Do you find yourself struggling to eat healthy and thinking “What the heck am I doing wrong?!”.
I’ve been there too.
I remember being the best student of every diet, meal plan, and weight loss program I tried.
But, somehow, I would always end up with the same old eating habits, feeling totally clueless about what actually went wrong.
Years later, I learned exactly why this approach never worked for me long-term.
And I realized that other women were experiencing the same exact struggles I had with changing my eating habits.
In this episode, I’m sharing the 5 biggest mistakes I see women make when they try to change their eating habits.
If you’re wondering why you feel stuck with food — you’ll want to give this a listen.
Hello. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m excited for this episode, because we get to talk about all of the things the humans are doing wrong when it comes to healthy eating. It’s not all we’re going to talk about. But I do want to share the most common mistakes I notice when people try and change their eating habits for the better. And I will start off by saying that I made every single one of these mistakes and more. The reason why I’m able to talk about these mistakes in detail is because I have made them. For many, many, many years. And I really do think an episode devoted to this will be useful for so many of you, because sometimes we just want to know what we’re doing wrong. I remember when I was really in the food trenches, and I was really desperately trying to change my eating habits, I would literally think to myself, “Can someone just tell me what the hell I’m doing wrong?”. Because I was trying all of the things. So, in today’s episode, I wanted to take an opportunity to share 5 of the biggest, most profound mistakes I notice when women try and change their eating habits. And it goes without saying, but I’m going to mention it anyways. The purpose of this episode isn’t to make anyone feel ashamed or guilty of anything they may be doing wrong. The purpose of this episode is to bring you awareness. It’s to take that weight off your shoulders of feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing wrong and that it must be you, and that your unhealthy eating habits should be taken personally. I want to remove all of that for you. Because in episodes like these, we really get to understand that our eating habits aren’t personal. Because everyone is making these mistakes. And at the end of the day, we’re all just trying our best. We do what we can with what we’ve been given. And let’s be real. Most of us have been given pretty crappy advice when it comes to changing our eating habits. If we’ve been raised in weight loss and diet culture. Right? Let’s just be real here. So I want you to get excited when you hear something you’re doing wrong. Because this means it was never your fault to begin with. Am I making sense here? Alright, let’s get into the healthy eating mistakes I want to share with you today. The first mistake I see, and this is a huge one, is that people are much more focused on changing what they’re eating, rather than changing how they’re eating. They’re focused on their food actions, or “eating the right things”. And this never works to change your eating habits long-term. Now, if you’ve been a part of this podcast, or maybe you’re my client, you already know this. This is the foundation for a lot of my work. And that’s because if you’re struggling with your eating habits right now, if you’re feeling out of control of your eating decisions, it has nothing to do with what food you’re eating. It has nothing to do with your eating choices. And if this is new information to you, first off, welcome. I’m so happy you’re here. And I really want this to sink in. If you’re emotionally eating, overeating, binge eating – anything – it has nothing to do with what you’re eating. This has to do with how you’re eating. And in diet culture, we are taught to change our eating habits by changing what we eat. We’re given diet programs, meal plans, food protocols, and they still don’t work for us. We’ll follow these food plans for a week or so and then find ourselves in the exact place as before. Actually, we’ll usually find ourselves in a worse place. So, what’s really going wrong here? What’s going wrong is you need to focus on the cause rather than the symptom. What you eat is the symptom. It’s the symptom of how you’re eating. How you eat is what brings you to take certain food actions. It’s what brings you to make food decisions. So, if you’re just trying to change what you eat, without changing what brings you to take those food actions in the first place, you’re going to have to force yourself to eat differently. And this never works out. You already know if you’ve tried. You will self-sabotage. So, it’s not about forcing yourself to eat differently by changing what you eat. There’s a reason that doesn’t work. You need to change how you’re eating, before you even consider focusing on what you’re eating. That’s mistake number one. And when you really let this sink in, so many of your eating struggles will make perfect sense. I always get so excited to teach people this when they’re new to this work. They’re like “Kat. I don’t know what’s going wrong.” I’m like ,”Oh. You just wait. I’ll tell you what’s going wrong”. Alright. And then mistake number two that I see is when people are looking outside of themselves for the healthy eating answers. In other words, they’re asking “the experts” how or what they should be eating, rather than asking themselves. Now, I’m going to explain why this is a mistake. But first, I want to address that part of your brain that is saying, “Kat. But wait. I don’t know what to eat. I don’t know how to eat. If I did know, I would do it!”