Do you find you’ve been attempting to micromanage your eating habits into place?
Where you’re constantly trying to force yourself to eat the right things?
Your Type-A strengths may be useful in other areas of your life. This urgent approach helps you “get it done” when it comes to your job, family, or kids. But this approach will not allow you to create lasting and sustainable healthy eating habits.
A different approach is necessary to make changes with food that actually last.
In this episode, I’m sharing why micromanaging your eating habits is never necessary and how you can use your Type-A strengths in a different way to change the way you eat now.
Hello there! Welcome back to the podcast this week. I’m so happy you’re here with me today. I’ve been connecting with so many of you lately which has been such a privilege. It always is. I love connecting with all of you. And I don’t know what it is about the upcoming Fall season, maybe it’s that the holidays are on the horizon, or that the kids are going back to school, I don’t know, but you guys are fired up lately and really ready to commit to these changes with food. A number of women, just in the past week, have applied and joined Own Your Eating Habits ready to get going. Which is really inspiring as the coach and I find myself feeling totally motivated and excited to show up to this business everyday and to my clients everyday. I’m always motivated, but lately you guys have been lighting this fire that is making me excited. It’s giving me all of this energy. Now, today, I want to talk about something that will make you feel called out in the best way possible. That’s always the most fun, right? Because today I’m going to talk directly to those of you who find yourself attempting to micromanage your eating habits. Now, there’s going to be a number of you who are shaking your head right now, like “Yup, that’s me. Let’s talk about it”. And there may be some of you like, “I’m not really sure that’s the case”. But I want you to know it’s totally safe here to call yourself out. In fact, I encourage it. From a place of love, respect, and understanding for yourself. That’s how you get the best results. When you’re just willing to be wrong. I really used to hate being wrong and changing that about myself really allowed me to experience massive growth in every area of my life. So I highly recommend it. Now, first I’m going to clarify exactly what I mean by micromanaging eating habits. For my newer clients, and for myself in the past, this meant I was constantly trying to force the “right” food actions. So I was trying to force myself to eat the right things. What I thought I was supposed to be eating. I was always trying to work on my willpower and it all just felt very difficult and forced. I would spend every Sunday deciding exactly what foods I was going to eat, how many calories I was allowed to eat, my macronutrient ratios, my sugar intake – all of the things. It came from this very desperate, rigid, forcing energy. Now, what’s interesting is when I was creating the plans I felt amazing. Like, I was finally going to get the results I wanted because I was set on eating those perfect things throughout the week. But, when it was time to follow through on those eating decisions, it didn’t feel so good. I really was having to force myself to eat those things and not eat anything that was off my plan that I genuinely wanted. It goes without saying that this was never sustainable long-term. I’m betting if you think about times you’ve tried to micromanage your eating habits, you’ll also be able to identify the exact moments when it was no longer sustainable. For me, it was usually around a week and a half to two weeks. Actually, I’m pretty sure the longer I tried to micromanage my eating habits, the more pissed off I got, so I would give up after like 3 days. I was done. But you’ll be able to identify the moments when it just stops being something you can stick with. Now, most of you will blame yourselves when this happens. Or, you’ll blame something external like time, money, the foods, the diet plan – whatever. But a lot of you will make this personal. And it’s just not. The fact is that eating habits were never meant to be micromanaged. Never, ever. I’m just realizing that for many of you this will be the first podcast episode you listen to, since there are a ton of new listeners every week, and if this is something you’ve never heard before, welcome. I’m so glad you’re here and I’m happy to tell you that no, you don’t have to force yourself to eat perfectly. You don’t have to micromanage food. You can stop, I promise. Now, I want to explain why we feel the need to micromanage food in this way. Exactly where this is coming from. Because a lot of you will think you’re doing it because “it’s just what you should be doing with food”. Like that’s a fact that you should be eating certain things. And I want to offer to you that why we do anything as humans, or why we want to do anything, is to feel better emotionally. It’s just how we operate. We’re driven by our feelings or how we want to be feeling. Now, all of you are going to want the result that occurs from healthy eating, right? Whether that’s weight loss or just optimizing your general health. That’s the tangible result you want. But, I want you to consider the emotional result that you think is on the other side of that weight loss or health result that you want. Because this is why you’ll feel like you want to force and micromanage your eating habits. You’ll want to force the right actions with food so you can get the weight loss or health result as quickly as possible. You’re doing it to feel better emotionally. Now, this isn’t how emotions work. Your emotions come from your thinking. And a lie that the diet industry has taught us is that if we eat the right things and lose the weight that we’ll be happy. That we’ll reach the fantasy where we never have any negative emotional experiences and we’re living this sunshiney perfect life. This is kind of what you’ll believe. This is why you’ll feel this urgency to micromanage food. It’s from a place of what you feel like you’re lacking. You want to feel better emotionally. You want to stop feeling shame, guilt, regret, frustration, anxiety, stress, and you think eating the right things and losing weight will solve all of that for you. Now, this is something that it’s totally okay if you believe this now. When you become my client, you enter the process of unlearning this belief system. You learn how to actually process emotions and feel better without eating healthy and losing weight, so then you don’t have to micromanage