1-Catastrophizing your food choices does more “harm” to your diet than the actual food you ate. So you ate a pint of ice cream..so what? It’s done. It’s over. Move on. Those calories are consumed, accounted for (whether you counted them or not), and you can’t rewrite that part of the story. Change the next meal. The beautiful thing about the way we eat is that the next meal or the next snack or the next bite is an opportunity to make an improvement.
2-Maybe the only thing that I can think of that wrecks more people when trying to commit to a fat loss plan more than chronic guilt and shame is denial. Feeling bad about your food choices is one thing. It’s one particular obstacle to overcome. However, denying that you ate something is different. You owe it to yourself to stay honest and as accurate as you can be. How we eat is a very imperfect process as it is.
3-You CAN eat fast food and still lose fat. It’s not “ideal” and it’s not the most nutritious avenue you can travel but sometimes convenience wins. Be strategic about what you order and where a more nutritious option presents itself later, take that path where you can.
4-“Superfoods, organic foods and “clean foods” have calories. You cannot eat them with reckless abandon and not have a caloric cost. Be aware. Be mindful.
5-Most people do not have complex diet problems. They have haphazard diets. Many of the people I work with eat “mostly healthy” foods. They just consume too much of them.
6-I’ve worked with clients whose diets are 70% alcohol and clients who are 70% highly processed foods. I don’t judge. Everyone can stand to improve their diets slightly. If I can get someone who consumes 70% of their day in alcohol to reduce by 20% and consume a few vegetables and some lean protein, that’s a HUGE plus. Take the victories and stack them.
7-I absolutely hate when people say fat loss is easy. No it isn’t. It’s easy for some people, some of the time. Considering that many people who have struggled to lose fat for most of their life are also sorting through degrees of childhood trauma, neglect, shame, and bullying it’s little wonder that food is safety for them. Finding new ways for these same people to feel safe and secure is crucial.
8-This article is coming out during Eating Disorder Awareness week. What’s one tip that I can give to anyone who identifies with having an eating disorder? Don’t count calories. I’m serious. Spend that time working with a therapist to heal your relationship with your body and food.
9-If you want to change your body, every thing you need to learn is a skill: from the way you train, to the way you eat. Stop looking for shortcuts. You’ve likely wasted too many years of your life looking for hacks and shortcuts only to be further from your goals than you ever wanted to be. Polish…your…skills.
10-My broken record moment: Before you buy another diet book, download another diet app, follow some 30-60-90 day super-shred, lean-by-spring, program…hire a therapist. Food has a very special, integral, beautiful place in your life. But it can’t heal all wounds. Learn the skills to unpack your negative self-talk and practice living a life that supports strength and allows you to reduce stress. Food will always be there to support those goals. The business going on between your ears and the conversations you have with yourself when you see your reflection require other tools. Get those tools.
(Photo courtesy of Fuu J)