Do you often lose control when you’re around food? Keep reading to learn how you can gain self-control around food today.
Maybe it’s a specific type of chips, or a brand of crackers, where no matter how much you tell yourself no, you feel like you completely lose control around them. Does this sound like you? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Losing control when you’re around food is one of the most common ailments we see clients with today. People often struggle to control how much they eat or what they eat when certain food items are placed in front of them.
In order to take back control, we actually have to relinquish a bit of control. Confusing, I know. But I promise it will make sense in a moment. Let’s get into it.
Is Food Controlling Your Life?
So how do you know if you’re really losing control around food? There are a few tell-tale signs we can use.
- You often find yourself eating mindlessly without intention
- You’re overcome with guilt, stress, and overwhelm after eating “bad” foods
- Certain foods are not allowed to be kept in your house
- When you eat certain foods you eat much more than you had intended
- You sometimes feel sick because you’ve eaten so much of something without intention
If you see yourself in some of these signs, then chances are your relationship with food is causing you to feel out of control around food. Now let’s chat through how you can take control back.
5 Steps To Gain Self-Control Around Food
In order to gain self-control around food, we need to create a sustainable, positive relationship with food. That even includes the food items you’ve told yourself you shouldn’t have! The loss of control you’re experiencing is a direct result of the restrictions, rules, and morality that you’ve put into place.
Take the following 5 steps to take back control and create a sustainable relationship with food that puts you back in the driver’s seat.
Stop Thinking About Food as Good or Bad
Thinking about food as good or bad creates those feelings of, “I should eat this.”, or, “I’m not supposed to eat that.”. Which doesn’t seem very harmful, right?
Unfortunately, it can be.
When we try and force ourselves to eat something we really don’t want to eat, we’re inherently unhappy about it. The same goes for restrictions. When we don’t allow ourselves to eat something that we truly want and enjoy, we’re undoubtedly going to rebel. This is where the loss of control comes in.
Eventually, you break the rules. You don’t do what you “should” do and instead do what you want to do. The result? You’re completely out of control around food and left feeling guilty and ashamed. The root cause of the scenario is the assigning of morality to food. If we can simply look at food as food, we’re then able to make decisions based on our wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. You have self-control around food.
Ditch The Eating Schedule
Your body doesn’t function on a strict schedule. Instead, it has hunger and satiety cues that tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. When you ignore these cues and try to abide by a schedule instead, chances are you’ll eventually hit your breaking point.
Before you know it, it’ll be 6:00 pm and you can’t help but eat everything in sight in the kitchen while you’re preparing dinner. It feels like you’ve completely lost control! When in reality your body simply hasn’t had enough to eat all day, so your hunger cues are shooting through the roof.
Ditch the eating schedules to gain back self-control around food.
Stop Following Diet Trends
Whenever you try to follow the newest diet or trend, you’re often completely ignoring your personal preferences and needs in order to do so. As a result, you’ll probably have to cut out some of your favorite foods or heavily restrict them.
In reality, does that mean you’re never going to eat those foods again? No, of course, it doesn’t. Eventually, the diet ends. Then what? You decide to have the food item again, and you feel like you’ve completely lost control. At this moment, it’s so easy to blame the food item. As if it’s the food item’s fault or it’s the food item causing the reaction. Yet instead, this extreme loss of control is a result of restriction.
By no longer following diets, detoxes, or food trends, you can stick to your inherent wants and needs and gain self-control around food.
Build Balanced Meals
Balanced meals allow you to feel satiated, energized, and satisfied. They don’t leave you feeling lethargic, hungry, and ridden with cravings.
In order to gain back self-control around food, start paying attention to the components you’re including in your meals. Aim to get a source of protein, fat, a starchy and/or sugary carbohydrate, a non-starchy carbohydrate, and a flavor factor. This is what we call the Foundational Five!
Remove The Food Rules
Lastly, after ditching the diets and removing morality, we need also to leave the food rules behind. Food rules are just as wrapped up in restrictions as the previous topics we’ve discussed.
They’re often implemented with great intentions! Maybe you’d like to eat more nourishing meals to increase energy or lower your weight for health purposes, so you create a few food rules. Unfortunately, they almost always come back to bite us. Instead of abiding by food rules, utilize the Foundational Five and a mindset of balance to sustain healthy habits for life.
The more control we try to exert over food, the less control we feel like we have. Take your time to mend your relationship with food and make peace with it. This will allow you to feel in control around food and stress about it so much less.
Do you want to experience more balance with your food choices?
Then find your balanced eating type!
Take this 45-second free quiz to find out which balanced eating archetype you are, and what your unique type needs to maintain balance with the way you nourish yourself. That way, you can finally be free from food and diet obsession, maintain a balanced weight, and cultivate a positive relationship with food and your body.