It’s common for a person seeking my help to say, “Just tell me what to eat!”.
Where they’re really desperate for the “healthy eating how”.
They want the holy-grail secret to eating healthy so they can change the results they have with their body as quickly as possible.
In this episode, I explain why this ultimate secret to healthy eating doesn’t exist.
And how to truly change your eating habits, you need to begin by creating your own “healthy eating how”.
This is what the effortlessly healthy eaters of the world have mastered.
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Hello there, friend. Welcome back to the podcast. I am so happy you are here today because I get to talk to you all about what I call your healthy eating how. And whether you realize it or not, you likely have been really desperate for the healthy eating how in your past. What I mean by this is you’ve likely been very eager for the exact steps that you need to follow to change your eating habits and the results you have with your body. You just want someone to tell you the exact steps to follow so you can guarantee success. You want the secret and formula to that healthy eating result. And in my work, that can translate to women reaching out or hopping on a consult call with me and then saying to me, “just tell me what to eat”. So, I get many questions from women all the time which I absolutely love. Any opportunity I get to connect with you guys is my favorite thing in the world. But, what’s really interesting is many of these conversations go a particular way. Where this woman will tell me all about her struggles when it comes to healthy eating. And I’ll lead into the conversation by asking her more about her past with food. I’ll ask about her emotional relationship with food. I’ll ask her less about what she eats and how she’s eating. So, in a nutshell, I go deep with people who are actually looking to work with me. As a coach, this is how we get to the cause of your eating habits. And what’s really interesting is much of the time, I will hear from this woman, “No, you don’t understand. I just need you to tell me what to eat. So I can lose weight”. And I always find this fascinating. Firstly, because I had this exact mentality in the past. I just assumed that there was a set answer for healthy eating. That everyone who ate healthy and lost weight had some hidden secret that I didn’t know about. And that they just weren’t willing to share with me. In the back of my mind I truly thought this. But, I also thought this was fascinating, because this mentality, of being desperate for the healthy eating how, is what got these women in the place that they are in. And the place that they are in is searching for the healthy eating how, or the right way to eat, outside of themselves. They are not trusting their inner, innate body wisdom to tell them how to eat healthy. And this is what gets us into real trouble.
What’s really unfortunate about this, is this isn’t our fault. We develop this mentality around eating healthy very easily. Our culture is designed to have us think this way. We are programmed from a young age to look for the answers outside of ourselves. From adolescence we’re taught to ask our parents, mentors, teachers, and then later on professors and bosses what to do. We’re always taught to simply follow direction. Most of us are not programmed to trust ourselves for our own how in many areas of our lives. We’re generally taught to seek answers to our problems outside of ourselves. Which in certain areas of life, isn’t a problem. But, when it comes to healthy eating this will prevent you from getting the results you want. Because no one else can provide you that healthy eating how. That has to come from you. And as your coach, it’s never my job to provide you the healthy eating how. That would look like a diet or meal plan. This would be a complete waste of your time. What I do is I’m the guide that teaches you how to create your own healthy eating how. So, you can always trust yourself and your body to create the results you want with food. When you gain the ability to do this for yourself, you will never have to rely on outside methods to tell you what to eat. So, to backtrack for a second, we know that we’re taught from a young age to receive answers to our problems outside of ourselves. That gets embedded in our programming. And then diet culture really capitalizes on this. Because what a diet written by someone else is constantly telling you, is that they have the answer. They’re marketing themselves as the holy grail that will finally solve all your problems and make you happier as a result, right? So, not only are they steering you away from the real answer, which is yourself. But, they’re convincing you that you can’t trust yourself to get the results you want based on what you already know about yourself. Or, based on your own body wisdom and self-exploration. It’s so crazy to me. And to be clear, you guys already know that I was a professional dieter in the past. Relying on healthy eating hows outside of myself was extremely normal to me for a long time. But knowing what I know now, and the work that I do, it’s absolutely insane. It is not serving you. Trust me on this.
