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Reframing Unhelpful Food Thoughts

reframe diet talk

Last week, I lost a couple of potential new clients. All for the right reasons but I initially felt disappointed. Until I reframed my thoughts.

I realised that it was probably a good thing as I am incredibly busy and it would have meant less time with my boys. Clients will come again when the time is right.

Reframing unhelpful thoughts is a skill that I teach my clients.

I help them identify limiting thoughts that are steeped in diet culture so that they can be at peace with food, they can end the internal battle.

It is an incredibly useful way to develop self-awareness, look at the reality of the situation and thus make decisions that are actually in line with your values.

One way I get clients to do this is by jotting them down thoughts throughout the day in a journal, they can then either challenge them then or do so later – often in session with me.

This is also a really helpful way to get you to take a step back if you ever feel guilt or anxiety about food or eating.

reframing diet talk

Once you have identified the thoughts, you can begin to reframe them.

Often, the disconnect comes from your current actions not allowing you to live the life you feel you should.  This is because we have a belief system that is rooted in diet culture.  Almost everything we learn about nutrition revolves around weight manipulation.

This means that when you’re trying to make decisions about food, it can feel really confusing and stressful.

And often we don’t realise just how much time we are spending thinking about it, it has almost become the norm to obsess about food but it is just not healthy.

In order to reframe, you need to identify what is actually true so that it becomes a more helpful thought.  This often needs the support of a nutritionist initially but the truth is, you have all of the answers within you.

reframe diet talk

Calories are a unit of energy yet we see them as the enemy! Trying to eat as little as possible is just counterintuitive!  We need carbohydrates, fats and proteins and they all contain calories to help us to function and feel our best – we should not fear them!  Our bodies are also the most effective calorie counter you will ever need – listen to it, trust it and it will do its job.

reframe diet talk

You are also the expert on your own body – what may appear to work for someone else isn’t necessarily for you. YOUR lived experience provides you all the knowledge you need, much more than any diet plan or influencer ever can.  It is hard not to let pictures of other people’s ‘perfect’ meals affect us but remember that we do not know what goes on behind the scenes.

reframe diet talk

Our bodies do not care what time of day it is, if they need food, they need food!!  It is a myth that if you eat after a certain time, your body will store more fat – think about it!  Whilst it is true that our bodies like consistency and routine, they do not process food any differently whether it is 7 am or 7 pm!  It is all about the overall energy balance.

reframe diet talk

If you have past experiences with food that have felt scary or out of control, it is common to feel anxiety but it is important to realise that this fear most likely stems from restriction.

You will feel out of control around chocolate if you never allow yourself it, it is like giving a baby a shiny new toy.  It is fascinating initially but once you habitualise it, the power it has eases and it becomes normal.  The fact is that the chocolate isn’t the issue, your restriction is!

reframe diet talk

It is also important to know that health is complex and weight is not health.  We have been brainwashed into believing that to want to lose weight is right in order to become ‘healthier’ but it doesn’t work like that.

There are so many other things that are more important to health such as sleep, stress, mindset, social functioning, economic etc and one meal certainly won’t ‘break’ your health.

One thing I always get clients to consider when they start to work with me is what relentlessly pursuing thinness has meant for them.

More often than not, they have been so focussed on what, when, and how to eat that they have lost sight of what actually matters in life.

They have sacrificed time, money, relationships, and headspace.

Isn’t it time to get that back?

Let me start by showing you in my next workshop series, you can register here.