One of the biggest doubts my clients have when they first start changing their habits is they don’t believe they can eat their favorite foods such as tacos, pizza, chips, etc. They have been living in a mode of restriction for weight loss every time they lose, they don’t believe it’s possible to incorporate those foods and still see the scale go down. This restrictive mindset is super problematic for many reasons:
- it encourages “all or nothing” and restrict-binge cycles
- it doesn’t teach you to enjoy a food (without guilt) and move on with your life
- if you wait until your goal weight to incorporate those foods again, you’ll be setting yourself up for a relationship with food that is fearful of gaining weight and losing control
So how in the world do you go out for pizza with the family or Taco Tuesday with the girls AND lose weight? You start where you are and scale your habit.
- Be honest about where you are right now. When you have your favorite foods, do you find yourself overfull/stuffed, feeling out of control, associate those foods with guilt, shame and binge style eating? Do you use those foods to alleviate stress or avoid emotion? Do you avoid eating those foods period-end-of-story so you never allow yourself to have them, only to eat them because everyone else is having it, you deserve it, you’ve been good etc?
- Put it on your daily plan or weekly menu. Putting your treat foods on a plan helps to take away the stigma, guilt and negative mindset associated with those foods. You get the chance to be intentional with food choices rather than reactive. It helps to neutralize thoughts.
- Level up. With time you’ll be ready to make subtle changes to make your pizza (or other food of choice) better serving of your goals. Try approaching change with curiousity and trial and error for what you like that is less calorie dense:
- Play with ingredients: Try a thin crust vs. deep dish, try leaner meats, add extra veggies
- Eat slowly and savor your meal: By eating slowly rather than as quickly as possible you give your brain and body a chance to naturally say “I’m full”.
- Play with quantity: See if 2-3 slices and a salad satisfy your appetite the way 4 slices do.
- Try making your own homemade version. DIY versions can give us more wiggle room to play with ingredients AND save money in the process.
- This can be applied to other foods as well!