Ok, so last week I covered how to stick to your diet using a weekly bulk cook. This week I am going to give you another tip to help with the psychological side of sticking to your diet which is to;
“Eat 4 balanced meals each day” to reduce the emotional connection you have with food.
Let me explain.
If you require elaborate, indulgent, delicious food for EVERY meal, you may have an emotional connection to food (notice how I said every meal, not the occasional meal).
A good way to understand if you have an emotional connection with food is to ask yourself;
“Do I often choose meals to suit my cravings?”
If you answered “yes” then you could be in the habit of regularly turning to meet your emotional needs through food (which is very common btw), if this is so, then you may find sticking to your diet for a period of time somewhat challenging. The good news however, is that new habits can be formed within a very short period of time!
So how exactly is the best way to reduce your emotional connection with food?
Eat 4 balanced meals a day.
Because when you begin to consume regular balanced meals that meet your needs on a physical level (based on hunger and the need for energy), your emotional cravings for food will likely reduce and your internal narrative (cravings) around food will begin to shift.
Well, when you are well-fuelled, you can meet your psychological (emotional) needs better elsewhere, and you’ll begin to see food as fuel that gives you life and energy to get through each day.
An example of being able to meet your psychological needs elsewhere might look like this;
- Taking a 10 min break away from your desk VS reaching for another biscuit when you’re bored.
- Or going outside to get a few minutes peace in the garden whilst your baby sleeps because you’re emotionally drained VS spooning another tsp of Nutella out of the jar.
Hopefully you can begin to see now how fuelling your body with 4 balanced meals per day could empower your ability to deal with your emotions.
“What do balanced meals look like?”
See this recent IG post: How to portion up your meals
“But isn’t food meant to be delicious? Isn’t food meant to bring us joy?!”
I agree with you, I really do! This approach isn’t about eating things you don’t like! You can also make food really delicious without requiring it to fix a craving. For example, you might be craving a pizza but instead, you choose to make a delicious teriyaki salmon meal. Choosing to fuel yourself with salmon doesn’t mean you’re eating something that doesn’t taste good, right? It just serves a slightly different purpose.
There’s also room to eat a couple of meals and snacks each week purely for enjoyment because food should be enjoyed! In fact, if you are working to stick to your diet, I urge you to do this! Here’s how: 1-2 times per week, choose an “enjoyment” meal and a delicious snack. Doing this will prevent restrictive food thoughts and help you stay closer to your goals.
Ready to try it out? Start by heading to last weeks blog (Once per week bulk cook) and start there.
Plan your meals, cook them in bulk, go forth and get into a habit of eating 4 regular balanced meals per day!
I hope this was helpful!