July 14, 2023

Episode 328: Why is it so hard to stop eating foods you love?

Listen On

You know what’s hard when trying to lose weight?

Not eating your face off when something tastes SOOO GOOOD.

When I was losing weight eating what I loved without overeating was a tough one.

The second I ate something good, the urgency to clean my plate or eat until my pants were busting would come over.

(And I’ll be honest, I lost 100lbs 15 years ago and STILL crave going face down in French fries or ice cream.)

I wanted to figure out WHY this happens to us. If you’re like me, your weight is the big struggle of your life…

AND, you want to overcome that.

I researched why this happens because knowing the reasons behind it helps you figure out what to do about it.

Todays’ podcast will answer the question we all ask…

Why is it so hard to stop eating foods you love?

Listen to Episode 328 right now.



You. Hello everybody. Welcome back. So today we are going to talk about why is it hard to stop eating once you get started. One of the things that I teach inside the no BS weight loss program is I teach four basics, and one of the most important things, and I think by far the hardest thing for my clients to do is to be eating something they like or just be eating dinner after a long day and having the ability to stop when their body has had enough food.


Most of the time what we want to do is we want to eat until we emotionally have had enough food. Like, I just want to feel good. I want to feel like I got my money’s worth. I just need to relax. Like I don’t want to stop eating because then my family is still eating and then I won’t be able to connect with them.


This is the time we spend together. We are going to take a deep dive today into why is it hard to stop it enough. And if you are one of my The No BS Weightloss Program loss private members, you have had a class that had a very deep dive in this. I spent over an hour talking all about this. I gave you journal prompts so that you could really start figuring your shit out on it.


But I wanted to do this for all of my podcast listeners because I think that this I just have a lot of compassion for all of us. I remember when I was a kid and I’ve told these stories many a time on this podcast. But I was really poor growing up and I had a single mother, she was 17 when she had me. We didn’t have much money and I really did get a lot of my early food behaviors. They were taught to me in ways that created what I would call food unsafety later in life.


Like this fear that food like I’m not going to get enough. If you think about when I was a kid, often we would go to Buffets and I remember hearing over and over and over again, eat all you can because we don’t know when we’re going to eat again. I remember once we got to the point to where we never had a lot of money, but we had enough money to reliably be able to eat. I had gained a lot of weight at that point. I mean, I was living in buffets and drive throughs my entire life.


And so by the time I was twelve, I was around 210 pounds and the diets started. God loved my mom. She didn’t know. She knew I was miserable at school being bullied for my weight and all she wanted to do was help me lose weight, thinking that that would be the answer to feeling better and not getting bullied. So we would do diets.


Well, diets were very often back then all about starving, not being able to eat much, having to cut out everything you love to eat. It wasn’t like it is today. So a lot of the stuff that I learned is probably like you as a child in your formative years, even in your like twenty s and thirty s, you probably learned a lot of things about food and eating that have left a traumatic imprint on you. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Because I know from personal experience, it is not easy to stop when your body has had enough.


Even after 15 years of maintaining my weight, you have to imagine I have had a lifetime of worrying that I wouldn’t get enough food. Those stories still come up more frequently than probably any of you would ever imagine. It is still to this day, very often I have to tell myself when I’ve had enough physically, it really is okay to stop. You really can eat again if you get hungry. Eating when you’re hungry is not what has ever made you overweight.


I tell myself this all the time. The reason why you were overweight was not because you ate when you were hungry, it’s because you denied a lot of hunger and it’s because you over ate for fear you would get hungry again. Now, that doesn’t mean that that’s the reasons for all of you, but that was one of my reasons. So it’s important that we have this discussion and I want to have it for all my podcast listeners. Because in the diet industry, they’re not talking about this stuff.


You’re going out and you’re trying Weight Watchers again, or you’re trying Noom or you’re trying the latest shake down basically and all these other things and they’re not really having these deep conversations that we need to have around food. Because the moment this stuff makes sense and the moment you understand it, it is so much easier for you to stop at enough. It doesn’t mean it’s super easy, it just means like, oh, you’ll get to where you’re like me. I now know when I’m overeating and I can tell myself it really is okay to stop. I know you want to keep going, I know it tastes good.


