Are you struggling to eat healthy in way that lasts? The problem is that you are dieting. But, not necessarily in the way that you think.
Most people aren’t dieting based on what they’re eating. They’re dieting based on how they’re thinking.
Consider: What are your current reasons for making healthy food decisions?
If you’re struggling to eat healthy long-term, your reasons are likely based on “shoulds”. This mindset is what makes healthy eating unsustainable for you. It’s what turns any version of healthy eating into a diet.
Which means, to eat healthy sustainably you need to change your mindset. You will need to begin making eating decisions based on “wants”.
Know This: It’s not what you’re eating (or not eating) that is necessarily restrictive. It’s your mindset around it.
In this episode, I’m sharing how to know if you’re in a dieting mindset and how you can begin transitioning to a permissive, fulfilling mindset with healthy eating.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. I am so excited you are here. Now, first off, I want to apologize a bit because my voice is a bit scratchy today. I do have a cold, but we’ve got some things to discuss, so we’re gonna get into it. Regardless, I want to talk about dieting today and a completely different way You can see dieting and how if you’re struggling to eat healthy consistently right now, you are likely dieting but not in the way you may think.
So I want to broaden your perspective today on what dieting can look like so you can incorporate this into how you’re approaching healthy eating and weight loss. But before we do something I want to address lovingly here today in this episode is right now it is 2023 and we’re in the beginning to middle of February.
And so this is the time when those of us who set New Year’s resolutions or set out to do things differently in the new year, we’ll start to see old patterns start coming back up. And I just want to hold space for you if this is what you notice is happening, maybe you went into 2023 really believing that things would change this year in that we could make those changes by creating the food plans or micromanaging the actions we want to take into place.
And if you notice yourself falling back into old patterns, I want you to know that this doesn’t mean you’re not capable and it doesn’t mean that the results you want with weight loss aren’t available to you. Now, it just means you have to try a different way and you can’t keep doing what you’ve always done. So if that is the case for you right now and you notice that we’re kind of falling back into our old ways a bit after the new year, I want you to know you’re not alone at all.
And I also want to invite you to apply to my program on your eating habits. It’s going to help you and it was really designed for you if you find that you are trying to micromanage food into place and it just doesn’t seem to be working long-term. My program was really designed for high achieving perfectionists who have tried to plan all of the foods, have tried to micromanage their way to success with weight loss, and it just doesn’t last long-term.
This program really teaches you how to eat healthy naturally and sustainably so you can lose weight permanently. So that is what I want to offer you. This program will fill in those gaps, it will help you. So this year can be the very last year you struggle with food. That’s what I want to offer you here today. And also I want to point out a little personal story I have that’s come up for me recently that really made me laugh because I really think it’s important all of y’all understand that I am a human too.
I think sometimes when we have people we follow online or people who we receive coaching from or content from, we put them on this pedestal and do I know how to create results with food and body with ease and can I help you do that? Absolutely. Am I still human? Absolutely. And something funny that’s happened this year is I talk a lot about how planning will not be something that creates results long-term because planning our food decisions doesn’t create action with the plan, but planning for our type A brains feels very satisfying because we’re anticipating success and we’re anticipating the results we want long-term.
And y’all, I know that when I buy these pretty planners, I will not keep up with it because it’s not what creates my results. I don’t need a planner, I just need to take action on the results I want.
And so like clockwork, I did the same thing this year. There was this beautiful planner online and I had this little part of my brain go, you know what if it will be different now let’s just try it out. Let’s try and be that woman who just has this routine where we fill out our planner daily and it’s this beautiful spiritual experience. And I totally did that for the month of January. And then lo and behold, you guys, these past couple weeks, I just haven’t done it at all because I wasn’t doing it for reasons that were about the functionality of the planner.
It was because I wanted to prove to myself that I could be that type of person who could fill out a planner weekly in that way. And so know that I’m human too. It’s totally okay, but we can always call ourselves out and see when something isn’t serving us.
So I just thought that that was all in good fun and I wanted to share that with all of you here in case you can relate. Alright, so moving on, let’s talk about how you can define dieting differently. And so 100%, if you are struggling to eat healthy in a way that lasts, the problem is that you are dieting, but it’s not necessarily in the way that you think. So most of us, when we think about what dieting is, we picture a specific marketed diet.
