“I have to give up all of my favorite foods to lose weight”

Tina Butt

Tina Butt, Health Coach

Getting healthy and losing weight does not mean giving everything up!

From me to you, there are foods that I enjoy and continue to have even on my own wellness journey. You can enjoy your favorite foods and beverages along with losing weight and even maintaining your weight! We all make choices, and each one has a price. Reaching your weight loss goals comes with a price. You won’t be able to keep doing what you are doing RIGHT NOW and get the results you are looking for, but you can lose weight while enjoing your favorite foods.

I get this comment from people all the time, “I have to give up all of my favorite foods to lose weight”. Let me start by saying at the end of the day you are able to keep something you like and lose weight! Whatever your favorite food or beverage is, goes into play here. To lose weight, you will have to sacrifice something, not everything.

We have a reliance on certain foods and beverages! We use them for having fun, when stressed, to celebrate an accomplishment, at family gatherings and just because.  

We need to figure out how to have a good relationship with all foods and beverages and work this into our weightloss goals and lifestyle. Your eating habits do matter, most people do not value them enough. Small actions add up over time.

Mindfulness around what food and beverages you ingest is what is required to have a healthy relationship with food and beverages. Being mindful of what you put in your mouth and why you put it in there is necessary for developing a healthy relationship with food. 

I talk about mindfulness in my Master Your Health Membership. To live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, you need to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food, beverages, others and yourself. 

If you are like me, I start my day with great intentions, then I have a stressful event at work or in life, then I come home and want to relax with a glass of wine. I use this wine to help my brain chill from the stressful events of the day. This is ok as long as I limit myself to one glass of wine and not the entire bottle! Sub the word wine with your go to food/bev…….chips, cookies, cake, cheese etc. I don’t tell myself “the day sucked so I am gonna get trashed”. I simply enjoy a glass of wine because I can!

It is important to have a plan for your day including movement, foods and drinks. The problem is we do reactionary eating. Something happens during the day to mess up our plans. You get pulled in separate directions, your car breaks down, your boss calls a last minute meeting….whatever the events of the day, paying attention to your intentions gets all messed up. Your learned reaction is to make these feelings of stress go away by putting the food you crave into your mouth. 

We have to be purposeful and deliberate around what we do with food. Learn this….”If I’m gonna have it, I’m gonna have it on my terms”.  I don’t want to have it because I cannot handle my life or because I need it to relax. 

I make a plan for each day and week. I actually plan on having a glass of wine on Friday evening after dinner. Not to relax, not for fun just because I like it and it gives me something to look forward to. 

I don’t talk to myself all week ….”Ugh I hate that I can’t drink wine if I wanna lose this weight”, “It pisses me off that I have to give up my wine”.  “It’s unfair”.  I don’t have to give anything up, I just needed to change the thought around why I was drinking wine to begin with! 

Let’s put a snack in place of my wine. Say you want to eat chips….learning why you want those chips is important. Do you need them, are they replacing a thought or feeling? Are you upset that you cannot have them? If you start to think you are depriving yourself from a food that you enjoy, you will struggle with craving this food. Stop thinking this way…… start planning to add the chips in your lifestyle. Maybe you know you will be going to lunch with a friend, the restaurant has your favorite chips! Include the chips in your meal plan for that day. Maybe skip the bread on the sandwich and eat the chips. Skip the glass of Reisling and eat the chips. Have 5 chips instead of 3 cups(the serving size on the plate). 

Loving the process of losing weight and keeping it off starts with how you talk to yourself about the process. This process starts in the brain! Listen to what your brain is telling you then how you react to the voice. What conversation are you having with yourself?

Are you telling yourself you want to do this? Or are you whining about doing it?

I personally want to get healthy. I want to eliminate the foods and beverages that make me feel sick. I want to lose weight and be free from pain……more than I want the wine or chips or cookies. 

By planning the glass of wine that I drink on Friday night, I enjoy it more, I decrease the craving for wanting it throughout the week. If Friday comes and I don’t have my glass of wine, it’s OK! I don’t feel cheated or denied, I just didn’t want it!

This took some time for me to learn this behavior around getting healthy and giving up something that I like in order to reach my goal. I learned that I wasn’t giving something up, I was gaining something even better……my health! Weight loss! Decreased pain and bloating! Less headaches! I love the process of weight loss, health and wellness. 

I learned to care for myself, not punish myself!