Do you have a weight loss goal? And then do you do things that don't move you toward that goals? Why does this happen? Most people call it self sabotage. I call it eating against our goal. You are eating things that are not moving you toward your ultimate goal. What should you do about it? Listen in for some strategies you can implement today.
Don't forget to SHARE this episode for an entry into my giveaway! Details 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. Hey everyone. Welcome to the podcast today. We are talking about self sabotage or what I like to call eating against your goals. So first before we get into today's topic, though, I want to thank everyone who has shared the podcast in the last few weeks, we'll be doing another drawing for a hundred dollar Amazon gift card this Friday, the 23rd. So the easiest way to share the podcast is just to take a screenshot right now while you're listening and share that to your story. Either Facebook or Instagram. You can include a link to the podcast. If you're fancy. But mostly you just want to tag me. So I see it and can enter you into the drawing. Remember any way that you share the podcast counts as one entry into that drawing. And if you share multiple episodes, I will enter you for each time you do that. So feel free to share screenshots or any of the posts that I'm putting on my Instagram. You can share those to your stories or into your feet as well. And if you send me a screenshot of your review, remember I'll buy your coffee this morning. Speaking of reviews. I'm going to read another one today. I'm pretty sure I know who this one is, but you didn't send me a screenshot. So I didn't get your gift card out to you. But Marla at five says Lisa has so much great information that she is sharing on her podcast. Super helpful, especially for someone who's trying to change their mindset around food and weight loss. She has a great podcast voice too, which is a bonus. So that was so nice, but full disclosure here. It's sort of like a skin smoothing filter on Instagram. I use a studio sound filter, so it removes background noise, like air conditioners and the painting work that's going on downstairs today. And so it makes it sound more like a studio, but I think it filters my voice a little bit too. So. I'm not sure my real voice is this. Nice. But anyway, thanks so much. Any reviews are so helpful. Of course, if you've got topic requests, you can leave those in your reviews or DME. I'd love to know what you guys want to hear about. But today we are going to talk about, like I said, eating against your goals. What does that mean? Okay. Well, who has a weight loss goal? I assume most of my listeners do, obviously you can't raise your hand and I can't see you, but. I'm going to just pretend Are raising your hand. So with that goal, You might have a prescribed way of eating that you feel like will help you reach that goal, right? maybe you are counting calories or following a certain diet plan, but hopefully you've been listening to the podcast and you're actually working on planning your own meals and using your hunger scale to determine the amounts to eat. That's a little hint, hint there. But most of us have an idea of what works for our body. We've probably lost weight in the past. You kind of know what foods help you achieve that. What I mean here is that it's not a lack of knowledge about the food that usually gets in the way. If we aren't sure what food works for our bodies, we can Google healthy diets and find recipes. It's not really a lack of information. That is the problem. You've got a plan, you know what to how you want to eat. You have a goal for how many vegetables you want to eat in a day, or how much water you want to drink. Maybe a scale, weight number and a movement-based goal, whatever you're eating and movement based goals are you've. You've decided this it's not. Uh, lack of information. Or knowing what you want. That's the Let's just pretend that you've decided you're going to eat three meals a day, paying attention to your hunger scale, to determine the amount and that you will eat desserts four times a week. And when you And then you start eating against that prescribed way. You set for yourself. You have a plan. And then you eat something either completely off your plan or perhaps the food is on plan, but the amount was far and above. Of what your hunger dictated. You over ate way beyond your hunger scale or you eat dessert twice a day, every day, that week. This is what we want to figure out. Why do we essentially sabotage our own plants? Why do we break our own promises to ourself? Why do we eat against our goals? I chose that phrase specifically because. Because sometimes I hear women say, they feel like they're eating against their will. Like they can't help it. But of course it's an active thing we are doing right. Eating. We have to get or prepare the food in some way. And then even if someone were to bring it to us all breakfast in bed, like we still have to use our own muscles. Pick up the fork and get it into our mouths. So it's not so much that we're eating against our will technically no one is forcing us to eat. But that we are eating against our goals. Eating foods that are not helping us achieve our goals. So to figure this out, we're going to learn a little bit about the brain. First. I want to introduce you to the two parts of your brain. I know there's like a thousand parts of the brain. But for this conversation, we're going to divide it into two basic parts. I've talked about this a little on the podcast, but I think it's important. So I want to go over it again. You have your middle lower brain, which we'll lump together. You'll hear this called the animal brain or the mammalian brain. It's where automatic things are done. This is the brain that helps us brush our teeth, drive down our own neighborhood road or pour cereal. These things are easy to do because we've done them so many times. They don't require a lot of thinking. You've delegated these tasks to the lower brain. We often say we're doing these things on autopilot. Like when you arrive home and you can't even remember driving past the park in your You were just on autopilot, you just arrived in your garage. The other part of your brain is the higher brain, your human brain. This is the part that we do, our more intensive human thinking. This is the part of the brain that we use to learn to drive. We had to think about it quite a bit. I just taught my daughter to drive. I guess it's spent like two years now. And it took a lot of thinking on her part to remember which pedal was for gas and Which was for break. No because she confused Use them more than once at the beginning She was never on autopilot when she