So maybe the keto diet or the paleo diet or vegan or back in the day it was Atkins, right? So there’s many things that come to mind for us when we think about trying different diets, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m referring to a dieting mindset because this is how we will actually diet when we’re attempting to eat healthy.
And this means that most people aren’t actually dieting based on what they’re eating, based on the protocols, based on the plans, how they’re dieting is based on how they’re thinking. Alright? So stay with me here. If this is the first episode,
And so how we can look at this is I want you to consider what are your current reasons for making healthy food decisions? So maybe you make the plans for the week to eat healthy or maybe you go to the grocery store and fill your cart with the healthier options. Maybe you have a vision for how you would like to eat and that’s your goal.
What are your reasons for that? What are your core reasons for making healthy food decisions? And if you’re struggling to eat healthy long-term in a way that feels easy, accessible and not lasts, your reasons for eating healthy are likely based on shoulds. Alright? So this means that you make food decisions and aim to eat healthier based on reasons. Like the plan says I should eat this, I’m supposed to eat this way, I should eat this particular food.
This is the right way to eat and I need to do it correctly. Picture these should thoughts that you can have about food and about healthy eating. Now on the surface, right, for all of us type payers where we achieve very highly, these thoughts may not seem problematic because they’re really simple and these types of should thoughts may serve you in the workplace as a parent in other areas of your life where you show up to your job for example, and you think this is what I’m supposed to do, I should do things this way.
This is the right way to take action. But I want you to really picture yourself thinking these thoughts before you make an eating decision, before you have any interaction with food. Because when we think about how our eating habits differ from something like work, for example, where we want to achieve very highly, what makes eating different is we are eaters for life and we eat multiple times a day. So these are interactions we’re having each day over the course of our entire life.
Another thing that makes eating different than our relationship to work, for example, is that eating was meant to be enjoyable and pleasurable for us to get the full satisfaction of it. So I want you to picture yourself thinking these should thoughts where you think I’m supposed to eat this way and this is the right way to eat. How does this feel for you?
When you have thoughts like this when it comes to maybe your job or yourself as a parent, maybe it doesn’t feel so draining to you and it allows you to feel determined and focused and certain. But for most of my clients, and maybe for you, when you think about food this way, it feels restrictive, it feels unfulfilling, it feels forced, it feels confined. It’s a totally different relationship from these thoughts with food, it’s totally different energy.
And so that’s what I want you to simply consider here. How does it feel to think before you make an eating decisions that this is what you’re supposed to do? Just answer that question for yourself personally. We’re all gonna be a little bit different here. This mindset and this energy you’re putting towards eating decisions is what makes healthy eating unsustainable for you. And I really want to offer, it’s what turns any version of eating into a diet.
It does not matter what the food decisions look like, what the plans look like, what the protocols look like. I don’t care what it looks like. If you have the mindset of those eating decisions that you’re doing it just because you’re supposed to and it’s the right way to do it, it’s going to feel like a diet in the sense that it will not be sustainable for you long term. And it’s all because of the mindset you’re having with it and the reasons for you making those decisions makes sense.
I want you to think about this for yourself cuz it will be highly individual to you. What this means is to eat healthy sustainably and to not diet in this way, you’re going to have to change your mindset. And I know for some of us, especially high achievers, mindset is not really what gives us the most satisfaction to focus on.
We are action takers. We are go-getters. We are the doers of the world. We are the micromanagers. We are the planners.
And so what you may believe about yourself now is that changing your mindset with these should thoughts is not necessary for you. You may think that you have the ability to push through those thoughts and just force yourself to eat healthy for the rest of your life. And this is where as high achieving women, I think we need to humble ourselves and be real with ourselves because just because we’re capable of a lot of things does not exempt us from being a human with a limited amount of emotional energy.
That capacity runs out after a certain period of time. And if your eating decisions multiple times a day are being fueled from I’m supposed to eat this way, you’re going to burn yourself out. And this is what will have turned any manner of eating into a diet because we’re having a dieting mindset. So this is where one of the biggest areas of growth I see with my type A perfectionistic clients is this switch that they noticed where it was never about planning, micromanaging, taking action.
It really was about their mindset. And so you will need to change your reasons for eating healthy and you will need to make the shift from making eating decisions based on shoulds to making eating decisions based on wants. And this is going to be a foreign concept for all of the women like me who are perfectionists because think about what your should thoughts feel like, right?
