‘’The thing I struggle with most is my diet. Any little tips to stop snacking and eating sh*tty food? I’m too easily persuaded by people’’
OK. So, this question has several parts that I’ll do my best to go through J
Firstly – ‘’ any little tips to stop snacking and eating shitty foods?’’
Environment matters most.
This is something I REALLY believe in and this is a great example of that. It’s important to start by looking at the ‘environment’ around your snacking habits.
Are you tired, stressed, irritated etc. If so, look at changing those first. If you’re stressed, look at ways to reduce the stress before you get home and to the kitchen.
It’s always important to look at what factors are causing the habit to take place and instead focus on the cause instead of the result.
Environmentally. We can look at the physical environment. In other words. Is your kitchen full of foods that you might consider to be ‘crap’ ‘junk ‘etc? You can’t or at least it’s a lot harder to snack if the foods arn’t there to snack on
The important thing. Or at least one important thing to remember, that most don’t seem to. Is the underlying cause of the snacking. Obviously there’s a physiological effect of consuming sugar on the brain. However, apart from that we can consider the different environmental and psychological factors. For e.g. growing up, you might have related sweet foods to comfort, reward, and self-worth. If you do something well you get a ‘treat’ so naturally your brain wires the act of consuming sweet foods with feelings of comfort, self worth etc. We can also during our younger years learn to associate food with love. Acceptance, care and connection. So, if the Brain feels a little low on ‘ Love ‘ (Oxytocin) It might find ways to create feelings of acceptance, care and connection (remember this for the second part of the question ) through snacking or various other habits
In other words. Don’t focus on the snacking, look at what the underlying cause is and address that.
In terms of habit. It might be a case that over time you’ve simply built a habit that when you get in from work, you make tea and have biscuits with your tea. First, I’d ask how much the habit is actually getting in the way of the goal. If it HAS to go and you DESIRE it to go rather than simply believe that it’s a requirement then …
We can look at changing the habit. In this case, it’s important to realize that we can’t consciously chose a habit. Habits are formed in the Basal Ganglia and are formed subconsciously based on the feeling response the action produced. Think of all the things you enjoy, chocolate for e.g, You didn’t have to eat chocolate every day for 60 days to build the habit right?
The feeling response was great enough to produce an almost immediate habit
so, firstly, we have to find a replacement action and one that produces a pleasure response. Remember the pleasure response is REALLY important, we need that for the new habit to form
This could be a sweet but healthier alternative for e.g. (Social support also becomes important, remember if you’re snacking to achieve a feeling of comfort, care, connection and your partner. Family are sat there snacking away its going to create a lot of underlying stress , I’ll go through this inn more detail next )
Possibly the MOST important question to ask yourself is ‘ How ca I enjoy this more’ ? (ive written a blog on this here )
‘’ I’m too easily persuaded by people ‘’
Ok. So, firstly if you’re too easily persuaded this is a really big sign that either you’re not clear enough on the goal or that your desire to remain socially accepted is more important.
It’s important to remember that from a Brain point of view having Abs won’t keep you alive. BUT, having strong social connection will. So, your Brain will always prioritise the social aspect.
It comes down to judgement and fear of judgement. We all care what people think (Even those that say that they don’t) It’s inbuilt. We care about the opinions and thoughts of others because it tells us where we stand socially and ultimately how ‘safe’ we are moment to moment.
A GREAT way to think about this to imagine you’ve went back in time to the ‘Cavemen’ days (not sure what the scientific term is! ) So, you’re part of a tribe. Your survival depends on the tribe. If suddenly you start acting differently, the rest of the tribe becomes concerned by your behaviour and if suddenly they start to feel that you’re unpredictable, they’re either going to kill you or kick you out. Either way, you die.
Now, although we realize today that this wouldn’t happen or at east there’s a very small chance. Your Brain doesn’t. (great example of Evolution and natural design or lack of intelligent design. The Brain isn’t perfect)
So, it really becomes a matter of first getting REALLY clear on the goal, on why you want to do it and on why and how it will benefit your life long term.
Secondly, get really clear on WHY you’re doing it. What it says about you and your identity.
For eg. there’s a BIG difference between
‘’ I’m not eating meat because someone told me it’s healthier’’ (I’m not saying it is btw )
‘’ I’m choosing not to eat meat because I love animals and life and I was raised around animals and so on and so forth’’ Get the idea ?
The WHY is important.
Thirdly. Create social support and acceptance by communicating with those around you. Make them feel safe (from a tribal view point) by telling them why you’re doing it, how it will benefit you and also how it will benefit them!
Your friends will spend less time trying to tempt you with ‘bad’ foods when they become 100% clear on why you’re doing it and when they trust that the action isn’t taking anything away from them.
E.g. Partner says ‘’ we used to always have a drink on Friday nights and now we can’t’’
This is a clear sign of threat and feelings that the connection care and acceptance in the relationship has being put under threat.
The solution. Communicate. ‘’ I understand that. However, this will help me feel more confident, healthy, attractive and I know that will benefit the relationship, plus we can still spend time together ‘’
Be CLEAR on who you are. WHAT you REALLY want and help those around you to see that also. Create certainty and things will fall into place.
Last note. Don’t freak out, the occasional biscuit or drink won’t really make any difference to your goals. 🙂
PS if you want to learn more about this stuff ill be talking a lot more about it Here 🙂