Dec. 14, 2022

Diet Mentality Thoughts: The OnesThat Still Live in My Brain & What I Do About Them [Ep. 21]

Diet Mentality Thoughts: The OnesThat Still Live in My Brain & What I Do About Them [Ep. 21]

Do you still think like a dieter? The goal of coaching and intentional thinking is to stop thinking like a dieter and to choose a lifestyle that works for your body and your health. 

I still have diet mentality thinking though--even after years of working on my thoughts! The difference for me though is that I've worked on it long enough that I'm on to my brain--and I talk back! 

Listen in to hear what diet mentality thoughts came up for me last week and exactly what I did about it. 

Want to help determine what's on future podcasts? Schedule a podcast research interview with me! I promise--zero discussion of my program--this is not a sales call. I simply want to get to know my listeners better and make sure this is exactly what will help you most! Schedule here: (choose Podcast Research as the appointment type)

Key takeaways:

  • What are diet mentality thoughts?
  • How can you recognize them?
  • Three diet mentality thoughts that came up for me (2 around food, 1 around exercise) 
  • Three strategies you can take when approaching diet mentality type thoughts
  • Handle the Holidays episode 15 mentioned in this episode

More from Well with Lisa:

More from Well with Lisa:



Welcome to Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well; the podcast for women who want to lose weight, but are tired of counting and calculating all the food. I'm your host, Lisa Salsbury. I'm a certified health and weight loss coach and life coach, and most importantly a recovered chronic dieter. I'll teach you to figure out why you are eating when you aren't hungry, instead of worrying so much about what you are eating. Today we are going to be talking about your diet mentality. Thoughts. And the ones that still live in my brain. I've been working on this for four years now. Specifically the diet mentality, thoughts I've been working on for about four years, but even longer than that on coaching in general. And just learning to question my thoughts and redirect them has been really, really useful for me. So first, let me tell you what I consider to be a diet mentality thought. It's any thought that keeps me thinking. What I'm doing for my health. Including my food choices, my exercise, all of that. Is for the short term Rather than something I do for long-term health and wellness. So it's thoughts that sound like shoulds and shouldn'ts and not supposed to. Right. So for example, I should order the salad or I'm not supposed to have the chips. Those would be diet, mentality, thoughts. Another example would be if it includes diet words, like cheat or treat or tempting. This would be a thought, like I can't have cupcakes in the house because it's too tempting or this is my cheat day. Also, I would include any thought that produces scarcity as an emotion. So things with never, or always in them. This would sound like I never get this food, or I always have to be careful. Um, maybe even something about, I always cleaned my plate or I should always clean my plate. Those kinds of thoughts. another category. Might be anything that has to do with the value of food. So things that are labeled good, bad, clean, that kind of thing. So when we say things like I've been so bad today, referring to having eaten some sugar, Or maybe even when you think I just need to eat clean, that might be with the solution. Those kinds of thoughts. So this isn't, if you are saying things like, oh, mangoes are so good. I love them. Like when you're referring to the taste that they taste good, I do that all the time, but More, I thought that might sound like apples are good for you because they are lower in sugar than mangoes and mangoes are bad. Right. So do you hear the difference between I like to eat them. They are tasting good. And they are. Um, a good food versus a bad food. So that's what I mean by good or bad. So there are plenty of variations on these thoughts, but those are just a few cues to listen for. And that I listen for. When I'm coaching. So diet mentality. Thoughts are one of those things I listen for with my clients and I do this because the goal of coaching with me. And using intentional thinking. To change how you are eating and approaching food. Is not to feel like you are on a diet. We don't make sweeping changes on week one. In fact, very little changes actually begin on week one. the idea is to make small incremental changes so that over the time you work with me, you get to the point where you want to eat like that for the rest of your life. The goal is to make your lifestyle and personality. Lineup with your body in such a way that you aren't giving up the foods that you like to eat, but rather you are eating them in the proportions that are working for you. And you are seeing some weight loss. So now obviously you won't be in a perpetual weight loss period. So at some point your portions will level off. So you will maintain your weight. But your food choices themselves will not really change at that point. Okay. So let's get into some of these thoughts that I still notice that come up for me. And what I do about them because these conversations I have with my brain would not have happened years ago before I learned about coaching. So