. I used to have the same brain you guys do, alright? I know how it goes. And you’re thinking this because we’ve been trained to get all of the answers outside of ourselves for everything. Whether that’s from our teachers, professors, bosses – this is how we’ve been conditioned. It’s very easy for our brain to go into the thought, “I don’t know how” or “I need someone to tell me how”. And the reality is that this isn’t the case. And with your eating habits, you shouldn’t be asking anyone else how. Because no one can tell you how to eat perfectly healthy for your body. Because they don’t know your needs, preferences, and goals. So, I’ll share what I do with my clients as an example. Many of them will come to me thinking they need this “healthy eating how”. They think they need me to tell them what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat – all of it. And this isn’t on them. This is just the way they’ve been conditioned, right? We’ve all been conditioned to look for the answers outside of ourselves. But, here’s the thing. With food and body, the answers are within you. Because your body is always trying to communicate the healthy eating answers to you. So, as your coach, I’m not there to create those answers for you. I’m there to guide you towards the answers you already have. And to teach you how to access those answers with food for the rest of your life. By observing your mind. By observing your body signals. If you’re focused on asking “the experts” how and what you should eat, you’re neglecting the wisdom you and your body already has. Because, trust me. Those cheat codes, hacks, quick answers you want with food? Your body has them. As a society, we’ve just lost the ability to access them easily. And that’s what I teach. If you’re focused on looking outside of yourself to solve your eating habits, they will always feel outside of you. So, in other words, they’ll always feel outside of your control. You won’t feel responsible for them. And that is what makes my coaching very different I think. I’m not teaching you that I’m responsible for your eating habits. I teach you how to be responsible for your own eating habits in an empowered way. So you have that skill for life. Because this is what you really want. Make sense? Alright. Let’s talk about the third mistake I see. The third healthy eating mistake I notice is that people really love to make their food struggles personal. They love to add a lot of drama to them. And it’s for very, very good reasons. As I mentioned, I made all of these mistakes. And for me, this was a big one. I always made my eating habits very personal. I was completely convinced that no one else was struggling as much as me. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I was incapable. I was having very hurtful thoughts about myself when I was struggling with food. And it’s because I thought my emotional eating, binge eating, overeating meant something negative about myself. And I feel very strongly about this, because I know if you’re here, that this is a painful place to be. You’ll feel totally out of control with yourself, with food, and ultimately your life – depending on how long you’ve been struggling. And I want to assure you, that your eating habits are not personal to you. And that if you’re struggling to eat healthy, nothing has gone wrong. If you’re overeating, binge eating, or emotionally eating – you have very legitimate reasons for doing so that are solvable. And you’re not alone, in the slightest. You just have a human brain that needs to be managed. We all do. And there are tools to do that. This is how you solve for the cause of your eating habits. But if you’re struggling right now, I promise you, it’s because you have not been shown the right way. And depending on what you’re with when it comes to food, I want you to browse these podcast episodes and give them a listen. If you haven’t already. Because you will begin to realize that your reasons for struggling with food aren’t personal, they are legitimate, and you have good reasons for them. So, that’s what I’ll say about that. Something I always want you guys to know. The fourth mistake I see with people trying to change their eating habits is they think they need to eat less, exercise more, and have lots of willpower. Woooo. Anytime I say that I need to take a second. Because this is such a loaded topic. But I’m going to keep it simple for you here today. Because you’ve got things to do, people to see, places to go. In short, the eat less, exercise more method of healthy eating or weight loss is severly, severely, outdated. Now, here’s what I’ll also say, doing this will technically cause you to lose weight. If you eat less and exercise more. You’re going to lose weight, sure. I’ve done this approach. But here’s the thing. I’ve done this approach a million times in the