Hello, my lovely friend,
I hope you’re having a great week!
This past weekend my family and I went to the zoo and enjoyed the local Farmers Market right next to it.
Outside of the local seasonal produce, cheeses, and meats, they offer the BEST lunch options around.
They have a vendor there that makes a delicious brick oven pizza. That’s right! They roll up with the oven on wheels and bake away throughout the day.
As I eat this yummy pizza on our picnic blanket, an innocent thought pops into my head after I finish “the bite.”
Do you know what I mean when I say “the bite”? It’s the bite that has you feeling satiated physically, but anything over it starts inching you away from feeling energized towards full and stuffed.
Convincing voice:” This is so good. Don’t you want some more? Just another bite and slice won’t hurt you. It’s thin crust, so it’s not like it’s a lot.”
If you’ve experienced this voice, then congratulations! You’re normal, and your brain is working just fine.
Because the part of your brain that’s similar to animals called primitive brain (lizard brain) is wired to seek food and pleasure for survival.
Part of survival that kept us motivated to get out of our caves was pleasure and food. So you are here because that has worked well for your ancestors and they survived.
Time travel back to 2019 and the problem is this — the brain doesn’t know all this food is available to us 24 hours/7 days a week.
Not only that, but that food is now engineered to hit on your pleasure senses in a very high concentrated dose.
So it’s no wonder that this primitive brain keeps throwing out all these compelling reasons for you to keep eating when it has food and it’s highly pleasurable.
It’s good at convincing you so that you’ve been answering when it wants another slice of that delicious brick oven pizza from the Farmer’s Market.
After some practice, it takes the shape of an automatic habit that you feel like you don’t have control over.
But now, I’m going to teach you how to rewire your brain to put you back in control and with practice, you’ll establish a new healthy habit that will support your goal.
1. AWARENESS: notice when your primitive brain starts throwing out thoughts about eating when you’re not hungry.
2. Take a breath.
3. Remind yourself that you get to have this food for the rest of your life, it’s not going anywhere. (put it in a box if you have to, to remind you that it will be there if you want it for your next meal)
4. PAUSE and ask yourself: If I eat this, how will I feel 1 hour from now, 2 hours from now? Will I have shame and guilt or feel good?
5. Commit to waiting 30 minutes to see if the voice is still there. That’s delaying it and drawing some distance between you and that thought that’s creating a craving.
Here’s what you should expect from the voice as you allow for the thoughts and not answer them to eat when you are not hungry
- The cry is going to be super loud, demanding, and annoying
- Picture it like a child having a tantrum at Target when it wants a toy.
- It’s going to try to pull out all the tricks to convince you that you need to keep eating.
It’s okay. Sit with it. Let the tantrum run the course for 30 minutes — you are committing to sit with it.
Meanwhile, you can do something that moves you away from the food physically:
- If at a restaurant, have it boxed up or put your napkin over your plate
- at home, remove yourself from where the food is
- If eating with family, take your plate away from the table and sit back down to enjoy the conversation.
This allows you to follow through on stopping when you are satiated and give you separation not just from the food but from the tantrum of your primitive inner voice that is throwing out all those compelling reasons for you to eat past what your physical body is needing.
Remember, this is a new habit that you are building. It will be hard at first, but with practice, it will become more comfortable and more natural to stop.
The other part of this that works is a new thought that I use instead now.
When I am no longer hungry, I remind myself with the thought, “you will have this for the rest of your life or amazing things similar to this. This will not go away.”
This thought calms me, reassures me, and allows me to remember that there’s plenty of opportunities that I will have when I am hungry to eat delicious food.
Here’s what I know; this is one of the BIGGEST reasons that we continue our struggle with our extra weight. It’s the 3-4 extra bites that keep us maintaining or not losing the weight we want to release.
I encourage you to try this and let me know how it’s working for you after a week.
If you have any questions or want to take this work to a deeper level with one-on-one coaching, then it would be my pleasure to show you how.