I want to give you a headstart on how you might be talking back to your brain. I also want to make it clear here that I am not trying to tell you this. To be like, oh, look how great I am. Like, I'm so good at this, that work stuff. And you should be like me. I'm really wanting to show you that as much as I still am working on this. These thoughts will still come up. I had a client asked me recently, like, does this really work? Like I've, I've been doing this for a couple of weeks and she hasn't seen like a ton of weight loss yet. And she's like, do people really change their brains? And I told her yes and also no. So, yes. You can change your brain because you can start to not believe these thoughts. You can start to be able to be onto your thoughts, which is what you're going to see here in this episode, but also know because. Our brains do. I have a lot of habit thoughts. And so don't beat yourself up for having these thoughts. That's another thing you're going to see. With listening to how I manage these is that I didn't get mad at myself. I wasn't like, oh, you should have this by now. You should know better. Right? So I just wanted to, Give you that little preface before i jumped into my stories All right. So last Thursday, my older daughter was at a work dinner and my husband was out of town. So it was just me and my younger daughter. And I get a text from her upstairs because obviously she's a teenager. So she texted me from the house saying we should go get some burgers, some hamburgers. And I was like, Um, actually, that's not a terrible idea. So we actually decided to go to the habit. If you don't have that restaurant by you, they have these delicious tempura green beans I get. Instead of French fries. That, um, they're really yummy. So I was looking forward to getting those. I decided when, when we made this plan, I decided, okay, I'm going to get a hamburger and green beans. That'll be good. That'll be perfect for me. And I was fine with altering kind of what I had in mind for dinner in order to spend some one-on-one time with my daughter. So. Everything's good. And then we're driving. And on the way I noticed that this thought came up. I don't want to go to the habit. Because I might be tempted by the lemonade. As soon as that thought drifted across my brain, I thought, huh, interesting. I was totally fine going and getting the temporary green beans in a hamburger and I was hungry and I was ready to eat dinner and everything was just going fine. Normal, right? And then my old diet mentality brain was like, yeah. But you probably shouldn't have the drink that's empty calories. And you know, it will be hard to say no to that strawberry limeade. Right? And I can hear that going in my brain. I'm like, what? This isn't, this was not the plan. Th these are not the thoughts I wanted to have. So here's what I did first, I just noticed it and I called it out in my head as what it was. I didn't like yell out in my car. I was like, oh, interesting that I'm thinking it will be hard to not get the strawberry lemonade. See how that's different from. It's just simply thinking. It's hard to say no. Okay. Meaning the first thing I thought was, oh, look at me thinking this is the case. Look at me thinking it's going to be hard. I actively said to myself, you are thinking it's going to be hard. I didn't actively say it's hard. See the difference? So I'm noticing exactly what I'm thinking and I'm not believing. the next thing I did was to question it. Why will it be hard? And the answer was Because it is delicious and I agree with my higher brain, which is helpful because brains love to be right. So I agreed. and I was like, you're right. It is delicious. I love lemonade and limeade, and especially if it's strawberry limeade, so of course brain, you think it's going to be hard because for years with our diet mentality brain, we had to work really hard to not have these kinds of things that we deemed as unhealthy or too caloric and like my brain thought it was empty calories. Right. So I agree with my brain, which already takes it down a notch. The drama already goes down because when you have your brain, which is sort of like a toddler in there, right? It's like when you agree with a tantrum, mean toddler. They're like, wait, what? I'm right. So right away the volumes turned down on my, on that. and then I got more into some questions, and the first one was, why is that a problem? If, in fact it is hard to say no to the lemonade or limeade or soda or what have you? If it's actually true that it is hard, why is that a problem? Why is it a problem that it would be hard? And then wait for the answer. The thing is that your diet mentality brain will likely not have a great answer here. She will sputter for a minute and whine and be like, cuz it's hard. It's just hard. But then your new emotionally adult brain steps in and says, yes, it might be hard. and that's fine because we are learning how to be around food that we desire, but we don't answer that desire every time. In this instance, my true desire, which is to reduce my sugar intake is what I lean on. I remember, yes, it may be hard because the truth is I love strawberry lemonade and it is delicious, but you know what else is hard? Getting diabetes. You know what else is hard? Having extra pain from inflammation, from sugar. You know what else is hard? Feeling too full