And in the past you have done diets where we took food away. In the past you did have to undereat to lose weight. That’s not how we live anymore. And I have to reassure myself. So there are two reasons why many of us have a hard time stopping at enough.


And it all boils down to restriction. We are either physically restricting actively, or we have physically restricted in the past, or we’re mentally restricting. So physical restriction is where you literally are not eating enough food. And that often happens when you do my fitness pal or lose it, or any of the popular diets where they’re trying to get you to eat 1200 to 1500 calories. Most grown ass women need to eat more calories than that each day.


Let me say this one more time for the woman in the back. Most grown ass women need to eat more than 1200 to 1500 calories a day in order to lose weight safely and long term. But most of the popular diets, they say they run their calculations. I’m just going to tell you right now. Half of them are horseshit and they’re based on outdated calculations.


Now, don’t come at me with your science and all this other stuff. Here’s the gloriness of this podcast. If you don’t fucking agree with me, guess what you get to do. Turn it off. It’s called free.


If you don’t like what I have to say, go listen to somebody you do like. But if you got an open mind and you’re like, well, tell me more. I’m your girl. I’m your common sense girl. I am not going to go out there and quote fucking articles.


But I do listen to a lot of shit and I do read a lot of shit. And grown ass women are going to need more calories than that. So physical restriction when you’re not eating enough food, makes it harder to stop it enough because your body senses something’s wrong. Why are we eating too little? Our body is wired to survive.


It’s not wired to starve. Not eating at certain times a day in order to eat light or save for later is another form of physical restriction that freaks the body the fuck out. Your body just thinks something’s wrong. It doesn’t know that you want to have Oreos after dinner. It just thinks like, hey, pay attention, bitch.


I’m sending you signals. I’m hungry. I haven’t had enough. Like, I need it for energy. And you’re like, I want to have Oreos later.


And I always eat oreos later. So we’re doing this dance with our body that doesn’t work. The last thing is avoiding food you’re afraid of. That’s another form of physical restriction that will rebound into having a hard time stopping at enough. Because if you just avoid the foods you’re afraid of, you haven’t solved the fear.


Think about playing hide and seek. If you’re playing hide and seek, your adrenaline rises when you’re in the hide. Like, if you go hide, you’re just like, I hope they don’t find me. Hope I win this game. Let me get real small.


But the whole time, it’s not like you go and take a nap and you’re all relaxed. Same thing happens when you’re hiding from food because you’re afraid of it. You’re never solving the real problem, which is, how do I build trust and confidence around food? How do I start introducing this food in such a way on a regular basis and small amounts to prove to myself I can have this food and not overeat it? Mental restriction is the other form of restriction that we do that makes it hard to stop it enough.


And that is the most common form that I see a lot of times. I will teach all of my members, like, look, we are going to lose weight the way we’re going to live our lives. So that means if you like cake, we need to learn how to be able to eat cake without eating our face fucking off when we have it. And so my members will start planning cake, but when they’re eating it, they’re having mental restriction, which means they’re sitting there, it’s tasting good, and they’re like, you shouldn’t be doing this. You ain’t ever going to be able to lose weight eating crap like this.


You ate the cake for a lot of reasons. One, it tastes good, but you ate it for pleasure. And if you deny yourself pleasure while you’re eating it, you have now mentally restricted. So you’re not exactly getting what you want out of it. You’re not fully enjoying it.


So it would make sense that your mind now attaches. The next time you eat that, you better get a lot because, like, I don’t know, she talks like an asshole when she’s eating it. She thinks she shouldn’t be. She might just take it away again. We want to unlearn living in fear around food.


We want to learn how to be around all the foods and be intentional and be deliberate. Eat the things we love. Eat healthy things because we actually like them too. We just want to have a better relationship with the food. So even if you’re doing all the things that I tell you, for a lot of you, this is what will happen.


You’ll be listening to podcast. You’ll be a member. You’re like, Craig, I’m planning my food. I’m listening to when I’m hungry. I’m listening to when I have enough.


