A gazillion blog posts and articles have been written about the dangerous effects of deprivation and restriction on our emotional health and our relationship with food.
They declare that when we “deprive” ourselves of or “restrict” certain food groups or specific foods themselves, we set ourselves up for eating disorders and misery.
Today, I want to push back hard on this mode of destructive thinking.
In my opinion, it’s interpretations like these that are dangerous for our emotional, psychological and physical health and well-being.
It’s this very thinking that sets us up for a hellish relationship with food that haunts and hounds us as though we are fugitives from justice.
It’s time to neutralize words like “deprivation” and “restriction.”
The shaming and blaming thoughts and beliefs that rise and swell around them related to food are poisonous. So much more intense than those we have when we relate them to alcohol or drugs.
And while we’re at it, let’s neutralize any other words used to criticize and condemn us for what we intentionally choose to eat or not eat based on the science of metabolism and how our body reacts.
That is work worth doing!
Some disclaimers and caveats before we get started.
When it comes to eating disorders, it’s paramount to distinguish between the thoughts, feelings and actions induced by food/edible products themselves that we consume from those of a diagnosed psychological or physiological origin.
- If you are currently in treatment for a diagnosed eating disorder, follow your care provider’s guidance.
- If you resonate with my perspective, by all means, share it with your provider and discuss the implications for you.
- I am not a doctor or a therapist. I’m a certified Life and Weight Loss Coach. I have thoughts, just like you. These are mine.
As a first principle, let metabolic science guide your decisions about what and when to eat or not eat.
Not the habits and traditions of your family and friends, your religion, or our culture and society.
And certainly not by the ubiquitous marketing of food-like products concocted by the food manufacturing industry — with revenues of $780 billion a year projected to reach $7 trillion by 2026.
The combination of neutralizing damaging language and beliefs coupled with a fundamental understanding of metabolic science yields pure weight loss gold!
Neutralizing the power of certain words that shame us liberates us.
Once we’ve attached a slew of negative thoughts to these words, those stories we believe become like loaded guns. Although it may be totally unintentional, we’ve loaded them with live bullets of despair, anguish, fear and self-hatred around food.
These negative beliefs are ruining our lives with obsession and unhappiness, warping our relationship with food, our bodies and our weight.
Once we believe those negative thoughts without question, we make decisions that undermine the very goals we want most. It’s like they trap us at the bottom of a deep hole of fear, worry and and cravings so strong the only way to quell them is to give in to them.
This is no way to live.
There is a way up and out of that deep hole.
Just grab hold of my hand and I will show you how to set yourself free.
But first, you need to understand why eating certain foods will make it possible to enjoy peace and freedom around food. And, conversely, why consuming highly processed food-like products will shackle you to the bottom of the hole no matter how hard you try to break free.
If you continue to eat highly processed foods without regard for their impact on your body, you will continue to find yourself in a vicious cycle of over eating and over desiring very particular types of foods.
And you can bet your bottom dollar I’m not referring to brussels sprouts and broccoli.
If we want to enjoy peace and freedom around food, what and when we eat matters more than we ever realized.
Twenty-first century metabolic science is light years ahead of 20th century metabolic teachings.
But for too many of us, our health care providers and even our nutritionists, are still dispensing outdated 20th century misinformation. Especially if they’re still advising low fat diets for all. No matter what eating plan you subscribe to, fat is not your enemy. Sugar is the real villain, the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Our food choices must align with the laws of metabolic science or we suffer the consequences.
While we can purposefully avoid other addictive or compulsive substances or habits which we want to restrict or limit, making food choices and eating are daily activities which are non-negotiables.
We must learn how to live in a world teeming with food options of every stripe and type.
And learn how to intentionally make choices that support our optimal health.
We already know it’s essential that we eat whole foods, real food to nourish and sustain our bodies.
The challenge lies in coming to grips with the reality that our food environment has been dominated by the manufactured food industry.
They offer us a vast array of highly processed edible food-like products devoid of the nourishment that our bodies require.
High in empty calories and expert at stimulating cravings, their lack of nutritional density drives us to seek more food in the hopes of finding the nourishment to give us energy.