and not being able to sleep well tonight and waking up feeling bloated. See how some of those reasons or wise, if you will, are long-term. Such as the risk of long-term illness. Some are shorter term such as the inflammation that occurs in my body from too much sugar over the week, and some are even really extra short-term what's going to happen in the next few hours. For example, with my sleep, it might be hard, but why is something being hard a problem? Now, does this mean I never have strawberry lemonade? Absolutely not. And that's another reason why my brain is wrong. My diet mentality brain also offered me this thought while we were having this lovely discussion on the way there. And that is we hardly ever come here though. right? As I'm answering my brain with these higher thoughts, like it's okay if it's hard, all these things. And then my lower brain diet mentality brain is like, but we hardly ever come here. This is such a common thought I hardly ever have this one, or it's been a long time since I've had this thought because it's one I've worked on a lot. But you gotta be onto your brain with this one because even though we agreed with the one about it being hard, I think you should almost always disagree with this one. This is a fast food chain in my town. The idea that I hardly ever come here may be true if you look at my calendar and measure. From the last time, but I could swing into the habit several times a week and get strawberry lemonade or limeade if I really wanted to. I could also make it at home or buy some at the store to have on hand. There's so many ways that this is just not true, that we hardly ever come here or we hardly ever get this thing. And you're gonna come up against this thought a lot, especially now around Christmas time because there are treats that just get made around Christmas. But just like the Limeade, you could make them at other times of the year. You can get all those ingredients year round. And that's something I talk about more in my Handling the holidays episode. That's number 15. I'll link that in the show notes because if you haven't listened to that one, it's really helpful for this whole holiday season and it is not too late. These two diet mentality thoughts came up around the same occasion. So the two main ones, I mean, is it's going to be hard not to get the thing, and we hardly ever come here. Those two thoughts came up around the same time, the same occasion in having that discussion back and forth with my lower brain. Needless to say, I will let you know that I did not choose to get the Limeade in case you were wondering. I got water, my daughter got a drink, and not only did my stomach feel great, but my brain was like, Hey, you got exactly what you decided to get before you. You do what you say you're gonna do, and it feels good. It feels good to trust. So another diet mentality thought came up for me later in the week that I also wanted to share with you. So I was picking up my mom from the airport and she needs help with her luggage. So I needed to park and actually go inside. I couldn't just. Like pull up to the curb. Right? So I arrived about 15 minutes prior to our flight even landing, and the park parking garage indicated there were over a hundred spots available in the garage. So I was like, great. I went in and I searched and I searched. And I searched. I went up and down several aisles on several different levels. I'm driving up and down each aisle, nothing, absolutely nothing. I finally give up. I pay for the privilege to drive around the scene at parking garage, loop around the airport, come back around to the surface lot that's behind the parking garage, and I start my search again up and down each row. Cannot find anything. I finally just head out to the back of the lot, and I park on row F 21, which means I'm like 32 rows back from the parking garage, which I have to walk all the way through as well. And of course her plane has landed by now and I'm in a time crunch to get her picked up and race back to my house and get my daughter to her aerial silks class. So I'm. Right. I'm stressed about fitting everything in. I don't want my mom trying to get her luggage on her own because I know if I'm not there, she might try to haul it off the luggage carousel and hurt herself. So I'm worried and I decide I better run. Luckily, I'm wearing some Nike shoes, like not running shoes, more like a, like a lifestyle shoe, but at least I'm not wearing like boots or something. So I start jogging and I'm thinking, yes, I think this will save time. I can make it, I can make it in there before she comes. So I'm, I'm jogging along and I hear this little thought creep in. I wonder how many exercise calories I will get for this. On my exercise ring, I wear an Apple watch because I like tracking my workouts and movement in general. It honestly helps me a lot when I'm sitting for too long, I have those stand reminders on, so not to earn my stand ring, but just because when I'm sitting at my desk working, I'm grateful that it's like, Hey, move around a bit before you get a blood clot in your legs. Right? I certainly don't track my calories as far as what I'm eating, and I certainly don't use the measurements on the Apple Watch in order to somehow eat those calories back, right? I simply think of them as what they truly are, which is a measure of energy. It just helps me