past, when I didn’t know any better, because it never was sustainable. This relates back to mistake number one. When you’re just focusing on what you’re eating, you’re not solving for the cause. You’re not solving for what brings you to eat certain things. So, you’re going to have to whiteknuckle and force yourself through willpower to eat the foods that you plan for. You’re going to have to force yourself to eat less and exercise more. And it may not even feel that bad at first. Because you’ll have this rush of motivation. Which increases your dopamine levels. And it feels really good. But when the motivation wears off, it’s going to feel awful. You’ll find yourself falling off track. And this is the mind-numbing, frustrating cycle many of you will know all too well. I know this cycle like the back of my hand. And it’s because I was told that all that needed to happen was I needed to eat less, and exercise more. And this is such a generic solution to your eating struggles. It’s a bandaid for your problems. Like not even one of those high quality bandaids that are water resistant. Like those ones that when you get a little sweaty come right off. It’s one of those bandaids. It will not work long-term. There is a way to achieve the weight loss results you want, without using these quick-fix methods. It’s by doing the deeper, internal, emotional work that you learn in this podcast, and that It each my clients. But if you find yourself struggling with the eat less, exercise more, willpower approach, that’s because it was designed for you to fail. In almost all cases. There’s way more that goes into changing your eating habits. And let’s point out the obvious. Cookie cutter solutions don’t work, because we’re not cookie-cutter humans, with cookie-cutter eating habits. We all have our own needs, preferences, and goals with food, so it’s time we focus on solutions that act as such. Alright, let’s move on to mistake number five. I’m going to step off my soap box for a second. Mistake number five I notice is that collectively many people are waiting for the right time. So, they’re waiting for the right time to focus on their eating habits and do the deeper work on themselves. So, this means most people will say they’re waiting until they have more time, more resources, etc. And I used to say this over and over and over again. I would say, I’ll wait until making these changes feels easier and better for me. And, I’m mentioning this because I always want to keep it so real for you guys. That moment never came for me. It never felt easier for better to change. It never felt easier to completely prioritize my health and well-being. It never felt easier to grow into the eating habits I wanted. And I had a moment where I realized, if I was waiting for it to feel right, good, or if I was waiting to feel ready, I’d be waiting my entire damn life. And the reason why our brain’s think this way is because they’re trying to keep us safe. Our brain’s only goal is to seek comfort, avoid pain, and be efficient. And this just means it’s really comfortable with where you are now. It’s really comfortable with the eating habits you have now, despite the fact that you know you want to change them. It seems a little strange at first, but this is how your primitive brain works. Your intentional brain, or prefrontal cortex may want to make healthy changes. This is your decision-making brain. But, your primitive brain, which is stronger and faster, will always tell you the opposite. That’s the part of your brian that says ,”I’ll try again next year”, “It’s just not a good time”, insert whatever compelling reason your brain gives you here. And I just want to point out that all of our brain’s do this. And I want you to take notice of it. Your brain will give you a lot of compelling reasons for delaying your progress with this work. And let’s be real. Some of those reasons will seem totally legitimate. Most of the women I work with are busy moms, business owners, corporate women – they have a whole other host of things grabbing their attention daily. But they decide to make this work a priority because they realize it will never feel like the right time. Or it will never feel safe or comfortable. Because that’s just not how our brain’s are designed. And it’s always important to me that I’m telling you guys this, because I wish I didn’t wait so long to prioritize my health and to prioritize this area of growth in my life. Because really there was never a perfect time. And if you’re ready to make changing your habits a priority, you’re ready to commit to a solution that will work for you long-term, sign up for a consultation with me and apply to my coaching program. This is where we condense all of this work into 6-months with me and we get to point out all of the blind spots that you may have been missing with your eating habits. Which is really why coaching is such a great opportunity to clear out the noise and fasttrack you towards the results with food you want. So to sign up for a consult with me you can go to katrentas.com/coaching. I hope that this episode gave you clarity in one way or another. As always, thank you for being here with me today. And I’ll talk with you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified 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.