was first driving because she was always using her higher brain to really think through every move So this is the part of the brain that we use for planning ahead Animals cannot plan and the way that we plan and look forward and count down days for something. They instinctively know they should store away food for the winter but it's not because they're planning a tropical getaway for the winter months and they need to have food there when they get back Animals don't have this higher We use this part of the brain to set goals Make decisions and even feel love The other thing you need to know about your lower brain. Is that its main job is to keep you alive. It looks out for danger in all its forms. Lions, tigers bears mean girls. It primarily does this by using the motivational triad. Seek pleasure, avoid pain, conserve energy. Your brain wants to do all it can to experience pleasure, keep from having any painful experiences, both emotionally and physically, and not use too much energy doing any of this, because any specific thing that we use too much energy. Do we might prevent us from being able to run away from that lion or mean girl someday. Okay. So our lower brain just wants to keep us alive and wants to avoid anything difficult. That might put our lives at risk. So I always say it's like, we want to stay in the cave, eat all the food, have all the sex, not do any, hard work, right? Pleasurable things. Don't usually kill us. Painful things. And if we don't conserve energy, Those are the things that might kill us because we might be too tired to And painful things. Obviously when we were young in our human history. If we had anything that was painful, like our limbs were injured or we had any belly pain, we probably were going to die. So we want to avoid pain. Side note, this is why it can be hard to exercise by the way, because we have to get over this motivational triad because exercise can be painful. Sometimes it's not very fun and it certainly doesn't conserve energy. So just so you know, that's a little side note there on the motivational triad, but our lower brain works under these circumstances in order to keep us alive. And it wants to avoid anything difficult. That might put our lives at risk. So pleasurable things don't usually kill us, painful things. Do. Remember how I said we delegate easy things like brushing our teeth down to the lower brain. Yeah, we've also delegated a lot of our eating down there. This happens when we're walking through the kitchen and mindlessly grabbed some crackers. This happens when we dish up the same portion, we've always eaten because that's how much we eat. This happens when we revert to food habits that may not be serving us. But our easy to do. I see this when my clients are eating snacks after school with their kids, because they just always do. They don't even know if they're hungry because they just always have a snack at that time. Or you grab candy off your coworker's desk as you walk by, or as you're standing there talking to her. Next thing, you know, there's candy in your mouth and you don't even remember doing it. This is mindless eating, which is actually different than emotional eating and probably deserves a whole episode in and of itself, but just know that the brain loves to delegate any tasks. It can down to the lower brain and eating as often. One of them. Another thing that happens with the lower brain is reminding you how hard these things are. So what happens when it's time to eat an actual You are hungry and not just grabbing things mindlessly. Brain is like, let me check in here. You want. Me to get off the couch. Go get groceries and then cook them. That's a no, for me. Because that will take energy. That will not be fun. So again, when the lower brain is in charge, it reminds you of that motivational triad and why, whatever it is you want to do is not a good idea. You end up eating against your goals. Then when you let your lower brain be in charge. The goals reside in the upper brain, but the lower brain doesn't want any part of that. My first question. When I think about this stuff is always, how do we get anything done? Then if our lower brain is always coming up with the excuses and trying to put everything on autopilot, how do we accomplish anything? How do we ever reach any That's the power of your higher It's your higher brains job to overcome the triad motivating that lower part. And do the thing we planned the thing that we know will benefit us far into the future are maybe just tomorrow I don't teach the motivational triad to give you an excuse as to why you aren't doing what you said you would do I teach this to help you understand why it's difficult sometimes And also to remind you your normal Okay how does this feel so far i wish i could check Like i love to actually speak speak in public in front of an audience where i can actually see people and see how they're responding but i'm just curious do you notice these tendencies in yourself think about Okay. Let's really focus in now on the seeking pleasure aspect of that motivational triad. When we experienced pleasure, we get a hit of dopamine. This lets our brain know that this is a nice thing and we should do it again. In fact, it was pleasurable, so it will keep us alive. When we can. We should, we should do that thing again. that's what dopamine does. And that's a very basic. Sum-up of what dopamine does. So when our ancient ancestors came upon a field of berries, they ate as many as they could because that hit of dopamine was pretty strong. The last time. Barry's contain natural sugars. In fact, probably the most sugar, our hunter gatherer ancestors ever experienced that helped put on body weight. So the brain was like, this is very good, very pleasurable. And I can tell this is going to keep us alive. So they got a big hit of dopamine. Which means the next time they came. Upon that field of berries, they did the same thing, which was eat as many as they could. The current problem. Is that the berries are now available. Anytime we want. And they aren't just berries anymore. We've concentrated that sugar and usually pair it with concentrated flour so we can get a concentrated or increased dopamine hit. When we eat the strawberry cupcake, our brain is like, That was really good, really essential for survival. We should totally eat all of those that we can, so we don't die. This is why. You have a strong over desire for concentrated foods. Sometimes, you'll see these foods called highly palatable and usually they are highly processed as well. It's because these foods give us a concentrated hit of dopamine. We then end up eating those items. Despite what we said we would do. Which means we're eating them against our goals. And we tell