The belief “I don’t know how to eat healthy” will keep you stuck.
It shuts all of the doors in your mind and removes all of your responsibility over your eating habits.
Because when you’re believing “I don’t know how”, you will act as such.
You will stop observing the food answers you already have and transfer that responsibility to someone outside of you.
Ultimately, this means you’ll stop making empowered food decisions and evaluating progress along the way.
In this podcast episode, I’m teaching you how to tell if you’re in this belief system with food. And what you can do today to step into “knowing how” with food.
This is how you can begin fast tracking your way to healthier eating habits.
Hello there. I’m so happy you’re here with me today. Recently on Instagram I asked you all what topics you’d like to hear more about on this podcast. And if you’re not following me on Instagram yet, be sure to do so. My handle is @Katrentas. I post even more value on there with sprinkles of my personal life every now and then. And originally I was going to do just one Q+A episode, but you guys gave really great questions so I’ve decided to take these topics and break them up into actual episodes. Just so we’re covering everything at a deeper level. And I’ll continue to ask you all what topics you’d like to hear more about on Instagram in the future, so be sure you’re keeping up with me there. But a common theme I always see when I ask you all to tell me what topics you’d like to hear more about, is I get a lot of very, very specific questions. So questions like “How many calories is the right amount of my height and weight?” and “What type of fruit is healthiest for me?” and “What are the best foods I can include in my diet to increase my metabolism, shed fat, and lose pounds?”, “How do you feel about my macronutrient balance? Is it correct?”. Things like that. And, first off, there is nothing wrong with this. These are actually the types of questions I would have asked back in the day. Actually, these are exactly the questions I would have asked. I would have been like, “Here’s the calories I’m eating. Here’s my macro ratio. Now, tell me whether this is good or bad. I know there’s deeper work involved, but I also just want you to tell me if this is the right way to eat”. Right? We kind of all do this and it’s easy to have this train of thinking when we’re so used to diet culture and meal plans and seeing food in this way. And it also can come from a place where we’re just super eager to find the solution to our eating struggles. We just want someone to tell us exactly what works so we can stop thinking about it and finally reach that finish line and perfection of health that we all dream about. And why I’m bringing this up is because I know when someone is in a headspace where they’re asking these super specific questions with food, I know they’re having the belief “I don’t know how”. As in, they’re believing “I don’t know how to eat healthy” or “I don’t know what foods to eat”. Basically, any belief that indicates that they don’t know what to do. And this is always the case when someone comes to me asking very specific questions about the numbers and metrics. Now, the only time this doesn’t apply is when someone already has very naturally healthy and sustainable eating habits. This is the only time when it won’t come from this desperate place. But nine times out of ten I find that if someone is asking me a food-related question that specific, it’s because they’re living with this belief “I don’t know how to eat healthy”. And I can use myself as an example here. And with food, these are more questions I feel comfortable asking, because I’ve created naturally healthy eating habits that are very sustainable. So, maybe I’ll occasionally think about my calorie intake or macronutrient balance, where I’m playing around with these things to optimize my health and results with my body. But honestly, it’s never from this desperate place where I feel like I need the answer. It’s more from an experimental place. And no part of me, to be perfectly honest, feels like I need to focus on these specifics with food to be healthy and happy. Whenever I focus on these types of specifics with food, it’s just to play and be curious with my diet so I’m providing my body with the best foods I can nutritionally. That’s it. There’s no emotional weight involved. Now, contrast this with my thought process with food in the past. When I would ask these questions it was from a place of total desperation. It was like the clock was ticking and I needed someone to tell me specifically what I should eat so I could get the results I wanted. It all felt super, super urgent. And I can always tell when someone is coming from this energy. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with this. We’re not here to judge ourselves when we’re coming from this place. But, it’s just something to notice. When I get asked very specific questions about someone’s diet and they really are looking for me to help them micromanage their eating habits into place, from that very urgent and desperate energy, I know they haven’t yet created natural healthy eating habits that feel sustainable to them. Because I know they’re coming from that belief “I don’t know how to eat healthy” or “I don’t know what to do”. This is really the difference. Now, when I think about specifics and metrics with food, I’m always in the emotion of total curiosity. This also comes to me weighing myself as well. So anything metric related with my health. I just feel very curious about it. Because I’m thinking “I wonder why that is?”, “I can figure this out”, “What’s best for me?”, right? I take full ownership of creating the eating habits and results with food that I want. I know it’s all within my power and that it’s my responsibility. I always trust myself to know the best next step, always. The opposite of this is the belief “I don’t know how”. When you have this belief as it relates to eating healthy, it probably brings up emotions of helplessness, overwhelm, maybe even panic. And this heightened, uncomfortable energy will translate into your eating habits. This energy will determine how you show up with food. So, when you’re thinking “I don’t know how” with food, what is it you do? You act as if you don’t know the answer, of course. So, you obsessively look for the healthy eating answers outside of yourself. This is where it will seem useful to try new diets, research obsessively online how you should eat, get specific with nutritional metrics, and possibly reach out to me and ask me to micromanage the way you’re eating. Which isn’t a problem. I was in the same place. And it just means, I get to tell you what really works. This is how we tend to show up with food from that energy of helplessness where we’re thinking “I don’t know how”. When you think “I don’t know how” with food it shuts all of the doors in your brain. You give up your ability to solve problems, make decisions, and take responsibility for your eating habits. It’s essentially throwing in the towel. And I did this for years. It’s so interesting because of course, I didn’t have awareness that this is what I was doing. But I believed “I don’t know how to eat healthy”, “I don’t know how to have control with food”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t know”, and I just felt helpless all of the time. And I thought I felt helpless because I was a victim. I thought food was the enemy and that I was powerless to all of it. And really, it all started from the belief that “I didn’t know what I was doing” and that “I was out of control”. Because it’s from this emotion of helplessness that I yo-yo dieted and I desperately tried to control my eating habits and take everyone’s else’s advice with food, rather than trusting myself to “know how” and to gather the food answers for myself. Now, here’s the important thing to know here. The belief “I don’t know how” as it relates to food or anything else in your life does serve a purpose for your primitive brain. It’s happening for a really good reason. And that reason is because your primitive brain, as you’ve heard me mention, seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and wants to be efficient. It always wants you to stay in the cave and conserve energy as much as possible. This is survival-based. So what better, to your brain, keeps you safe, removes responsibility, and eliminates possibility of failure? Believing that “you don’t know how” to do something. This is so ideal for your brain. It takes no effort to have this belief. And what’s interesting is this doesn’t mean we don’t suffer, right? This belief is why you’re suffering with food much of the time. It keeps you stuck with the eating habits you have now where you’re not evaluating progress and moving forward. But, primitively, that’s exactly what your brain wants. So, know this means you can have your own back here. If this is a pattern, a thought-pattern, that you’ve found yourself in, it just means you have a properly functioning human brain. But we also know that this belief of “not knowing how to eat healthy” doesn’t get you the results with food that you want. Because, with the belief of “not knowing how” you actually end up doing everything but solving your eating habits. And, for me and for many of my clients, here’s how this belief causes you to show up. You’ll spend a lot of time trying new diets or meal plans, researching what the right foods are, scrolling nutritional blogs to see what foods are healthiest, asking other people what has worked for them, complaining when something doesn’t work, indulging in those feelings of helplessness, and likely doing a lot of yo-yo dieting where you’re overeating and then restricting over and over and over again. This was definitely the case for me, this is the case for so many of my clients with this belief, and this may be the case for you. Welcome to being a human being with a human brain. So fun, right? And that’s just to say, once again, that this is natural. I really don’t want you to use this as an opportunity to beat yourself up. Have compassion for this belief and know that nothing has gone wrong if this belief of “not knowing how” is there. It just means your brain is seeking comfort. But, we don’t want to indulge in this “not knowing how” belief with food. We don’t want to say yes to it and we don’t want to take action from it. Because if we show up to our eating habits from the belief of “not knowing