Over the weekend I watched a documentary on Netflix, mainly because there was no new Riverdale episodes to watch. (Netflix must know that I can only watch it with my partner and he was away this weekend). I ended up watching a documentary called Hungry for Change and it really started to get my thinking around the way we think about food.
Whenever we are on some sort of diet or just trying to be healthy we tell ourselves “No you CAN’T have that” or “No that is unhealthy” or “No, that is a ‘bad’ food and I’m NOT allowed it” and in return we want to have that food more and more and we start to create cravings for that food until we reach the point of no return and have binged on that food and start the process all over again.
It’s like when we were little and our parents told us not to do something so naturally, we wanted to do it. The same process occurs in our brain when we tell ourselves we aren’t allowed to eat a certain food. Our brain then can’t stop thinking about that food and wanting it and craving it until we finally give in. We then feel guilty and create negative thoughts about how we have no self-control, we are no good, we don’t deserve to be healthy and eating right. We end up going through an ongoing cycle of dieting, failing, feeling negative about ourselves, binge eating and then trying to diet again.
So what would happen if we tried to think positively about our diet and food?
I am currently doing a 4-week gut healing diet which consists of soups for 4 weeks. I could be negative about this and have my thoughts consumed by foods that I am unable to eat over the next four weeks. Instead, I tried to think of the positive and concentrate on how this is benefiting my body and going to help my gut and my overall wellbeing. I’ve had small cravings, such as craving a doughnut last week because my social media feeds are filled with foods. These cravings didn’t last long and I just switched my thought pattern instead of sitting on my phone looking at more doughnuts which I normally do.
Small changes to our thoughts can make a huge difference on our overall outcome and the food decisions we make. Switching “I can’t have that food” to “I choose not to have that food because… “ can show our body and our mind that we are able to have that food if we want however we are in control and are deciding not to so that we can better our health. Being able to think “I could have a Mcdonalds for dinner tonight but instead I’m going to make a yummy beef stir fry with plenty of veggies and sprinkle some nuts to give me energy and help my digestion” can be a powerful thought for the body, mind and the gut.
It’s a slow process to switch your thinking but after 30 days of constantly switching your thinking and reminding yourself about the positive changes that are occurring because of your food choices, these positive thoughts will start to come naturally to you and be a part of your self-conscious.
For years I constantly said “NO I CAN’T HAVE THAT FOOD” and it never helped me towards my health goals. I used to tell myself no-meat and then get drunk and go to Mcdonalds and eat all the burgers I could afford. I’ve tried many detoxes or to cut certain foods from my diet for a certain amount of time before going low carb and before this gut healing detox and my negative thoughts towards it failed me every time.
Throughout this detox, I have stayed positive and been going for 5-days now. There have been moments where I’ve wanted some chocolate or a doughnut but switching my thoughts and reminding myself why I am doing this detox helped get out of my own head and back focused on my goals.
Next time you start to switch your diet or try a detox, try to think positive and slowly switch your thoughts about how delicious your salad is going to be rather than dreading the thought of eating a salad. You will be surprised on how easy it becomes to eat healthily and create the positive lifestyle that you are aiming for.