ourselves I couldn't help it. Okay, I'm just going to interrupt myself. And my outline here, just to remind you that there is actually nothing wrong with berries or any fruit for that matter. I just use the berries in that example, because that was the only form of sugar that our hunter gatherer ancestors had. So I don't want you to come away with this thinking that I believe that fruit does not have a place in our diets. I eat fruit on the daily. I love berries. I love all kinds of fruit. The problem for us. Remember. Is that we've concentrated the sugars in our foods Okay, so moving on What is to be done what can we do We've got to engage our higher brains. That is the answer. When we wonder how we will ever get anything accomplished here it is. It's by enlisting the higher brain. There are several ways to do this, but one way. Is what I've taught you already. And that is to make a plan for what you're going to eat in a day. The reason this works is because the planning part of the brain is the higher brain. When you make decisions from your higher brain, then you will be much more likely to be thinking about your long-term goals when you're planning that food. This planning can be the daily planning as my clients do, or it can be an overall plan for how you want your eating to go. This planning can also be your go-to meals list. Like we talked about last week. It can also just look like decisions ahead of time. Like in episode five, that's another way you can think about using the, our planning brain. Another way to engage the higher brain is to keep eating at mealtime. So when we allow ourselves to grab And full of something. Every time we pass through the kitchen, we don't think about our hunger levels or fullness cues. It's just something to do. So I would encourage you to eat At times you've set aside in your schedule for meals and then do so without distractions. Really think about what you're eating. Perhaps get a placement, a napkin, put water in a glass cup rather than just whatever random water bottle you've been carrying around that Try not to watch TV or be on your phone. I also recommend you decide he won't Car while it's moving, meaning you don't need to eat while you're driving. If you get a meal in a drive-through park and eat it before driving on. Anything you can do to engage your higher brain by bringing, eating into the forefront. Rather than delegating it to the lower Brain will help. So think about the last time you were eating in the car. Were you really thinking about that food or where you just consuming it? Number one for something to do, because driving is boring. Or because you were like, I, I didn't have time to eat anywhere else. That's fine. if you're, you know, if it's a busy day, but think about how that is. Delegated down to the lower brain put on autopilot because you are driving. The other option is the driving is put on autopilot, which may or may not be safe. I know a lot of us do it, especially when we're in our own neighborhoods. But you can see if you are eating and driving at the same time, something's got to go to the autopilot So back to the other distractions when we are on our phones, while eating that action of picking up the fork and getting it to our mouth that happens with the lower brain. We aren't able to pay attention to how the food tastes or the enjoyment of it. But also we aren't able to cue into those fullness signals. This is another time where we eat against our goals by either eating too much or not feeling satisfied with what we ate, because we weren't really paying attention. So then you reach for more, you reach for something else, something sweet or salty to satisfy. The brain part that wasn't satisfied because it wasn't paying attention. Finally, if you notice at the end of the day, That you ate against your goals. Rather than beat yourself up for another failed day. I put that in air quotes. And a promise to try harder tomorrow. I would encourage you to write down where things went wrong. If you think it went wrong. Was it mindless eating, walking through the kitchen. Was it not paying attention to your food when you did Was it a lack of planning. So you didn't have the foods that you truly wanted to eat on hand? Especially, if you aren't planning ahead. This is a good time. Time to write down everything that you did eat, just a basic food journal. Sometimes our brains want to beat ourselves up over that one handful of M and. From our coworkers When in reality. You ate three meals at meal time that were balanced and satisfying. When you food journal, you can reduce the drama about how bad of a day it was and see. Really? What, if anything went wrong? Sometimes you aren't actually eating. Against your goals or self-sabotaging. Sometimes you're actually just beating For not being farther along. Also known as not being perfect. Okay. That was a lot of heavy information, a lot of stuff about the brain in this episode. But if you find yourself eating against your goals, I'd love to know more about that. When is that happening? What do you think is going on for you? What is hard for you about this that you feel like you just can't figure out? Now that I've given you kind of a word for it and a way to think about it. I love to know what's actually Going for you. And get some of those questions answered for you. So feel free to DM me on Instagram. Comment on the post, uh, that I'll put up about this podcast this week. Another option, of course is always to schedule a free strategy session with me. That's a time where you can bring your current issues. Ask me really anything. And just get some coaching right away. Get to know what coaching really is and how it can help you. I actually had a client tell me this week that she had learned quite a few of these concepts by listening to a different podcast. It was well before I had my own podcast. when she came to me and what she realized is that she through coaching with me, she learned how to really apply what she was learning in the podcast. And that is what she said really helped her grow a lot because. She learned really how to apply the model in her life by having a coach me. Take a look at it from a more neutral perspective. It's sometimes can be difficult to see basically where your blind spots are with the thought work and with what's going on with your eating, without having someone come in and look and see, Hey, what's going on in your brain. So it's just really one of the benefits of coaching. I'd love to give you, like I said, a little taste of that in a free session. So check my calendar. The link is always in the show notes 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 www.wellwithlisa.as.me 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.