We have a complicated relationship with food. We are designed to want food, as our primitive brain is wired to consume whenever we see, smell or talk about food.
But with such abundance it is easy to over-eat. We get intense pleasure from sugary food, and can start to use it to deal with stressful situations.
When over-eating leads to becoming overweight, this dependence on sugary food turns to shame. This shame manifests most when we’re trying to diet, to get back in shape. If you slip and eat chocolate, or whatever you’re restricting we panic and trigger stressful shameful thoughts about breaking the diet.
The ingrained response to this is to binge on further sugary foods to counteract the stressful situation.
Liz proposes a shift in mindset in her ‘target 100’ course. With no hard limits on food types you can go over your daily carbs or drink a glass of wine and still score 70 even though your target is 100. The higher the score the better, but it allows for more flexibility.
Reframing those times you slip differently means you reduce the stress and shame, which reduces the cycle of binging and dieting without long term weight loss.
Liz also advocates environment design and mindfulness to form new, better habits around food.
Remove your most tempting snacks from your house. Set an earlier alarm so you have time to make a healthy breakfast. Practice mindfulness to allow yourself to deal with stress and temptation more easily.
Read more about the course in Liz’s book ‘Target 100‘
Thanks for reading!