Now, with that being said, I want you to also understand why we do this. Because there is a very specific reason why we search for the healthy eating how outside of ourselves. The reason we want someone else to give us a healthy eating how is so we can transfer that responsibility to someone else. We want someone else to be responsible for our eating habits so that when we fail to eat healthy we can transfer that blame. Because, you’ll know this if you listened to past episodes, everything we do, every action we take in life, is to feel better. Everything you do is to feel better. And many of us are so afraid of the possibility of failure, that we don’t even want to take responsibility for the changes that we make. We’re so afraid of experiencing that negative emotion. And this is just human nature. Your brain always seeks pleasure and avoids pain. To your brain, negative emotion is like the scariest thing in the world. Your brain thinks you’re going to die much of the time if you experience feelings of self-doubt, worry, lack of confidence – all of it. So, what will happen is I will tell you something like “You need to come up with your own healthy eating how. You need to take responsibility for your eating habits”. And the first thought that comes to you might be, “No. I just need you to tell me what to eat”. Right? I hear this all the time. And what’s really happening here, is that you don’t want to experience that negative emotion of being responsible for your own failure. Deep down many of these women know that not being responsible for their eating choices isn’t serving them. They know this. But, they still want that quick fix. They want someone else to be responsible so they can get that instant gratification quick-fix and feel really good. They don’t want to do the deep inner work that requires them to go through their negative emotion. They want to go around their negative emotion. And, my friends, if you want to eat healthy in a way that feels natural and effortless for you, you’re going to have to be willing to go through your limitations. Because that’s where the growth is. You cannot transfer responsibility for your eating choices. You cannot rely on someone else to create your own healthy eating how. You need to take back responsibility for the way you eat to see lasting results. You’re going to have to be willing to go through that growth and parent yourself through this process so you can become responsible for what you eat. And this is the process that will change who you are as an eater. You will become so empowered by your eating choices which will vastly improve your confidence in your body and yourself.
On top of this, we also know that no one can ever just “tell you what to eat”. Because this means you’re looking for action-based coaching. Meaning, you’re looking for someone to give you the right actions to take with food so you can change your results. From your time with me here on this podcast, you know that this is only half of the equation. Because your thoughts and feelings are what bring you to take certain actions with food. If you try and force yourself to complete different actions outright, you will self-sabotage and revert back to your old ways of eating. Because you can’t force your brain to complete different actions with food that aren’t authentic to it yet. Your brian knows better. So, if you want more on this be sure to listen to the past episodes. But, this is yet another important reason why you can’t look for the healthy eating how outside of yourself.
And I want to level with you for a second here. I know what it feels like to think that there’s some great big answer to your healthy eating struggles. I know you may believe that there’s a missing puzzle piece that you just haven’t found yet. Like all of the healthy individuals know some secret you don’t. And that’s not the case. It never was the case. What those people have done, is they’ve become the type of person who eats healthy naturally. It’s just who they are. And this was done by focusing on the inner work. By changing their mindset around healthy eating. And by learning to trust in their body’s innate wisdom to tell them how to eat. That’s it. This is the answer. And I know that this may not be what you want to hear. I know it’s easier to believe that a one-size-fits-all quick-fix solution will work for you. I know you’ll want to convince yourself that small steps to success won’t be enough for you to change. But it is enough. You don’t need some holy grail mass-marketed healthy eating solution to get you the results you want. In fact, none of those will give you the inner transformation you need to work long-term. So, know that you have everything you need inside of you to create your own healthy eating how. And to create the results you want with your body.
The first step to creating your own healthy eating how is to take radical responsibility. I want you to begin taking complete responsibility for everything you eat. And not in the sense where you’re blaming yourself. But in a way where you’re acknowledging that everything you eat is a decision you make. Everytime before you eat anything you can think to yourself “I am choosing to eat this”. No matter what food decision you make. No matter what food you eat in that moment. You can always just choose to think, “I am choosing to eat this”. Because what this does is it empowers you around your food choices. And this is a crucial first step to changing your mind before you ever focus on the actions with food. You need to teach yourself and your brain that you are someone who makes their own food decisions. That you’re the one in control. So, begin exploring ways you can feel empowered and responsible for your own food choices daily.