food from a place of urgency. But this is why we want to micromanage.. To feel better. Now, here’s also why it feels natural for you to micromanage your eating habits. Generally, this is what most of you will be used to when it comes to getting stuff done and achieving your goals. Micromanaging may work for you when it comes to your job, your family, your kids – any of your other responsibilities in life. It may serve you there to have that urgent energy where you micromanage. You’re comfortable doing this. Where it becomes a problem for you is when this doesn’t work with food. Because your eating habits, while you may want them to change for good reasons, aren’t there to be “fixed”. Things at work may need to be fixed. Things at home may need to be fixed. But your eating habits? They’re not meant to be fixed. They’re meant to be understood, observed, and managed. You cannot do this from a place of urgency and trying to micromanage eating habits into place. It’s very different. So, when micromanaging doesn’t work with eating habits, you’ll try to whiteknuckle your food choices even more. You’ll make the plans more strict, more rigid, etc. Hoping that maybe changing what you’re eating will fix the problem. But it doesn’t. It still feels impossible and because you know how to “get it done” in other areas of your life, you’re wondering what the hell you’re doing wrong. Which can feel really crappy and personal to you. It can feel totally out of your control. It’s not out of your control. It’s just you can’t micromanage your food choices into place from a place of urgency. It won’t work the same as other areas of your life. Now, it’s also important to know that very specific feelings or emotions will drive this type of behavior. The feelings that lead to micromanaging will almost always feel very urgent, reactive, and desperate. These feelings come from specific thoughts you’re thinking. Some thoughts I see from my clients are “I should be eating healthy” or “I hate my body” or “I need to make this change right now” or “This shouldn’t be this hard, something is wrong with me”. Things like that. But it’s important to know that the thoughts that are creating this urgent feeling to fix your eating habits will be individual to you. Always useful to explore this within yourself. Now, in case I didn’t provide you enough evidence here, micromanaging your eating habits in this way will likely never work for you. And I want you to really consider that for a second. You don’t have to 100% believe me just yet, but I want to offer you this so you can really consider that this will just never work for you. That changing the way you eat is not going to happen in this way. What if you could just decide that this approach will never work for you? Based on all of the past evidence you have? My newer clients have a period of time where they mourn this loss, because they realize that their eating habits can’t be micromanaged into place. There’s no quick fix solution to doing this. And here’s where my client’s tell me my coaching is different. They’ll come to me saying they’re pissed off because everything they’ve been told is a lie and that there is no quick fix solution with food, and that they can’t use their Type A skills to micromanage their eating habits into place. So this brings up anger and frustration. And what they tell me in these moments, is that they expected me to tell them that “They shouldn’t think that way”, “That they don’t really want the quick fix because it’s all about the journey”, “That you never really wanted a quick fix anyway”. They expected me to convince them that not having a quick fix is good news. You guys. First off, I would be a terrible coach if I tried to bullshit my clients like that. Hell no. Who doesn’t want a quick fix? I’m sorry, but who doesn’t? If you find one that actually lasts and brings you the long-term results you want where you’re not suffering to those results, let me know. But spoiler alert: You’re not going to find it. It doesn’t exist. And it’s totally understandable that this is what you want. Mourn the loss of the quick fix. Give yourself permission to be angry and frustrated that you can’t use your wonderful Typa A organizational skills to micromanage eating habits into place. Be disappointed that it’s not something to be fixed. Feel those emotions and then be willing to move forward. It’s all about leaning into the acceptance that what works for you in other areas of your life won’t work for you with food. Yeah, it’s a bummer. This was such a letdown for me. But it doesn’t mean you can’t simply and efficiently get the results you want with food. It just won’t be in the way you originally thought. Instead of micromanaging eating habits into place, here’s the shifts my clients make. As mentioned, they give themselves full permission to mourn the loss of the quick fix and micromanaging tendencies. Then, they redefine what their relationship to a healthy eating process is. Meaning, they learn to define commitment to healthy eating differently. So, what I mean by this is they previously would define commitment to healthy eating as micromanaging food choices. When we work together they learn to change what it means to be committed to healthy eating and to change their eating habits. All of that Type A energy they put into micromanaging the right foods, they learn to put into measuring progress with food in other ways. More useful ways that actually get them the changes they want. So in my program, that’s managing your brain, managing your emotional state, measuring your hunger, fullness, and satisfaction levels with food, gathering data with food as to which foods you want to include in your diet and which you don’t. Things like this. Your Type A gifts don’t need to be completely thrown away when it comes to healthy eating. We just want to change your energy around them. Instead of micromanaging your eating habits out of desperation, frustration, and lack? You want to shift to intentionally making food choices and measuring everything that needs to be measured from feelings of calm, patience, and abundance. This is the really big shift that moves each client into massive growth with food. It’s from this shift that they experience their biggest wins and changes in their eating habits. Alright my friend, if you’re like me in the past and you find yourself wanting to micromanage our eating habits into place, I hope this episode gave you some new and different insight. You can have the eating habits you want, the approach just may be less rigid than you think it has to be. Alright, 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.