“My habits are pretty good, I just need to get better with my food.”
This is something we hear quite a lot — people who feel that their overall habits are healthy, but they struggle with their food.
And no matter how much you want to lose weight, you just can’t turn your poor eating into healthy eating.
Signs you struggle with food
There are some tell-tale signs that you struggle with healthy eating. How many of the following can you relate to?
- You rely on take away food, or eat out more than you should
- You eat a lot of fast food
- Your meals are often slapped together at the last minute
- You eat meat and 3 veggies a lot
- Your meals include processed ‘diet’ food (e.g. rice crackers, tinned tuna)
- You eat a lot of processed deli meat such as ham and sausages
- You choose low-carb foods or focus on eating ‘clean’
- You eat sandwiches regularly
- You eat a lot of bread (e.g. wraps, bread rolls, sliced bread)
- You eat pre-prepared meals
- You don’t eat a variety of foods or a variety of meals
- Your food is not colourful
- You settle for the cheapest food at the supermarket or item on the menu
- You insist that you like ‘plain food’ (e.g. steamed veggies and grilled chicken)
- You often skip meals and then end up snacking on what you can find
- You eat ‘on the run’
- You rely on snacks to get you through the day
- Your weekly shop doesn’t involve fruit and vegetable shopping
- You categorise food as good and bad
- You restrict or limit food and then end up bingeing
- You use food (or alcohol) to soothe your feelings (e.g. emotional eating)
- You restrict food or cut calories after engaging in binge eating or emotional eating
- You don’t plan your meals
- You don’t do a regular grocery shop
- Meal prep is not a regular part of your week
- You often feel guilty about what you eat
- You try to out-exercise your bad diet.
Solving the wrong problem
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably tried to eat better dozens of times, yet you still struggle.
You’re not alone. Despite all the information we have at our fingertips — apps, websites, social media, and even books about healthy eating — a lot of people still struggle with their eating.
Of course, you know that fast food is unhealthy and that vegetables are healthy. And you know that eating too much sugar or highly processed foods isn’t good for you. Yet you still have trouble making healthy eating the norm.
Well, against everything you’ve been told by the diet and fitness industry, health ‘gurus’ and weight loss ‘experts’, focusing on your food will not fix your problem.
Yes, we know this is a bold statement but stay with us and allow us the chance to show you why nutrition and fitness are the last things you should focus on to lose weight.
You don’t have time
If we asked you why you struggle with your eating you’ll probably say that you’re too busy. That you just don’t have time to plan your meals, go grocery shopping and then prepare your healthy meals. As a result, you end up snacking on whatever you can find, or grabbing takeaway, even though you know this behaviour doesn’t support your goals.
But why don’t you have time?
Why you don’t have time
The truth is, you don’t have a time problem — you have a time management problem which is a reflection of your habits. The reality is, you do have time to spend on healthy meal prep, you just don’t make it a priority. We explain this in more detail and give you strategies to overcome this habit in our blog The real reason you’re always too busy and how it affects your weight.
So now you need to ask yourself why you have a time management problem?
Why you have a time management problem
One of the most common habits that almost everyone who struggles with weight has, is not putting themselves first. And we bet this is at the root of your time management problem.
Why don’t you put yourself first?
Why you don’t put yourself first
The reason you don’t put yourself first is that you’re afraid of upsetting other people, dealing with conflict or being called selfish. So you spend your time doing things for other people to make them happy, before considering your own needs and happiness. In other words, you become a people pleaser.
But why are you a people pleaser?
Why you people please
The reason you’re a people pleaser is that you’re afraid of being abandoned or rejected. To protect yourself from this, you always saying ‘yes’ to everyone else and do what everyone else wants. Your struggle to say ‘no’ to people and put your needs before theirs means that you don’t have any time for yourself.
So why are you a people pleaser who is afraid of rejection?
Because you have low self-worth.
Many people tie their self-worth to 5 key things:
- what they look like, especially their weight
- how much they earn or own
- who they know, or how many they know
- what they do (career)
- what they achieve.
