out of scarcity. Forbid things. And this is what you’ll get. Regret. Guilt. The compulsion.
OR act out of abundance. Out of enough. And the thought that it’s there if you want it. It’s allowed. No guilt and regret. And that’s what you’ll get. The choice.
In order to have a true choice, you have to allow it, not control it.
2. Allow those “forbidden” foods more gradually. I don’t buy all my favorite snacks at once. I don’t buy 4 boxes of my favorite cereals. I buy 1 or 2 each time I go. And when they are gone, I can buy more. Maybe another kind. Or with peanut butter, I buy a jar and eat it however I want to enjoy it. But pick one or two foods at a time to try this with. Allow yourself to incorporate that food into your life as you want it. Knowing, out of abundance, you can always get more of it.
I tended to start with option 1 and go all in. I ate what I wanted everyday for several weeks. I didn’t judge it. I was so set to end my bingeing mindset and actions that I was willing to try anything. And after about a month, maybe a little more, I realized I wanted to feel better, but not cut out all those foods. I will discuss how to do this in a part 2 blog.
So then, after I went all in and allowed anything I wanted in however much I wanted, and after I incorporated my tip from my next blog, I started to balance out. And NOT by restricting.
Slowly, I could incorporate these foods any time I wanted them. Truly wanted them. And I didn’t fear how much I would eat of them.
Yes, I use more than one tablespoon of Pb at a time.
Yes, a box of my favorite cereals is still known to be 2 servings for me.
No, this isn’t considered bingeing for me. I choose to have this much because I know how it makes me feel. I’ve learned how my body will react. And I’ve seen I’m just fine eating it.
Even if the amount is similar to my past binge, it’s the attitude and mindset that goes with it that is different.
I allow my 2 bowls of cereal at once to be “normal” for me. I don’t feel guilty over it or beat myself up. I know that my PBJ sandwich on BREAD with choc almond milk feels good to me EVEN THOUGH most dietitians would frown upon it.
So why do I not keep gaining weight?
Because I’m satisfied. Because I know it’s ok. Because I’m not going balls out after those meals because I “screwed up” because I changed my mindset. I no longer think I screwed up. I allow myself to eat those things because it keeps me from feeling deprived and bingeing.
So, think about which foods you don’t trust yourself with. And then LET ME KNOW if you decide to try to shift your mindset around those foods.
I know this is scary. But if you’re as frustrated with bingeing, feeling out of control around food, or yo-yo dieting, you just may want to try this. And if you need support through it, that’s what my mindset coaching is for. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh and don’t go tracking shit through this. Not on the scale and not in my fitness pal. IF you want to track anything, you track how you feel. Period.
A month or two, or even several, isn’t that long if you’ve been struggling with this for years like I was.
It was worth it. And so are you.