There is no cheating, just choosing!
I say this line so often because I still hear people referring to eating as cheating. Say WHA????? No, FitMama please, what’s up with that?
When it comes to food, I urge you to get this concept of cheating out of your head. There is just eating. You choose what you eat, there is no benefit to labelling it something it is not.
I am sad that in the fitness and HEALTH industry, we are ingrained to think that eating foods that we consider unhealthy or “not on our diet” are labelled something so negative as “cheating.”
When we think we are cheating, we immediately feel negative emotions such as worry, regret and guilt. This study, which looked into the emotions of guilt versus celebration when eating food shows, “NO evidence for adaptive or motivational properties of guilt.” which means that there is no benefit to feeling guilty when eating a food – and they described:
“Those who associated chocolate cake with guilt did not report more positive attitudes toward healthy eating or stronger intentions to eat healthy in the future than did those who associated chocolate cake with celebration.”
How does that sound for letting you off the hook?
In this study, associating chocolate cake with guilt was related to an increase in weight – even in those people who were trying to lose weight.
“However, participants who associated chocolate cake with celebration were, on average, more successful in losing weight than were participants who associated chocolate cake with guilt.”
Therefore, when you decide to eat something, own it!! Decide it is what you really want, consider it what it is, just food – and allow it to bring you pleasure and positive energy – if it doesn’t, then DON’T choose to eat it. CHOOSE another food.
By changing your mindset in this way, you can feel more positive overall about the foods that you eat. And if your goal is in fact to lose some weight, you will be more successful at that when you have more positive associations with your food.
So, how can you do this?
Try these three things:
Choose foods that reflect how you want to feel. ‘See’ yourself already in the body you desire and treat that body with the upmost respect, love and admiration. Naturally you will choose foods that make that body feel good. If you don’t see it and act as if, it will never be your reality.
Cheers to changing your mindset and relieving yourself of all guilt and cheating when it comes to food! I know you can do it and I know you will find it super liberating!
Let me know how it goes! It may take practice, but with each time you notice it and change your words (in your head or out loud) it will create new neural pathways and solidify your new way of thinking.