All or Nothing Mentality With Food
All or nothing? This might sound familiar. Are you someone who can follow a diet plan for only a short period? You are counting calories perfectly with no sugar or carbohydrates. YES! All is going great. But visitors pop around with cake (OH!) More social dinners and BBQs to attend (YIKES!) In these circumstances, you find yourself saying “Oh stuff it! I may as well enjoy it!”. And suddenly…we go BOOM to the other side, to the extreme of binging. I feel like so many of us can relate to this (which is why I do not advocate dieting in the first place). So if you can relate to any of this, then listen in – this is the blog for you!
Perspective on ‘all or nothing’
Think about this ketchup analogy. As you know, I am from Germany and we love our sausages with ketchup. Let’s say you are eating a sausage with ketchup and you spill a little bit of ketchup on your shirt. Now, I am not going to say “Oh well, I spilt a little so may as well do the rest” and continue squirt the rest of the bottle on myself. This is just absurd! We are not going to do that!
Or, the car crash analogy. Let’s say you are driving your car, and you bump your car just slightly. You will not then decide to smash up your car into the wall, until it is fully dead. We are just not going to do that! But this absurd thinking is what we do with food and eating. We eat a little bit of cake or a biscuit, and then say “Well, I may as well binge the entire packet of biscuits.” So it does not make sense at all. But that is what many of us do.
Here are my top 3 tips to kick this ‘all or nothing mentality’
I have recently been to Dubai and it was truly amazing. I was on an ‘all-inclusive’ cruise. So you can only imagine how much food and drink was available! It was interesting to observe peoples’ thoughts and actions. Many people clearly thought “I am on holidays now, so I might as well go crazy and there’s all this food available, so I might as well eat all of that”. For me though, I noticed none of that happened. Despite there being epic amounts of sweets, deserts, delicious meals and drinks – there was not one day I went crazy with the food just because it was available. I thought this was interesting. So wanted to share my top 3 tips….
Tip 1: Flavour
It is so so important to add flavour to your meals. You want to feel satisfied when you eat your meals. A lot of the time people say, “I am good during the week, but I go nuts and all-or-nothing on the weekend.”. Adding flavours to your meals can be incredibly helpful. Try adding cheese, bacon, olives or sun dried tomatoes into salads. Use salt, spices and tasty herbs when you cook. Melt some butter over your vegetables. When you have coffee, add cream if you like it. Healthy fat is not something to avoid. Fat is a flavour carrier, and it makes you feel more satisfied. So add flavours to your meals and focus on feeling satisfied, which leads to the following tip….
Tip 2: Eat food you like to eat!
Eat food that you enjoy and don’t eat food you do not enjoy. It is important you focus on feeling satisfied with every of your meals. You will notice the way you eat during the week will be the same on your holidays and weekends / or social parties as well. Food is meant to be enjoyed!
Tip 3: ‘Good enough is enough’
Have the approach that ‘good enough is enough’. On some days you might not be able to have 6 servings of your greens or vegetables. Some days you might only be able to have a few carrots or frozen vegetables. That is all ok. That is good enough! Maybe some days are super stressful and you can only manage to eat canned tuna. And that is good enough as well. That is the focus you need to have. In that way, it is not a battle! And when you go away on holidays, for example, you know you are doing your best. Your focus is on good enough. Hold self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself. And enjoy flavoursome food you love!
When serving your meals at social parties. I suggest getting one plate and on that plate put everything that will satisfy you. Don’t just go for carrot sticks and hummus because that ‘looks healthy’ to gain other peoples’ approval. Eat what you enjoy. Add flavours that will satisfy you. Ask yourself: How much will satisfy me? How much will feel good to me? And go for it…keep that one plate as your serving for the night and know that if you have cake or biscuits …’good enough is enough’.
I truly hope this helps with beating the ‘all or nothing approach’. If you have any questions please reach out as I am happy to help. If you have anything else you want me to blog about, please get in touch. You might find my blog on mindset shifts around eating interesting, check it out here. Further, if you are into podcasts, the latest episode by Summer Innagen discusses the diet cycle and to give yourself FULL permission to eat so you don’t bring guilt to the table. Listen here: PODCAST: FRR 155 – Holiday “Overeating” & Weight Gain.