My subconscious beliefs, though, are probably the things that still have me afraid and still have me doubting. And that is where your mind is now, perceiving that there is a lack or not enough to go around with the food. And that is why a lot of times we have a hard time stopping at enough. We may be eating the things and doing what I say, including the foods you love, but what we’re doing is we’re not emotionally including them. We’re eating them thinking that I shouldn’t be doing this.


We’re eating foods we love later, but we’re in the lunchtime starving ourselves, skipping breakfast to earn these foods that we think we shouldn’t be eating. We’re keeping foods that we love out of the house from fear of overeating them. Instead of if you want to take foods out of the house, learning how to take them out by saying this, it’s not that I can’t be around them. I choose not to have them in my house right now while I get really good at understanding my hunger and getting and understanding my enough now for my members. In August, I’m going to be teaching a deep dive class on lots of things.


And one of the things we are going to cover is when you bring the foods back in, how do you do it? Most of you, the reason why you have a hard time stopping at enough when you’ve booted your foods out of the house is you bring them out like, I think I’m ready. And so you bring your oreos back in and most of the time you put them on the same sad shelf of where you grab them and over ate them every single time. And instead of eating them in a new way, like practicing eating them, calming your nervous system down and doing it very deliberately, you’re just like, well, because I haven’t had them in a long time, I’m just going to do better. But you don’t stage a way to do better.


And trust me, this is what happens. However you used to eat, that is the only habit your brain knows. So if you don’t give it a brand new method to eat, it has to go back to what it knows. That’s why it’s important that if you’re going to reintroduce the foods that we reintroduce them in new ways. And in August, for all of my members, I’m going to teach you how to do that.


And we will use one of our favorite worksheets of all time, the fuck it Foods Worksheet, to bring things back in such a way that we can build trust and confidence around our favorite foods and be able to live with them again. So for a lot of you, remember, your mind is probably perceiving right now that when it comes to foods you love, that taste good and that you want to include that somehow there’s not enough to go around. I either shouldn’t be eating it, I might take it away. This is a bad food. So when you are thinking that you won’t get into it, this is probably one of the most common things that comes up is like my clients will be sitting there and they’ll be eating dinner after a long day and they start thinking, I’m not going to get enough food.


I’m not going to eat enough to emotionally relax me, I’m not going to get enough food to make it until the end of dinner because I eat faster than everyone else. There’s all kinds of stuff. Here’s one of the things that I want you to tell yourself. Because in the moment when the fear comes up that you won’t get enough, you’ve got to have a reply that calms you down. So I always tell my clients, if you can put your hand over your heart, take a deep breath and I just want you to say I can eat later.


I have permission. I can see what happens if I stop it enough right now. And if in 30 minutes or in an hour I legit feel like, I need more. I can. This is so powerful because one of the reasons why we have a problem with stopping it enough is because we also have a problem giving ourselves permission to eat.


I don’t know what’s happened, but somewhere in the diet world, we all got taught that eating is bad. Like, just eating in general. So many of us I remember my grandmother used to tell me all the time, she just wishes she’d get a wicked stomach bug for like, a week so she could lose ten pounds so that she couldn’t eat. I have people joke around with me all the time, like, oh, if we could just get my mouth stapled shut for like, a few days, I’d be back in my goal range. It sounds funny, but it is a sad commentary that for women, that it is normalized, that it would be a good thing if for some reason we just couldn’t eat at all.


That is not normal, and that is not a good thing. Wishing for a stomach bug, wishing that you could starve for a few days. If we’re all going to be mad about something, let’s not be mad that we got to stop it enough. Let’s be mad that somewhere in diet culture that they taught us that eating is bad or shameful.


Just let that land for a minute if you want to be able to stop it enough. We have to remind ourselves that eating is not a bad thing. You are not a bad eater. I don’t care if you’re binging your face off every night. You human being listening to this right now.


You are not a bad person.


You may cope with food. That might be the best you can do. You haven’t learned how to regulate your nervous system yet. No one ever taught you these things. There’s a thousand things to think other than you being bad.