Too many of us are actually fat yet starving.
Shouldn’t we be able to eat whatever we want in moderation?
The short answer is NO!
The misguided notion that we should be able to eat any and all foods and edible food products in moderation is a set-up for weight loss failure.
You know the old cliché : “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten.” That’s why I encourage you ditch the old adage “All things in moderation.” when it comes to food.
The plain and simple truth is this: We can’t continue to eat whatever we want whenever we want it and have a peaceful relationship with food, our bodies and our weight.
Our hormones, our neurotransmitters and our brain tell us this moderation stuff doesn’t work.
Metabolic science rules whether we like it or not.
It should come as no surprise that if we continue to consume the very foods which damage our bodies and our brains, it’s torturous to overcome their deleterious effects.
The real danger is coming from those who insist we should be able to eat whatever we want whenever we want it in moderation. As long as we account for calories and control portion size, we’re good to go.
I call BS on all of this nonsense.
You can’t continue to ingest products that drive hormonal messaging in negative ways and think you can outsmart Mother Nature.
Don’t mess with Mother Nature. She wins 100% of the time.
Let’s change course and make her our BFF. Here’s how.
Reframing can help you climb out of the deep hole by labeling these formally toxic words as acts of radical self care instead.
Through the thought work process of reframing, it’s 100% possible to dismantle the toxicity and negativity.
You can learn how to think of your decisions and choices about which foods to include on your Food Plan and which ones to avoid or limit as acts of radical self-care instead.
Why would you intentionally want to eat anything that doesn’t nourish your body? Or that addicts your brain? Or that hurts your belly or wrecks your microbiome?
How could those decisions ever be labeled as punishing or harmful?
Reframing will build the rungs on the ladder you need to climb out of victim mentality.
No more moaning and groaning as in “Poor me, I can’t eat_________.” No more “It’s not fair.” Or “Why can’t I just eat like normal people?”
What about armoring up with the truth. “I choose not to eat these foods that don’t nourish my body, that hurt my belly, that damage my liver, that compromise my microbiome.” “I get to eat real food whenever I want.” “This body is the only one I’ve got and I value nurturing it.”
You can regain the control you need to finally enjoy peace and freedom around any food. So, get ready to stand tall and confident in your personal power around food.
Especially those foods you choose to eliminate or limit as part of your food plan.
You get to decide how you want to think about EVERYTHING!
All thoughts are 100% optional. They are nothing more than sentences in your brain. You get to decide whether you want to keep them or kick them to the curb.
Always. It’s your choice.
So why not chooses the thoughts that serve you? That support your goals and visions for the future.
What’s the point of holding onto limiting thoughts and beliefs that diminish you, hurt you, stymie you, hold you back, discourage you or break your heart?
Reframe, my friend, reframe!
I’m excited to show how you can decide exactly how you want to interpret whatever choices you make to eat or not eat certain foods.
Radical self-care, self-love, self-appreciation. Now those are beliefs worth cultivating.
You’ve probably never quite thought about it like this. But you are in charge of the meaning of EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! Yes, you!
I hope that you will see the innate wisdom in this liberating perspective.
The secret sauce to reframing deprivation and restriction as radical self-care is ALWAYS thought work.
In my It’s Never Too Late Weight Loss Coaching program, we unhook from damaging associations with trigger words like these.
Understanding the power that certain language and thoughts have to undermine our weight loss efforts is a skill to worth learning.
I want to help you insure weight loss success with a strong foundation of believable thoughts. It’s time to de-fang all the words and stories that hurt your health and well-being.
I want to help you face the truth that whatever decisions you make to include or exclude food groups or individual foods should be based on the facts of metabolic science and what feels good inside your unique body. And it’s not about calories, just sayin’.
Take me up on my offer for a FREE Strategy Call.
It’s okay to say no to certain foods and habits that don’t align with your goals. It’s not restriction or deprivation, my friend, it’s honest, radical self care.
You deserve to enjoy peace and freedom in your relationship with food, your body and your weight.
Your FREE Strategy Call awaits you, right here.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. A year from now, you will thank yourself you started today.