We all know, for the most part, what foods are good and what are not so good. We know we shouldn’t eat them all the time but food association kicks in and all our common sense goes out the window.
I speak of balance all the time. We shouldn’t have to avoid things like going to the movies, going out for dinner with friends or just enjoying food and life in general. Yes, if your goal is to lose body fat, you can’t do it by overeating and not moving. We all know this. But you can’t overeat and think some movement will improve your internal health either.
Most people are extremists. We go all in or we don’t go at all! This is great for somethings but in general it actually creates other issues. We need to first understand that our overeating, snacking and bad choices come from food association.
No one should be proud that they can eat junk food every day and be lean. If that is the case they aren’t getting lean by the food they eat. Not getting into that though. The more junk you eat the more you want to eat junk. Your body is constantly hungry because you aren’t feeding it foods that supply more than your general macros; carbs, fat and protein. You need micronutrients just as much as you need the macros. The micros have specific roles in the body in order for it to run like a well oiled machine. If you feed the body with foods that supply all the nutrients you need the less you crave sugar, fat and processed foods.
Now back to food association. There are so many scenarios that create the need eat, or should I say for you to THINK you need to eat.
- Going to the movies; I am currently on prep and go to the movies quite often. I use to believe I had to buy a big bag of popcorn and some licorice in order to get through the movie. I now go and don’t need it. I am happy with a bottle of water and may bring a healthier snack like my own popped corn, or healthy snack like raw veggies. Now this may seem odd. But why? Not because it really is but because it has become your excuse for eating crappy food. Oh I am going to the movies so I am allowed to eat junk.
- Going out for dinner with friends: This is a tough for a lot of people. They feel the need to choose the worse meal on the menu, appetizer and dessert even if they are stuffed. Why would you want to overeat and feel like you need to be rolled out of the place!? You feel terrible and just want to go home and sleep. A lot of fun we are after right? They are many healthy choices now. They even show calories for each meal. If you are letting yourself have a treat then that is fine but still stay away from overeating. It can cause so many digestive issues and inflammation. If you go out for dinner all the time, you need to start making better choices or you will start having to buy more clothes. If you get my drift! Dinner out doesn’t mean it has to be a food throw down! Portion sizes now are huge! Split an app and split a meal! This way there is no waste and you still get to try a couple things on the menu. Or take half of your meal home and eat it the next day. There are options.
- Watching TV: Sitting in front of a TV has created a huge snacking habit for so many people. TV = snacks. Which doesn’t have to be bad but it can be if you choose snacks high in fat and processed. Try veggies and homemade dip or pop your own popcorn. If you snack every day when you watch TV and then say you don’t understand where the weight is coming from, it is because you associate food with TV which in your mind makes it ok. Another thing to try and avoid is eating your meals while watching TV. Eat you dinner, lunch, breakfast at the table TV off.
- Having drinks with friends: Now I know you have all been here! You go out with friends for some drinks and end up 12 drinks deep and dancing the night away. If you are a social butterfly these empty calories add up. Just because you are hanging out with friends doesn’t mean you need to drink your face off! 1-2 to be social. Try a really nice glass of red wine or a vodka martini. Sip these and take your time. As we get older I would hope there is no need to chug your drinks! Another down fall of over drinking is the late night food binge that comes with it! Again associating drinking with eating. You are drunk therefore you eat! If you have a couple of drinks only you are more likely to avoid the late night food binging. If you haven’t ate in hours, then a snack is ok but no need for a whole pizza and 2 McDeals!
- Having a good time in general: We some how got this idea that in order to have a good time we need to eat and we need to drink. This is obviously very untrue. Yes enjoy an ice cream cone in the summer or now in again have something you enjoy but don’t avoid going out because you think you need to eat and drink to have fun. If that is the case you may want to find new friends! 😉
- Sadness and anxiety: These two things will make you want to eat non-stop. Your emotions make you think you need food to feel better but it is more that you are looking for something to take your mind off or occupy yourself from what is bothering you. But as you know afterwards you feel worse. You feel like you have no control and it makes you worse. If you have anxiety make sure you are avoiding stimulants. Cut back on coffee or cut it out in general if you need to. Avoid crazy pre-workouts and things that make your anxiety worse. If you are having a bad day think of thing besides food that make you feel better. That make you smile. Do that! Food will feel good for like a minute until you can’t do up your pants!
All the above are things that have been put into our heads by the media. TV, magazines, social media and commercials. The marketing food companies use are clever and know it will create an association. They are hoping for that. They want you to eat and they want you to eat a lot. More you eat the more money they make. Many fast food places will show how fun and happy a family is eating at their spot. Might even show they have healthy items on the menu. But once you get in the door they have a two for one burger special or you can Super size everything for next to nothing. You see value, you buy. Don’t fall into that trap! You buy you will eat it. Even if you aren’t hungry. Don’t give your money away that you worked hard for to those who don’t give a care about your health!
Make smart choices! Have balance by enjoying something you love a couple times a week, not every day. Be aware of the times you snack or eat poorly and try to figure out the association. Once you are aware of it, you will think about more and correct it.
Awareness is the key to being successful in fat loss. Making changes in your lifestyle will create change on the scale. It will make the clothes fit better and make you feel better about yourself. If you need help figuring all this out message me! firstname.lastname@example.org