It feels like when we want to do it right, we’re performing, we’re achieving, we’re making the grade, we’re getting an a plus. That’s our goal. I want you to think about if you make healthy eating decisions or weight loss decisions from want energy. So here are some reasons for making food decisions based on once they’re very simple, this is what I want to eat. I’m choosing to eat this. I know what is right for me.
My body always knows best and these are some examples I see really work for my clients, but I want you to see the difference. Notice the difference in the thought. I’m supposed to eat this versus this is what I want to eat. Notice the difference in that energy for you. If you are like my clients, the energy shift tends to be from restriction and unfulfillment to permission.
So it will feel more freeing, it will feel more open and it will feel validating to you to make eating decisions from once rather than shoulds.
Now here is the big objection I hear at this point and I wanna clarify. A lot of you may think if your reasons for eating healthy are based on once, then you’ll never eat healthy. Cuz how you want to eat is quote unquote unhealthy. You want to overeat, you want to overindulge, you want to eat past fullness, you want to eat foods that are not as nutritionally valuable. This isn’t want, this is you feeling compelled to eat that way.
This is coming from thoughts where you feel like I need this food. It’s not from this neutral energetic space where you don’t need to eat those foods, but you want to picture that difference from needing to eat a certain food, to wanting to eat a certain food from a more neutral energy. And then picture on the other end of the spectrum, the difference between I’m supposed to eat that way versus I want to eat that way.
I’m supposed to eat that way and I need to eat that food are two different ends of a spectrum. What we’re talking about here that takes you out of the dieting mindset is to make your eating decisions more neutral and based on you giving yourself permission based on what you want. When you make eating decisions based on want energy, it feels very solid in your body. It’s very stable. When we’re making eating decisions from I’m supposed to, it doesn’t feel the most stable when we’re making eating decisions from I need to eat this.
It doesn’t feel the most stable. When you create stable energy with making food decisions, you’ll know it’s coming from the best place for you. Because what will happen is when you make eating decisions from your wants, you’ll know when you want to eat nutritionally valuable food for your goals and when you want to indulge in foods that you love that maybe aren’t the most nutritionally valuable.
So for me, for example, a lot of the time I want to eat nutritionally valuable foods to maintain the results I have with my body. But for sure I want to eat chocolate and cheese a good amount of the time because that’s something that feels in integrity for me. Being the expert of my own eating habits in my own body, I am the boss. I do not need anyone else to inform me of how I should eat, and that’s where I’m helping you all get to as well. Your I want energy is what will lead you to becoming a naturally healthy eater where you create permanent results with food and body.
The I should energy isn’t going to get you there and that’s what I’m referring to as a diet here. So we’re defining it a bit differently and know this, this is really, really important.
It’s not what you are eating or not eating that is necessarily restrictive. It’s not about the foods, it’s your mindset around it that is restrictive. So it really doesn’t matter what version of healthy eating you choose, whether it’s veganism, you decide to reduce your sugar intake, intermittent fasting, increasing protein. It does not matter what you decide. If your reasons for making those changes are based on shoulds or supposed tos, you are dieting if your reasons are based in once that feel permissive and stable and deliberate.
You are deciding, and this is a very different way of looking at this, but I really want to invite you to let this sit and to consider how this would apply to you personally because this is a broad concept. It’s not going to apply the same way for all of you. So think about what that looks like for you to eat healthier based on your shoulds or supposed tos.
And how would that look a bit different to make those eating decisions because of once and picture the things in your life that you do just because you want to for no other reason than that. How is that energy different and how is that energy more emotionally tolerable and sustainable than when you feel like you have to do something or you should. The ultimate goal with all of this is for you, my friend, to create a version of healthy eating that you actually love your reasons for, because that’s what will make any version of healthy eating sustainable.
It does not matter how you decide to eat. If you are eating healthy for reasons that you don’t love, that feel like they’re coming from someone else, then it’s not going to be fulfilling to you. It is possible for you to eat healthy, long-term, lose weight, create those results with your body for reasons that feel so good to you, so true to you.
And so in line with your integrity where it’s not feeling forced, it doesn’t require a ton of willpower for you to make those decisions because you genuinely want to be making those decisions. It’s just having different reasons for eating healthy. All right, so this is a broad look at how you can change your perspective at dieting. I really, really hope it was helpful to you. If you want to share with me the insights you got from today’s episode, I would love to hear them.
You can find me on Instagram @KatRentas. I’m always sharing things there and connecting with you all. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.