So we’ve got to remind ourselves that giving ourselves permission to eat is not a morality problem. This doesn’t make you a bad person, but in order for you to one day have confidence around food, to be able to confidently step away when your bodies have enough, the first step is to courageously give yourself permission to do so. Permission to eat, permission to say, I am learning a new way to be with food. I am going to stop eating right now, and if I feel like I need more in a little bit, I love myself enough to give myself a little bit more. And I love myself enough to keep eating until I feel like I physically have had enough.


And if today the best I can do is eat some more to emotionally have enough, that’s fine. Because until we start feeling more comfortable and add ease around food, it’s really hard to take authority of it. So a lot of us have this. We have a hard time stopping at enough because we also tell ourselves if I stop eating, I won’t have a good time. I won’t feel connected to people.


This I coach on routinely inside my membership almost every week. Someone who comes to me who says, grant, I’m having a hard time stopping, it enough. When I dig in a lot of times it’s because food is the way that we think we’re emotionally connecting to the people around us. And this is the thing I need you to remind yourself in the moment that the connection is not coming because of the food you happen to be eating. But it’s not the food.


If you stop eating and you suddenly feel disconnected, it’s because you’re thinking, I can’t eat. Instead of thinking here I am, not eating while still enjoying the people around me. And I will just tell most of you this. All of you who think you’re connecting when you’re eating, next time you’re doing so, pay attention to what you’re thinking about. Most of the time when people tell me I just don’t feel like I can connect so they will pay attention when they are eating, they realize I’m still not hearing my kids.


I’m sitting there eating. I’m sitting there and I’m mistaking sitting in the same place as connection. Connection means I’m sitting there and I’m having lovely fucking thoughts about people. I’m sitting there and thinking about how much this moment means to me. I’m sitting there, I might be eating, but sometimes I’m so focused on what’s going on with everybody around me, I do stop eating to pay closer attention.


That’s connection. And what we do is we have to remind ourselves food was never doing it. Otherwise, this is how we know the food is not how you connect. Have you ever this is had a parent and you are going to have dinner and everybody’s had a bad day and let’s say it’s your mother. Remind yourself when you were a teenager and your mom was an asshole to you that day you’re all eating, did you and your mother suddenly feel connected?


Or were you all sitting there angry eating? If food connects, it always connects. So I need all of you to understand that. Who are connection eaters? If you’ve ever had a meal and in the middle of them, like think about, let’s say you go out to a big dinner with a lot of strangers.


Well, as you’re eating calamari, are you just like, I’m so connected or are you like, I hope they don’t think that I wore the wrong thing. I hope I say the right thing. Do you feel judged? This is how we know the food can’t connect us. It is what we think.


So if you are sitting at dinner and your body has had enough food and it is time to stop, guess what? If you want to feel connected, lay down that fork, cover that food with a napkin, sit back and relish in your family. Think about the things you love about them, that’s connection. Nothing says you have to keep eating just because you’re done. Just because everybody else is still eating and you’re not done if you want.


Think about it. We have such ridiculous rules we make up in our head when it comes to stopping at enough. It’s like, well, if I stop at enough, then I just have to get up and start cleaning the kitchen. No, the fuck you don’t. You’re going to go get more mac and cheese and sit down.


How about you just sit there and just say, I know my brain is going to throw a hissy fit. As if I should be cleaning the kitchen. If I was going to be sitting here packing on some butt pounds with some macaroni and cheese, guess what? I can sit on my ass and not pack on extra mac and cheese just as easily. The only reason you won’t like it is because you’ll sit there and think it’s not fair.


You know what’s not fair? Wanting to lose weight and never doing it because you think, bullshit. Like, I can’t sit at the table with my family and just relax. I should get up and clean the kitchen. So because I don’t want to clean the kitchen and I want to keep sitting, I guess I should just keep eating.


That’s unfair. So if we’re going to call something unfair, let’s at least tell the truth about it. Here’s another thing that makes it hard to stop. It enough. I won’t get this again.


