Your overindulgences and lack of control around certain foods are all in your head.
I don’t mean you’re making it up.
I mean it’s literally a chemical reaction in your brain.
Or purely psychological.
You may feel like you can’t eat just one serving of chips or just one cookie or whatever.
One turns into many …
Every. Damn. Time.
You may even think you’re addicted to sugar or have some kind of mental block when it comes to moderation.
Neither is true.
It’s all in your mind.
Chemically or psychologically.
Overindulging can be caused by restrictive diets.
If it’s psychological, it’s very likely due to restriction.
Eliminating certain foods, deeming them “off limits,” or labeling them as “bad.”
Once you tell yourself you can’t have something … your brain will constantly think about that thing.
It’s like If I told you to close your eyes right now and think about anything EXCEPT for pink elephants …
You’d only think of pink elephants.
This is why fringe diets that give you a whole list of foods you can’t eat are a ticking time bomb.
You’re basically draining your willpower and mental energy 24/7.
It’s only a matter of time before you crack.
And when you do … you’ll overindulge because you feel like it’s the only opportunity you get to eat that food … so might as well eat ALL of it.
Then you feel like crap and use that as confirmation bias that it’s a “bad” food or something you have no control over.
Quite simply … you need to stop restricting it and deeming it off limits.
Once it’s available to you at all times in any amount … the appeal is gone.
Eating enough can prevent overindulging.
It’s also important that you’re eating enough … period.
Because a chronic energy deficit will cause your body to seek quick energy and the exact same outcome can happen.
So the bottom line is this … to overcome the psychological reasons for feeling out of control around certain foods, you should probably eat adequately enough and not deem any foods as off limits or label them as “bad.”
Then there’s the chemical side of things.
Foods that are highly palatable have a specific combination of sugar, fats, and salt that trigger a concoction of neurotransmitters.
Most notably … dopamine and glutamate.
That means you get a pleasure response from those foods and an amplified emotional reaction to it.
Which makes you want more.
Dopamine is a strong behavior driver.
It’s how many behaviors and decisions are made … including playing a role in addictive like tendencies with things like sex, drugs, gambling, risk taking, thrill seeking, etc.
Every habit is formed the same way …
Trigger – behavior – reward.
The reward is where dopamine comes into play.
So, it’s easy to fall into the habit of overindulging certain foods seeing as they trigger a dopamine release and often come with an increase in glutamate so that pleasure feeling feels even better.
This is perfectly normal btw.
Food should be enjoyable.
These chemical reactions are there for a reason.
For our survival.
It’s not a sugar addiction or a lack of control …
It’s a natural chemical response.
Use the chemical response to food to your advantage.
It’s not the food itself you’re addicted to …
It’s the behavior and the reward.
But, you likely feel like crap immediately afterwards.
So, utilize the same mechanisms to make better food choices that you still enjoy and provide your own reward response.
Even a check mark on a calendar or completing a task will release dopamine.
Solidify quality habits with the same formula …
Trigger – behavior – reward.
Don’t eliminate foods you eat solely for pleasure.
Just have awareness around what’s happening when you consume them.
Also, if you’re using those foods as a means of avoidance, suppression, or distraction, then address the root of the issue.
Once again, it’s not the food.
From dietary restriction to food freedom …
If you can remove the food labels, avoid restriction, eat enough for your own individual needs, and understand how to solidify habits that make you feel your best …
You will no longer feel out of control around any food and you’ll stop overindulging.
That’s true freedom.
And that’s exactly what we create for our 1:1 clients in our signature 6 month coaching program.
If you’re interested, we currently don’t have any call openings right now but you can shoot me a PM on FB.
We can circumvent the call process and just have a back and forth conversation on messenger to see if it’s a good fit on both sides.
If it is … I’ll invite you into the program.