how”, we’re going to end up creating more evidence in our lives for “not knowing how”. Because this belief will not get you the results with food you want. Since you’ll be giving up responsibility for your eating habits and depending on things outside of you to change them. You won’t be making clear empowered decisions with food and evaluating progress. And this is the only way you make changes with your eating habits long-term that last. Because you will have created them. And I want to point out how different this approach may be for many of you. Especially if this is one of your first episodes. Not many people in the health industry are telling you that your beliefs matter. They’re just not. They’re telling you that what will change the way you eat is by changing what you’re eating. So, it feels useful to try and get really specific with food and micromanage the way you’re eating. But, most of you won’t have to be convinced that this doesn’t really seem to work out. And I want you to really consider for a second, with me here today, how you feel emotionally when you’re thinking “I don’t know how to do this” or “I don’t know how to eat healthy”. How does that make you feel? Is it uncertainty, helplessness, panic, overwhelm? Determine what feeling comes up for you? And then really be honest with yourself and examine how do you show up with food from that emotion? How do you feel compelled to react with food and eat food from that feeling? Furthermore, how differently would you show up to your eating habits if you decided to instead believe, “I do know how”. At this point I want you to think about something in life that you definitely know how to do. LIke, there’s no question in your mind. Maybe it’s driving a car, pouring a glass of water, or walking, right? Let’s use that example. Most of us aren’t going to question our ability to walk. It’s probably something you’re not even thinking about. If I asked you, you’d probably think, “Of course I know how to do that”. There’s no question. And the interesting part is if you trip or stumble, it’s still likely not affecting your ability to believe “I know how to walk ”, “Of course I know how to walk”. How does this energy feel when you’re capable of believing “I know how”. Maybe it’s certainty, confidence, calm? What emotion comes up for you when you think “I know how”? It’s like something that feels very grounded and neutral. Something that maybe doesn’t feel like much of anything in your body. Now, from this very neutral place what becomes easier to do? It becomes easier to access your decision making brain that prefrontal cortex. Because we’re not indulging your primitive mind that’s thinking “I don’t know how” that wants to stay safe in the cave. You’re able to make decisions, move forward, and evaluate progress without making it mean anything has gone wrong. Now, obviously, most of you will find it rightfully difficult to believe right now “I know how to eat healthy”. That’s not a problem. I just want you to see the difference in how you show up when you’re believing “I don’t know how” and “I do know how”. One will keep you totally stuck. The other opens up all of the doorways in your brain where you can make decisions and evaluate progress. The key is not to force yourself to stop believing “I don’t know how to eat healthy”. We need to hold space for that belief so we’re letting it be there. But the difference is you want to stop indulging it. You want to stop believing it in a sense. When you catch yourself thinking something like “I don’t know how”, instead of coming up with a long list of why you don’t know how, I want you to stop yourself and think “Is this thought actually serving me?”. Because I promise you, it’s not. Start looking for evidence right now of “why you do know how”. Or maybe, at the very least, why you “do know the best next step to take”. Focus on what you do know how to do. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you’ll be able to come up with some best next steps to take that directly go against the belief of “not knowing how”. Maybe the best next step is to get coaching and join my program if you’re ready to take this to the next level. Maybe the best next step is to have awareness of this thought of “not knowing how” and just having a lot of compassion for it. But you get to decide. And that’s really the point. The truth is, you always have so many answers available to you at all times with food. The best next step to take with your eating habits is already in your mind and in your body. Consider what happens when you decide to stop indulging the belief “I don’t know how to eat healthy” and you start taking responsibility with it. This is when you get to change your results, evaluate setbacks, and have massive growth along the way. If you’re ready to take this work to the deepest level and gain the tools to make lasting changes with food, you can come and work with me in my coaching program Own Your Eating Habits. This is where you’ll have access to a simple plan for you to approach food differently and make life-long changes with it. You can apply at katrentas.com/coaching. I love you. I hope you have a great rest of your week. And I’ll talk to 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.