For a long time, we tell ourselves this. This is part of that permission stuff. And when it’s just not true, I want you to tell yourself, that used to be the case. I am now practicing understanding that if I really want something, I can plan for it and I can have it in a way that I will respect myself, that I will not regret, that I will truly enjoy it. Gone are the days that I eat things because there’s this faux emergency that I might not get it again, that there is some worry that I won’t get it again.


We are throwing that shit away. And I need you to tell yourself, I promise to not take foods away from myself again. I will plan things I love if for right now, I’m not going to keep them in the house. You know what I can do? I can tell myself I choose not to have them right now because I’m going to get strong and I’m going to get courage.


And when I feel the courage to try again, I will do it in a new way. You’ve got to learn if you want to lose weight. You have to learn how to talk to yourself. We can’t keep talking to ourselves like we always have if we’re going to lose weight. All right, here’s another reason why it’s hard to stop.


It enough. Your body just wants to feel normal, and normal is whatever that is to you. So very often this is a little bit deep, so we won’t go too far into it. But in my class, inside my membership, this is where we dove deeper. Your body like your feelings.


Sometimes they get what’s called hijacked or Dysregulated, which means I go from feeling okay to suddenly I’m like, I’m anxious. I’m overwhelmed. For me, I don’t normally get anxious real quick, but I can get angry at the drop of a hat. That’s where my nervous system gets just triggered. Something happens, and I’m triggered a shit with some stressor, and my automatic thinking and feeling just takes over.


And this is what’s happening in your brain. Anytime you have some type of stress or threat, your brain thinks you are under assault. It thinks you are in danger. You’re probably not in real danger. You’re what’s called in emotional foe danger, which means your body, the moment it feels anxious, the moment it feels overwhelmed or stressed out, it literally thinks something’s going to kill it.


Except the truth is, it’s like you’re worrying about what someone’s going to think. You’re worried what might happen in the future if you do this. You have these emotional threats that are happening, and your body treats them equally as a physical threat. This is why so many of us have a hard time stopping it enough. Because one of the ways that we deal with our emotional threats is we eat to calm ourselves back down.


Now, this is what I want to tell you. Your body is just trying to keep you safe, and food is just a way that your brain has learned to help you. So it asks for the food first. The only thing we want to do is retrain your brain, and we do that inside of no BS. That is what, my entire module, two of the The No BS Weightloss Program loss course.


When you first join, you go through these four valuable modules, and the second one is where we start retraining the brain on what is real threats and what is not threats. We want our brain to watch out for us. We want our brain to know if danger is coming. We just want to get better at sorting out false danger from real danger. If somebody’s coming at you with a knife, we want you to feel stressed and overwhelmed and anxious.


If someone’s coming at you with a fuck you as they’re driving down the road, we don’t want to whip into Burger King because of it. So we need to start figuring out the differences in our stressors. So I just want you to know that when that happens and you’re reaching for food or you feel like you can’t stop eating, you and your brain are doing nothing wrong. We just want to say it’s okay to stop. I’m going to breathe through this.


Even if I’ve ate ten Oreos, I’m not going to eat. Number eleven. I am learning I don’t need to eat over these things anymore because I’m getting better at understanding what’s truly dangerous and what just feels bad. Another thing that jacks us up at stopping it enough is just plain old momentum. Like once you start eating, it is harder to stop that’s with everything.


If I push a ball down the hallway, it’s easier to stop a rolling ball or it’s harder to stop a rolling ball than it is to just put my foot on top of one that’s resting. That’s just all the things that doesn’t mean that foods have power over you. It doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you. It’s like once I start eating, it’s hard to stop. The big thing we need to know here is that you don’t need to take things away to fix this.


The thing we have to start telling ourselves is rather than it’s so hard to stop. Once I get started, we want to switch to telling ourselves, I want to get better at stopping when I notice I am overeating. We just want to put our brain to work on the problem in a new way. Most of us try to attack it like an asshole. Again, you’re going to have a hard time stopping it enough if you just dead stop eating.


Taking it away and making it seem like something’s wrong with me, I can’t do this. I got to take it away. Incentives want to tell you this is just a normal human response. Anyone that’s eating good food is going to have a harder time to stop. We just don’t want to make it a big fucking deal.