Another way to do this is to lovingly call yourself out on your excuses. Whenever you give up responsibility for your food choices, just take notice and call yourself out a bit. Common excuses that may come up for you are “I just don’t know how”, “Why is it so hard for me and not for others?”, “I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work for me”, “I just don’t have time right now”, “I want to see results right now”, and “I just need to know what to eat”. So, really be onto yourself. Notice when your toddler brain gets really greedy for that healthy eating how. And it’s just kind of having that tantrum where it wants the cookie and it wants it now. Parent yourself a bit and calm down that part of your brain that wants that quick-fix. Consciously and calmly remind your brain that you are responsible for every eating decision that you make. And that you’re in control.
Now, to create your own healthy eating how you’re going to have to develop a few qualities. You’re going to have to become someone who pays attention and isn’t in a rush to fix their eating habits. Those are the requirements for you to create your own healthy eating how.. And the way to begin paying attention is to develop those feelings of curiosity and compassion. You want to be curious about what makes you tick in terms of your eating habits. By saying to yourself, “I wonder why that happened?”. Or “What was it that caused me to eat that way? That’s so interesting!”. And then compassion is the part of you that says, “Of course I ate that way. That makes so much sense.” Where you’re just having an understanding for yourself constantly. Now, to not be in a rush to fix your eating habits, and to be patient, you just need to realize one thing. That over there isn’t better than over here. If you’re in a rush to eat healthy and lose the weight, it’s because you think that you’ll be a happier person once you reach that result. It’s because you think you’ll feel better. So, remember. Everything we do is because of how we want to feel. And the truth is, as a human being, you will experience 50:50 positive emotion and negative emotion. You will never arrive at a place in your life where negative emotion won’t exist. This is just the way of it. So, with that knowledge you can understand that over there isn’t necessarily better than over here. What makes something better is simply your thoughts about it. And you can choose to think thoughts about your life, eating habits, and body right now that will give you those same feelings of happiness and fulfillment. So, with all of that, just remember. To create your own healthy eating how you want to practice paying attention and practice not being in a rush.
From that place, you can begin creating your own healthy eating how by asking lots of questions. So, you want to begin the process of getting to know yourself as an eater. Some questions to ask yourself are, “What foods do I most enjoy?”, “What foods make me feel most satisfied after eating them?”, “What foods are the most filling for me?”, “What foods bring back good memories and make me feel nourished?”, “What foods do I want to eat more of that would bring me the results I want?”, “What foods do I dislike?” “What foods don’t make me feel so good after I eat them?”, “What foods could I live without?”, “What foods do I want to set boundaries around that don’t serve my health?”. So, these are just a handful of examples here. But, the point of answering these questions is to get to know yourself as an eater. And let me just say, that no one is doing this. It’s so simple, but hardly anyone actually knows themselves as an eater. And it’s truly life-changing to do this. This will provide you so many answers that you never even knew you already had. I will coach women who seemingly have no idea why they eat a certain food. Or why they’re not eating a certain food. And this is a clear indication to me that they need to do more work in determining who they are as an eater. They need to further identify their preferences and needs around food. So, don’t discount this type of exercise because it’s not some cookie-cutter diet that’s promising a quick fix. Be willing to go deeper and do this work.
From this place of getting to know yourself as an eater, you’ll want to start experimenting with your own healthy eating how. And you do this by taking gradually different food actions and then evaluating progress. And to be clear, you don’t do this by following someone else’s food rules by forcing yourself to eat a certain way.. You do this by checking in with your brain and body and seeing what they need. So, check in with your brain and notice how your emotions are compelling you to eat a certain way. Pay attention to your body and notice when you feel hungry throughout the day. Notice when you feel satisfied or full from certain foods. Take note of the foods that make you feel nourished and amazing. Take note of those foods that don’t make you feel so good. So, with this, you’re always experimenting and paying attention. Little by little. Based on your own needs and preferences. You’re making your own food decisions based on what works for you. This is how you create your own healthy eating how. And to be clear, to begin doing this for yourself you don’t need all the answers. In fact, in the beginning I can guarantee you that you won’t have many answers. But, that’s the idea. It’s figuring out those answers for yourself. And if you get to a place where your brain is panicking and is really desperate for the healthy eating, I want you to just ask yourself, “If I was someone who ate healthy, what would I try next?”. Doing this will make you feel empowered. And it will make you feel like someone who can be responsible for their own healthy eating how. Alright, my friends. Thank you for being here. 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.