Our nutrition is the most important component to our overall health as well as any attempts to lose weight or reshape the body. Even if we know that, though, sometimes the doing it can be pretty tough. So, here are 4 mindset shifts you can ponder today that might help you.
Food is fuel.
Many of my clients (and myself) use food as a reward or for pleasure. If you really try to think about and practice using food as fuel, it can really help you. If your body is a car, it needs high quality food do perform well. The food you give it is simply fuel. Keep feeding it high quality fuel. It is what powers our daily activities and all of our body’s functions.
In other cases, I’ve seen folks use food as a means for punishing ourselves by withholding it. But you know what? Food is just fuel. It’s what your awesome, strong, capable body needs to do awesome things. When you feed it the right fuel, it gets stronger and more capable. When you feed it the wrong fuel it gets sluggish and less cooperative. It doesn’t function well.
But, what about that yummy food that makes you happy?
Outsource your joy.
If you’re overweight, if you have a problem with overeating and over drinking there is a big problem. You’re relying on food for pleasure. No, really. The dopamine hit you get when you crunch those salty chips or drink that sugary coffee give your brain temporary pleasure signals and you think you’re happy. But, there are consequences. First, your body goes into panic mode trying to process and deal with the non-fuel you just fed it. Then there’s the fact that you might often feel bad either about that choice or possibly just your body image overall. In the moment happy. After the moment NOT happy. Instead, figure out what things you can do that ACTUALLY make you happy. That ACTUALLY bring you long-lasting, residual joy. Do those things instead. I’ve noticed many people feel their day is so out of their own control, the only time they can get some pleasure is their food choices. That might also be the only time they get to do what they want to do. That’s a really crappy way to live, and you all deserve better than that. Find more ways to infuse joy daily and you might find yourself turning to food/booze less. (I’ll post about creating a joy list soon! You can also just schedule a session with me if you need help here!)
Eat real food.
This is the easiest and hardest of all four. People try to come up with different strategies and different diets. That just complicates things. Keep it simple and make it so you might actually find some success. Just eat real food (food that God & nature produced, not man). For example, I have a friend who wanted to go gluten free and dairy free. So she bought gluten free bread and coconut dairy stuff. You know what’s way easier? Just don’t eat bread or dairy. That is SO much easier than trying to find these sneaky ways to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I am not saying it’s what you WANT to do. I’m just saying it’s going to make it easier to be successful. Go back to the last strategy and do it LOTS more if you find yourself that upset over the loss of cheese.
Don’t eat food you hate.
Real food is colorful, flavorful, smelly (good or bad) and all the things. You know why? Because you are supposed to enjoy eating. It’s a total experience. But many times when we make the switch to healthy, we limit ourselves to really bland, boring or disgusting food. No WONDER we revert back to the drive thru or junk food aisle. I don’t want to eat steamed fish and steamed broccoli either.
What you can do is find your very favorite foods that also happen to be healthy. Keep them around and well stocked. Look forward to your food. That’s allowed, even in healthy land.
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