We just want to say it’s not that you’re bad or that you’re wrong or that you’ve blown it because you started and it’s hard to stop. It’s more like in this moment, I just need to remind myself it’s all right that this has happened. This might be a good opportunity to stop. Can I just put this down for five minutes? And again, if I still want it, I can come back.


There’s a few other things that we’re going to cover. So inside the membership, the other things that I talked about is very often with enough it signals if you’re not stopping at enough and it’s not easy for you, you could have a lack of pleasure in your life. Food is your only pleasure and it’s an indicator of missing pleasures in your life. And so we talk about I give journal prompts and stuff on how do I figure out if I have a lack of pleasure and what do I do about it? Because one of the reasons why it’s hard to lose weight and stop overeating is traditional diets.


They take away the pleasurable foods that you eat, but you have a lack of pleasure in your life. And when your pleasurable foods are gone, you’re just miserable because they’re not teaching you. Now that you don’t have these foods, how do we regulate your nervous system? How do you talk to yourself? How do you add pleasure?


What are the things that you would like to try to start doing in your life? What are the things that you currently don’t give yourself emotionally that you may need? Is your self talk needing work? So many of us and one of the reasons why we don’t have a lot of pleasure in our life is because we don’t know how to talk to ourselves pleasurably. We don’t know how to spotlight our successes.


We’re always just moving on to the next thing. We think it’s gloating if we just acknowledge ourselves. We think we’re bragging if we tell somebody something we accomplished. When you are a pleasure denier of your life for yourself, your body is wired to want pleasure and food is an easy way to get it. So we need to figure out what other pleasures do you want and need?


How do we create it? How do we start building that life for you? And then the last one that we talked about inside the membership is sometimes food does just taste good. But that doesn’t mean you’re broken because you enjoy good food. We just have to get really good at using permission instead of using withdrawal when it comes to food.


I promise all of you. When you learn how to give yourself permission to eat the food you love and you do it in a way that not only do I’m going to eat the foods I love right now, but I give myself permission to have them but I also give my self permission to have them anytime I truly want them, whenever I’m actually hungry. We want to figure out what is the criteria for the permission because so many of us are thinking we’re eating the foods we love, but we’re not eating them in a lovingly way. And when you don’t eat the foods you love in a loving way, guess what happens? You wake up with regrets and you beat yourself up.


What I would love is to teach every woman how to include foods they love in such a way that there are no regrets. That you do get to see the scale go down. You see yourself building an amazing relationship not only with food, but with you as a person. So like I said, one of the things you’ve got to work on if stopping at enough is hard for you is we have to work on ways that you can calm your nervous system down. Inside of no BS, we have the now process, we have tapping techniques, we have all kinds of things where we teach people like in the moments before you can think better, you need to feel better first.


How do we calm you down? How do we get you back to a normal state so that your brain can come back online and you can have those compassionate conversations with yourself. Like, you need to learn how to remind yourself that you’re safe and you’re okay. We have techniques where we teach that so many of us need to do that type of work around food when we feel like it’s, like an out of body experience. Like, I have the best intentions, Corinne, but once I get started, I just can’t stop.


We need to figure out why that’s happening for you. How do you calm your nervous system down the moment it starts, so then we can logically think our way out of it. But for a lot of you, we’ve got to put that middle part in calming yourself down and changing how you think so that then you can change how you think about stopping at enough. Okay, deep ass topic. Like I said, inside the membership, there is a full 60 Minutes class, plus Q and A plus I give all of my members really exquisite journal prom that will help you unearth.


Like, what are the foods I’m scared of? When am I most scared that I’m going to overeat? Where are the times that I’m not given myself permission? Where do I need pleasure? Tons and tons of things that we need to be asking if we really want to lose weight for the rest of our lives.


All right, y’all have a good week. Talk to you soon. Bye.


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I'm Corinne Crabtree

Corinne Crabtree, top-rated podcaster, has helped millions of women lose weight by blending common-sense methods with behavior-based psychology.

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