I got this question recently from one of my clients.
She asked: Are there any foods that you still cannot have in your house or you’d overeat them?
Here’s the thing. I think a lot of us create food rules because we’re scared of food.
I try to create my own rules because I know I’m the one in charge, not the food. I NEVER tell myself food is my addiction or that I can’t have things around.
It’s all a choice in what works BEST for me.
So I create food rules that I love, that support who I want to be and allow me to live my easiest life.
Ready to change your relationship with food? Don’t miss today’s podcast.
We’ve got a simple three-step process for gut-checking your rules. You can even borrow some of ours if you like them.
Hell, I would.
I lost 100lbs., and Kathy lost 80lbs. We might just have a rule or two that can change everything for you.
Here’s a sneak peek…
STEP 1: List all food rules
If I’m hungry, I eat.
I make daily plans of what I will eat.
I skip bread baskets when I eat out.
STEP 2: Evaluate rules.
Are any of my rules BS? If I have a rule that I KNOW isn’t realistic, I put it through the BS test.
STEP 3: Keep what I like, toss the rest.
Every time I review my rules, I make sure to toss the ones that are not serving me. This is how I catch any BS rules sneaking back in from my past.
If you’re afraid of your pantry or you think you can’t be in the same room of your Oreos, I promise this week’s podcast will help you.
Make sure and take Corinne’s free course at www.pnp411.com
Corinne has food rules for herself. She will journal and ask herself “what rules do I have around food” and writes for 5-10 minutes. She does this about once a quarter. After that she writes them in a list and asks if she likes each item or not and why. By doing this yourself, you can find out what might have worked a year ago, but is no longer working. Or you find rules that have crept in that you don’t want to have. It’s good to have food rules that work for you.
Kathy’s food rule is no beets :)
Corinne has a rule around meals and only eats when she’s hungry. She also doesn’t beat herself up over food. Many people say “if you’re not beating yourself up over food, won’t you just eat anything you want?” Corinne started eating the things she truly wanted when she was hungry.
Some of Corinne’s other food rules are that she makes a plan every day. She does a weekly plan every week. Kathy does this as well. One of Kathy’s other food rules is that she allows herself to swap around dinners that are on the weekly plan. If Kathy likes her reason for switching it, then she’ll switch it. If she doesn’t, then she won’t switch it. She tries not to use the reason “I don’t feel like that.” Corinne has meals already made for the week and allows herself to make choices from those already prepared meals.
We’re all going to have food rules. The human brain wants boundaries and constraints. The brain likes certainty. How can you plan your food in a way that gives you certainty, but is also something you can follow-through on?
Corinne has rules for dining out. She doesn’t eat from the breadbasket. She includes carbs in her diet, but eating out is already a treat, so she doesn’t need the breadbasket. She can go out to eat more often if she abides by her food rules. She doesn’t want to be the person who gets down on all the bread and alcohol available at a meal.
Last month, Kathy planned one drink every night that she could have if she wanted it. Then she decided when she did her monthly assessment that this month she’s only going to plan a drink on Friday and Saturday. She noticed that she didn’t sleep as well in December due to the one drink each day.
When it comes to drinking, Corinne has experimented quite a bit with it. She tracked how many drinks it takes to not sleep as well or to not feel well the next morning. If she had no consequences, she’d love to be able to have four drinks when she goes out, but she’ll end up feeling bad for two days. She only drinks on certain nights because she’s training for races. She still wants to drink sometimes, but she has a great reason to not drink because she wants a sub-30 5k so much.
A tribe member asked “are there any foods that you still can’t keep in your house because you would overeat them?”
A long time ago, Corinne decided that food does not control her anymore. There are still times that she overeats, feels like she wants to keep going, overindulging. She never tells herself that she’s addicted or that food controls her. If she tells herself that then that means that food will just jump in your cart in the grocery store. You have a choice. Food doesn’t control you.
A jar of peanut butter is like manna from heaven for Corinne. She’s eaten so many jars till she was sick. She decided a long time ago not to keep it in the house because she doesn’t want to manage her urges around eating a whole jar of peanut butter. She knows it’s all her thinking and that she could do the work to solve her urges around peanut butter, but she’s decided ahead of time that having a jar of peanut butter in the house isn’t that important.
Chips are something that Corinne keeps in the house because the boys love them, but she is only allowed to have them if she counts them out and doesn’t sit on the couch with an opened bag. Kathy has the same rule.
You get to decide what foods you choose to keep in the house. What matters is the story that you’re telling yourself around why you are keeping them in the house. If you are not having them because it triggers you to think “I would never be able to control myself” then you’re better bringing them in the house and teaching yourself some structure on having them around. You get to decide, not the food.
Food rules give you an opportunity to love yourself, honor yourself, to change the choice in the moment, to get back to what you intended. You’ll never be able to re-establish your relationship with food if you don’t put yourself in situations where you have to look at your relationship with food, see how you’re showing up, and redefine it.
Corinne is the only person in her house that likes peanut butter. She decided that there are plenty of things in this world to work on and she doesn’t have to work on the peanut butter jar anymore. It’s just a no. She’s not restricting herself from peanut butter and doesn’t make a big deal about it. It’s just a choice.
Kathy has rules about when she gets her water in. She drinks four 20 oz. tumblers a day and has specific times she likes to drink each one by. She has rules that set her up for success.
Corinne has rules around exercise. She doesn’t miss out on a workout. She only takes a day off if she absolutely needs to. She dreamed about being someone who exercises her whole life. Now on the days she doesn’t want to, she shows up for that girl that always wanted to be an exerciser. She wants to be the type of person that shows up even when she doesn’t want to. She also uses it as her self-development and self-reflection time.
Kathy doesn’t make baked goods anymore. No pies, no cakes. Occasionally, she’ll make cookies for her husband. She loves cookies and thinks they’re delicious. When she makes them, she decides ahead of time how many she’s going to eat. Then she calls the rest “Ken’s cookies.” For some reason, this is enough to keep her from wanting to eat the rest of them.
Corinne suggests getting those plastic bins for your pantry and putting the kid’s food in there and tell yourself “the food in this bin belongs to the kids.” This will prevent you from bingeing on Goldfish in your kitchen. Do you really want Goldfish to be your big treat food of the week? Tell the kids that the food in that bin belongs to them. It makes them feel special and they’ll call you out if they see you eating their food.