Many people have difficulty sticking with a regimented diet, regardless of the goal. This is largely due to our erroneous perception of what food is: a “reward.” This is something we commonly and unfortunately learn on a fundamental level when we are kids.
“Now, eat all your veggies, Timmy. Then you can have a glorious bowl of ice cream!”
Thanks, Mom and Dad! We can’t completely blame our parents for teaching us food as a reward system. When I was in school, we routinely had pizza parties for accomplishing something as a class. I learned something, so give me a pizza? Yeah, that makes sense. Instead, how about, “Good job, kid. You’re not an idiot.”? Not as tasty, but far less damaging later in life.
We also naturally associate food with good moments in our lives. Spending time with family, good friends, in celebration of a holiday or life accomplishment; the list goes on. Basically, if there is a reason for us to feast, we will. The thing is, all of those “reasons” are not bad – in and of themselves. It is when we want to eat for comfort or reward ourselves with trashy food just because we had a hard day at work. Last time I checked, that is why work is called work!
Now that we have an idea of where the reward system for eating came from, we can address how to change it.
It is common for people to believe that they have to change their thinking in regards to food. This is true, but where people fall short is that they attempt to change their thinking first. Far better results can be achieved by actively doing things to change your eating habits. No book or article is going to instantly change your belief system about food, which is something you have developed over many years. In most cases, it takes something much more drastic than simply choosing to eat better: We have to change your fundamental Laws of Food.
The Four Laws of Food
Many more things could be listed, but the above four “Laws of Food” will take care of most peoples’ food problem. Think of them literally as Laws to be obeyed. The consequence of breaking them is being fat and miserable for life.
Those people who have a serious problem with food MUST not allow themselves to deviate in any way from their nutritional goals. There is no grey area for them. Food addicts can’t eat bad food occasionally; it just can’t happen. That makes as much sense as a recovering alcoholic going out and drinking socially among friends; drinking is simply is not an option.
By changing the things that you DO, you will eventually change the way that you THINK. This applies to food or anything else in life.
STRENGTH & HONOR
Originally posted in The War Room.
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