to know if I was active in the day or not. plus the Apple Watch is just great for text notifications and all the other apps and such, so I like it. But yeah, I hear this thought. I wonder if I'm getting exercise calories for this jog. And that was just an interesting diet mentality thought because I used to track my exercise calories and then incorporate those calories into my daily allowance, which is by the way, a terrible idea because it taught me to trade movement for. and even the exercise was somewhat of a punishment for what I ate. I also learned from doing that, that I could just eat food that didn't work for my body if I just exercised enough. Needless to say, this actually never worked out well for me, but it's what I thought back then and it's what my brain learned. So this time though, I answered that thought with a different question, Which was so what, what then? So what if I get exercise calories, quote unquote for this little eight minute jog into the airport? What would that mean for you? Diet mentality? Me would have said, then you can eat more at dinner or maybe even have dessert. But luckily, I did not get into this conversation with my brain this time because my emotionally adult brain was like, oh. nothing. The answer is nothing. It actually just means nothing except that maybe the ring will be closed. Maybe I'll have more exercise minutes today than I did yesterday, which I never check. I never like look back it just means that I get that satisfying graphic of all three rings closed, but really like nothing else, it doesn't change the way I eat. It won't change the way I move my body. So I find this. So what question that I use and here are the emphasis there. I want to point that out. It's not like, so what, like, who cares? It's really like, so what then what will happen? And it's a really useful question when you get some of these. Diet mentality, thoughts that creep in, like, just ask, like, if that's true. Then what. Let's recap these three diet mentality thoughts that creeped into my brain just this week. So the first thought was it would be hard, and the strategy there was that I agreed with my brain on that one, and then I just asked back, why is it a problem that it's hard? So the strategy there is agree. Then question. The second thought was about how we hardly ever come here or get this, which I dismissed as untrue. So a great strategy because you'll find a lot of times your brain is offering you thoughts that just aren't true at all or aren't true for you anymore. The more you do the work of intentional thinking around food and around your food journal planning, all of the things that are contributing to, to your health, the more you're gonna find that these kinds of thoughts just aren't true for you anymore. And the last thought was, I wonder if I'm racking up the exercise calories. And to that one, I just. So what, so it's similar to the agree and question, but it's just a little different because I didn't agree that I was burning extra calories. I just said if that were true, why would it even matter? So, What, what would, what would happen? So there you go. I still have diet mentality, thoughts happening to my brain pretty frequently, and of course I do because I dieted for 30 years before finding coaching and working on my brain instead. That makes me feel old. But when I calculate it out, it's really true because I really did start dieting when I was a very young girl. So I gave you three different strategies there, depending on what thought your brain is offering you. So see what thoughts are coming up for you that you may want to agree with in question dismiss as untrue or simply ask. So what, what does that mean? I would love to know the kinds of diet mentality thoughts that you are having. If you would be interested in sharing those with me. I'd love to have a little chat with you. I'm currently doing some podcast interviews just to understand the brain. Of my listeners a little bit more, so you're welcome to schedule one of those. It's not a sales call. It's completely different even than my free strategy sessions that I offer. Those are to see if coaching is a perfect fit for you. My podcast research interviews are, Just to get to know you, just really to get to know my listeners a little better. Everything from, you know, what you're kind of thinking in diet, wellness and health space to what kinds of books you read, just so I'm sure to be talking to my exact listener. So if you're interested in that, you'll find that in my calendar to schedule or feel free to send me a DM with any questions on Instagram or by email. And I will talk to you next week. hey, thanks for listening today. If you're ready to get some personalized coaching from me, I'd encourage you to schedule a free strategy session. Visit or it's easier just to find that link in the show notes. We'll talk about where you currently are with your weight loss goals. And I'll give you some actionable tools. You can start implementing right away. Before you go, make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can receive new episodes, right when they're released. And if you're learning something new and enjoying the podcast, I'd love for you to leave me a five star rating and a review. Thanks again for joining me, Lisa Salisbury in this episode of Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well.