3 Tips for Taking the Fear Out of Forbidden Foods
Like many people trying to lose weight, calories and fat were scary things—but I've learned to eliminate food fear from my life.
By Tina Haupert
The other day, I received a comment on my blog that really struck me: "It's great that you allow yourself to enjoy a bagel. I'm too afraid to eat them."
Sure, bagels get a bad rap for being full of unrefined carbs and scant on fiber, but being "afraid" of a specific food really confused me at first. It's not like bagels are baked with poison! But the more I thought about this comment, the more it made sense to me.
Like many people trying to lose weight, I used to fear calories and fat. I kept a close eye on my calorie consumption and diligently recorded my workouts each day. While I never put specific foods in the off-limit category, I worried about eating too much of my favorites because my oversize portions were what led to my weight gain. And while losing weight is tough, it's oh-so-easy to gain it all back!
I learned to stick with nutritional superstars like blueberries, spinach, and quinoa. It's hard to be afraid of something that's so good for you! And most importantly, I know that food does not make me fat—it's the type of food and portion size that may make me gain weight.
Eat real food
It's tough to feel anxious about a food that I know is good for me. Choosing wholesome, nutritious foods are always an easy decision. The thought of a fresh, crisp apple, for instance, never scares me!
Remind yourself that you're in control
A big plate of buffalo chicken nachos can be intimidating. I know it's easy to overdo it—especially when I've had a stressful day at work or I haven't eaten since breakfast. And if I feel like I've already fallen off the diet wagon for the day, I know I may be tempted to continue to pig out. But knowing that I am in control of the situation helps me stop eating when I have had enough. A quick mental reminder before faced with "fearful" food typically does the trick! My plate method also makes me feel in control.
Pay attention to your tummy
If I choose to eat a less-than-nutritious food, I enjoy it without fear because I pay attention to my satiety cues. I eat my favorite foods in moderation, listen to my body, and stop eating before I am too full. For instance, if I want a brownie sundae for dessert, I can have one. I don't fear it because I know I can enjoy a few bites and not eat every crumb in the bowl.
Do you have food fear? How do you handle it?