You know this scenario, right? You’re eating something scrumptious and you know you’re full, but you think, “It tastes so good, I don’t want to stop eating.” and with that, you blow by fulls-ville into overstuffed town, perhaps with a side trip to bloated city. If you want to lose weight, chances are there’s a big part of you that really does want to stop eating—that part of you is just not in charge at the moment.
Here’s a checklist you can use to see what’s really behind the ‘It’s so good’ phenomenon and get yourself back on track:
Are you depriving yourself?
Deprivation and overindulgence are two ends of the same pendulum. When you make certain foods forbidden, you are loading up the deprivation side of the pendulum. That pendulum is eventually going to swing the other way into overindulgence. It’s physics, it’s going to happen. When you finally allow yourself to have that tasty treat, your inner wild child will kick in and of course you won’t want to stop eating. After all, it’s going to be a LONG time before you let yourself have this treat again!
Like any pendulum, there’s a huge area of balance within the two extremes. Stop the deprivation/overindulgence cycle by shifting to the center. All foods are allowed, there is no forbidden fruit. I know you’re thinking that you’ll start eating with wild abandon, you won’t. What happens is food becomes right sized. If you can have ice cream any time, that means you don’t have to pack in the whole pint in one sitting. You could pick the exact kind of ice cream you want and savor each bite. You might catch yourself thinking something like “This is so good, I could have it again tomorrow night!”
You find yourself saying, “I deserve this.”
It’s been a hard, frustrating day at work. That Bill is such a f*&%ing idiot. Ahhh, home, relaxation, I deserve this treat. Stoprightthere. This looks like eating for the joy of it (which I fully support) but the “I deserve” gives it away as eating to comfort or gratify yourself.
If you’re feeling like you deserve a nice big slice of cheesecake or plate of nachos, take a moment to ask yourself what you really deserve. After a stressful day, do you really deserve to overstuff your body with food? Do you really deserve to feel guilty afterward? Sounds kinda mean to me. Ask yourself what you really deserve—to go to bed early, to exercise and release some stress, maybe a hot bath or a book, or a hot bath AND a book!
What percentage of joy in life are you getting from food?
If you answered more than 10%, think about diversifying your joy. At this point many of my clients start wracking their brains for classes they can take or new hobbies to try. Upping your joy quotient isn’t necessarily about trying new things. It can be, but it’s also about noticing the joy in your life right now—the joyful moments. The more you notice the joy around you, the more you will create. When you diversify your joy, it’s much easier to put down the fork because frankly, you have better things to do.