"You were playing so nicely at the playground today, yes you can have an ice cream after your dinner."
"My boss was so mean today, I deserve a frappuccino."
"If you clean your toys, you can have a desert."
"I have been eating healthy the whole week, I can have a chocolate cake as a reward."
Are any of those sentences familiar? Have you ever ‘treated’ yourself with unhealthy food to make you feel better about an unpleasant situation? Do you talk to your kids this way? Were you told that sweets are a treat when you were little?
Changing our mindset about food and especially junk food is the main priority. If you change your diet, but do not change your understanding and feelings about the food you consume, you will not get very happy. Physically healthier probably yes, but mentally you will be suffering.
Understanding that junk food is really a JUNK, that it does not do you any good, and that you are better off without it, is the key element to be successful on your weightloss journey. But do not beat yourself up if you have that triple cream frappuccino either.
Did you have a terrible argument with your boss and do you feel like a piece (or whole bar) of chocolate is what you need right now to get better? Then go ahead and get some. Ideally some sort of healthy dark chocolate with a fruit of your choice (to read more about that, please download my free eBook: 3 Easy and Effective Diet Swaps). But in your mind, do not think about it as a treat. You are not treating your body.
Well if you follow my advice and have a dark chocolate with fruit you actually are treating your body with vitamins and nutrients. :-) But if you opted for any junkier version, do not tell yourself this is a treat. It is not a treat. It is a quick unhealthy fix of a bad situation. And that is ok, too. No one is perfect and we all sometimes do things which we know we shouldn't have.
Do not beat yourself up for having that McFlurry. Being ortodox and very rigorous about nutrition... well about anything for that matter... is not healthy either. But do not treat junk food as something you get when you are a good girl or boy. Or something you get as a compensation for a bad situation. Junk food is junk food. Not a treat. Not something we should be craving or missing. Not a reward. It is just junk food.
And if you notice you go that road in your mind very often, try to think about the triggers. Which situations make you want to ‘treat’ yourself with junk food? Is there a pattern? Can you avoid those situations? And try to have some better options ready for those situations.
Changing our mindset when it comes to junk food is not an easy task. Often this way of thinking was deeply rooted by our parents - ‘treating’ us with ice creams, chocolate cakes and bombons after every dentist visit, for every birthday and everytime we clean up our rooms without protesting.
But it is possible. And changing your perception of junk food will make your weightloss journey significantly easier. If you need more help on your weight loss journey, check out my other articles here or get in touch with me directly.