When you think of eating healthy, does your mind automatically think of foods labeled low fat, low carb, keto, paleo, or any of the other latest fad words? Many people relate healthy eating to foods that fall into these categories. Did you ever think that maybe there is a better approach to eating healthy where you don’t ever have to worry about the foods you eat? The truth is that there is a psychology to eating and it’s not about what you eat, but how you eat it. Eating is a psychological activity, not a physical one. In other words, it is not about the type or amount of food you place on the fork, but what is in your mind and how your thoughts lead you to different choices.
The month of February can bring about many temptations delivered under the guise of Valentine Day. Filled chocolates, peanut butter hearts, marshmallow hearts and conversation hearts are just a few of the treats that surround us this time of year. Now you may start to think you can work your way through your stockpile of sweets with a daily reward for yourself if you are “good” during the day, but that would be your first mistake. Food is not a reward and to have a notion that there are good foods and bad foods are sabotaging thoughts. Your reward will be feeling proud of yourself that you made it through the holiday without consuming tons of sweets. Additionally, think of how much better you will feel physically. It is much easier to say no when your thinking is in the right place.
However, if your absolute favorite candy is peanut butter hearts this time of year and all the rest is just sugar packaged into a tempting holiday disguise for you, then you should have it. Saying to yourself “tomorrow, I am going to have a peanut butter heart for my snack” is ok. You should eat the foods you love, but if it is not your favorite, don’t waste the calories on it. As you fine-tune your decision-making process and develop the proper mindset, you can make better and healthier choices. And once it becomes automatic, you will be golden.