One of the reasons it’s so damn hard to get started losing weight is the fear of deprivation. Every diet I’ve tried in the past had something I loved that I had to give up. Do you know what happens to your brain when you have to give something up? The brain rebels, throws a tantrum and looks for ways to game the system. For most of us humans deprivation sucks. It does not put us in a generous mood or even a good mood to think about where you are starting from with a diet when you start out in rebellion. But what if I could help you frame weight loss with an abundant mindset? How much easier do you think it would be to start a weight loss program if you looked at what you would gain instead of what you would lose?
Let’s take the food for instance. I’ve been talking about giving up flour and sugar for the last couple of weeks and that’s a hard sell. I know it was for me. Most of us love one or the other. I’m a sugar girl but maybe you are a bread and pasta type chick. Whatever your poison you can go ahead and admit to me that you can’t imagine life without that certain substance. That was me with any kind of ice cream or baked good with chocolate. Ok, I’m not going to kid you and tell you the first couple of days isn’t a BIATCH cuz it is. It is SO hard to initially give up sugar that I walk my clients through what to expect for the first week. This is where your brain is going to go into overwhelm on deprivation faster than James Dean can jump on a motorcycle. But, and my clients will back me up on this, once you are through the first 7 days your cravings will dramatically decrease and you can actually focus on creating a plan to start losing weight.
I want to share a tip that I picked up from a fellow coach and friend Priyanka Venugopal (check out her website – https://www.theunstoppablemombrain.com). She once shared that she had made a list of all the foods she loves that ARE on her plan. I thought that was a great idea and one that helped me reframe what I was gaining in terms of food. It’s hard to feel deprived when you can look at a list of foods you really like to eat. So, before you freak out and start thinking there is no way you can give up flour and sugar, even in the short term, start thinking about all of the foods you love to eat that don’t have flour and sugar. To get your started, I’ll list some of my favs:
- Apples (especially Honeycrisp and Opals)
- Almond butter- yep I prefer it sugar free
- Heavy whipping cream
- Excellent coffee
- Dark chocolate
- Anything with green Tabasco sauce on it
- Pinto beans
- Roasted pecans
- Limoncello flavored La Croix
- Cheesy grits
- July tomatoes
- Grilled corn on the cob with lime/chili butter
- Fresh cherries and fresh peaches
Instead of thinking about what you are going to lose, start thinking about all the foods you love and don’t have to give up. And here’s the crazy thing. When you give up flour and sugar, everything tastes better. It’s like your taste buds wake up from being drugged and you can really taste the sweetness of fruit, the richness of nuts and the actually the different flavors of veggies. Try it out. Look for foods this week that you love that are no flour/no sugar and make a list. See if you can give your brain just a little bit of wiggle room to celebrate losing weight.