We’ve all been there- eaten way too much at the lunch buffet, taken thirds of our favourite dinner, or not been able to stop eating until all the popcorn/the entire block of chocolate/whole jar of peanut butter is gone. It might feel like our off-switch is broken, and we end up feeling fat and bloated. This then escalates into a barrage of negative, mental self-talk, and being shrouded in guilt and shame and self-loathing. It is a dark downward spiral.
It might seem like it’s impossible for you to know when to stop eating, or that you always give in to your cravings, however with implementing these three simple mindset tools, you should find that it is much easier to stop overeating.
Along with techniques such as intuitive eating and using a hunger and fullness scale, these lesser known mindset adjustments below could be the missing ingredients when it comes to working on weight management and reducing food (sugar) cravings for good.
The 90/10 Rule
Please, please stop dieting and get out of the diet mentality once and for all. Instead, aim to eat clean, whole foods 90% of the time, and let yourself indulge without guilt 10% of the time. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip – this kind of guilt and self-blame does not help you stay on course.
Deprivation is not a sustainable way to make changes that last and only leads to over-eating. There’s something that happens to us mentally the moment we tell ourselves we can’t have something. It makes us want that thing even more. a
You may be able to go cold turkey on your favourite food for two weeks, but then what happens after your “diet”? Most people will probably binge, feel bad, and give up.
Allowing yourself to eat what you love, and possibly finding a healthier substitute to satisfy your taste buds, is how you can make healthy changes that will bring you benefits for a long time to come. Crowd out unhealthy food choices with an abundance of whole foods and you will not feel deprived- plus- you will be nourishing your body so that you are more satisfied and less likely to have cravings that can come when you are not eating enough nutrient dense foods.
And when and if you do indulge occasionally, enjoy eating that treat and know that it in the long-term, eating cake for one day is not going to blow everything! Instead of worrying, savour the flavours and take pleasure in each mouthful.
Your Big Why
When you face challenges in adapting dietary and lifestyle changes, and you can feel yourself moving back to the old familiar way of (over) eating, ask yourself – what is it costing you not to take action?
You need to go deep, and think about not just the immediate consequences but keep asking “then what?” – tap into the emotions that come with the immediate outcome – that is the ultimate result that you want to create. I call this ultimate result The Big Why and it is integral to all the work I do with my private clients. I have a worksheet you can download for free here which helps you to figure out your Big Why so that you can focus on it when making changes to your lifestyle.
Subconscious Fear and Mental Blocks
If you have been trying to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, but are unable to make breakthroughs beyond a certain point, I invite you to dig deeper into what is holding you back. Maybe it’s not just the matter of willpower at the present moment that is causing you to make poor food choices. You may have to do some work to see if any of your past experiences are responsible for some limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
I recommend the book called “the Big Leap”. It talks about the concept of “upper-limiting”. For some people, when they achieve success, they do something to decrease their overall happiness, or what is better known as self-sabotage. They think that they do not deserve the joy or positive results. This is deeply rooted in our belief systems and our early experiences in life. I encourage you to get the book if you want to dig deeper into this concept.
So to sum up, the 3 tools that you can start using right away that will help you to stop overeating are to stop dieting and instead follow the 90-10 rule, know your Big Why and to understand your fears and blocks.
I’d love to know your thoughts- will you try these mindset shifts? Share with us in the comments below!