But self-worth is not about any of these things.
Self-worth is the belief that you are valuable, worthy and loveable regardless of your traits, what you do or what you achieve. It’s the belief that you are worthy and deserving of love and positive things, no matter what. Self-worth is a belief based on your worthiness as a human being, rather than your personality traits, physical appearance, or list of achievements.
We talk more about this in our blog How low self-worth affects your weight.
How low self-worth impacts your eating
If you suffer from low self-worth this will be reflected in your poor eating habits. Unfortunately, no amount of focusing on your food, or trying to eat better will solve the problem of your low self-worth.
The truth is until you address your low self-worth, you will always struggle with your eating. Getting better at your food won’t help your situation. It’s just putting a bandaid over the real problem.
Therefore the only way to solve your eating problem so you can lose weight is to build self-worth because poor eating is a reflection of a keystone habit, which in this instance is lack of self-worth.
This explains why people diet for 10-20 years and work so hard on improving their food, but never lose weight.
How to get better with your food
The secret to learning to eat better is to stop seeing food as the problem and address the real issue at play — your low self-worth. Because until you do that, you’ll be trying to solve the wrong problem.
When you increase your self-worth, you’ll put yourself first and not worry about what others think of you, which means you’ll stop engaging in people-pleasing. This will give you more time for yourself.
When you build your self-worth you’ll schedule time in your diary each week to plan your meals, shop for them and do meal prep. You’ll also make time to eat instead of grabbing things on the run.
When you feel worthy, you won’t settle for the cheapest food at the supermarket or the cheapest item on the menu. Instead, you’ll buy tasty food and food that you’ll enjoy.
When you increase your self-worth, you won’t eat the same boring food over and over again, which means you’ll feel satisfied and less likely to go searching for more ‘interesting’ options (i.e. binge eating).
When you feel worthy, you won’t need to ‘focus on your food’ because your eating habits will have already taken care of themselves.
When you feel worthy, your eating habits will be better, and you’ll find it easier to lose weight.
The perils of focusing on food alone
It can be tempting to think that if you rid your house of ‘bad’ food or the foods you binge on, that your eating will get better. But remember, your poor eating habits are a reflection of your habits. Sooner or later, you’ll be confronted with a situation where you can’t control your food.
It’s like an alcoholic deciding not to go to the pub or to stop buying alcohol to cure their alcoholism. While this will reduce their drinking, it won’t solve the problem of why they drink. So, if they attend an event where they are offered alcohol, they will end up drinking.
Avoiding stocking up on the foods you binge on doesn’t solve the problem because your habit of low-self worth will show up in other areas of your life. For example, you’re likely to have toxic relationships, compare yourself with other people or work longer hours without extra pay. Because habits are always reflected in our life.
How DATSTM Program helps
The DATSTM Program personal coaching will help you improve your eating and therefore help you lose weight because it’s is based on habit and mindset change. That means it will help you uncover the habits that have led you to gain weight, and give you the tools and strategies to change them into habits that support long term weight loss. This includes low self-worth.
Through the DATSTM system, which includes structure and accountability, you will be supported and empowered to increase your self-worth, so you can eliminate poor eating habits for good. Because when you have the right habits and mindset, your eating takes care of itself.
- Many people believe that their bad habit is their poor eating and that food is the problem.
- People with poor eating focus on trying to ‘eat better’, but this is solving the wrong problem.
- Food isn’t the problem. Poor self-worth is.
- Poor eating behaviours are simply a reflection of low self-worth.
- People struggle with their weight loss for decades because they try to solve the problem of low self-worth by trying to control their food.
- In order to eat better, you need to solve your problem of low self-worth, instead of focusing on food.
- When you feel worthy, you will automatically improve your eating habits, which will mean you’ll find it easier to lose weight.
- Our DATSTM Program gives you the knowledge, systems, tools and skills to help you build your self-worth, so you can improve your eating habits and finally lose weight for good.