Feeling an urge to cleanse, detox, or clear out some gunk so that you can really take charge of your health, your energy, and the number on the scale? My suggestion is to skip (for now) the green drinks, powders, and grumbling stomach and do your detoxing where you are likely to see a much bigger payoff. I’m recommending a mental detox.
Start with the crud that you need to let go of the most – the stuff that is completely blocking your path to results and peace with food.
Here’s my favorite detox plan – including what you’ll need to eliminate and replacements you’ll love even more.
Mental Detox for Taking Control of Emotional Eating and Releasing 50 Pounds of Stress
To avoid feeling deprived, I’ve provided a replacement for each ingredient you’ll be letting go of or removing from your daily diet. Enjoy!
Emotional Eating Mental Detox Guidelines:
Let go of guilt, shame, and self-blame for not achieving the results you’ve wanted in the past, for not being perfect (no one ever is), and for not trying as hard as you believed you “should have.” These feelings have never created lasting weight loss or peace with food for anyone. More often than not they contribute to the kind of bad feelings that trigger emotional eating, stress, and a lack of motivation.
Replace with: loving-kindness toward yourself – cultivate a feeling of acceptance that you really are doing your best – all things considered. As a part of the detox, you’ll want to give yourself one lovely thing or one kind compassionate act each day. Practice rewarding and caring for yourself without using food. To keep it kind and lovely, make sure this is something small and do-able (you don’t want to add more stress).
Let go of: any parts of a go-it-alone attitude and “I shouldn’t need help with this” belief that is keeping you frustrated and stuck. Successful people have help. It’s that simple. This overeating and emotional eating business is more complex than most people let on and too many people are suffering in (isolated) silence.
Replace with: high-quality support. Take a long, realistic look at what kind of help will get you to your goals faster. Do you need specific tools and strategies? A fresh perspective? Is it time to work with a coach? Coaching can help you craft the foundation, the path, and the approach that is a match for you. The sooner you untangle what you need to get your thinking and your actions aligned with your goals, the sooner you will get where you want to go.
Let go of: secret eating, eating you feel bad about and yelling at yourself (silently) while eating food you think you shouldn’t be eating. Anything eaten in this state is impossible to enjoy and is guaranteed to leave you feeling worse than before you ate it. You’ll have “indulged” with very little satisfaction. It’s a pretty miserable way to seek satisfaction from food.
Replace it with savoring. I’m a believer in eating the foods you love – chocolate, wine, and coffee are definitely a part of my world. The rule I use to keep things from getting toxic is that I can eat what I love – as long as I am hungry and lovingly eating it. That means no distracted eating that I won’t remember while I’m slogging through a difficult project or driving in my car or using food to zone out. It means savoring. Fully tasting the food and giving myself permission to enjoy it. Food is a good thing. Resolve to enjoy it this year and give yourself permission to let it nourish your body and soul.
Let go of: uninspiring weight loss plans (or ones that you dread) that overwhelm your to-do list and make you feel tired before you start. Do I even need to explain that any plan started like this is never going to succeed? Focusing on what you “have to do,” what you can’t eat, and what your restrictions will be is a guaranteed motivation killer.
Replace it with: an inspiring goal that FEELS fantastic. Never begin with a plan. Always start with a feeling. Instead of starting with a long list of things you have to do (that you aren’t excited about doing), take the time to connect with why you want to achieve your goal. How will it make you feel? Go deep with this and really capture the feeling (a feeling that you love) and the mental picture of you, being successful. This feeling is the real benefit that you will achieve when you get to your goal. Take time every day to feel – to bask in – what it’s going to feel like.
Let go of: a focus on deprivation, willpower, and eating less. Trying to take control of emotional eating and overeating through hard work, determination, and fortitude may build your mental strength, but it doesn’t address the reasons that you overeat or the hidden hungers that are driving your cravings.
Replace it with: a focus on transformation. Much of overeating is using food to take care of other needs and feelings. Stress eating, boredom and comfort eating, eating to celebrate or reward yourself, and eating because you are exhausted can all pack on a lot of calories while never really addressing what you are really hungry for. Focus on transforming your life by creating habits to regularly feed yourself what you are really craving (it’s not food). Your pants will fit better, you’ll be happier, and your life will work better.
Let go of: stress and overwhelm caused by drastic diet plans (and detoxes). The temptation to create rapid results can be huge, but taking on more than is realistic (or even possible) is a plan destined for failure. Unfortunately, this can be quite a trap for high achievers, perfectionists, and women who tend to expect a lot of themselves.
Replace it with: small doable steps and a commitment to saying more nos. Stop squeezing yourself in and start making room for yourself on that crowded plate of yours. You’ll be less susceptible to stress eating and poor choices triggered by feeling time-crunched or overloaded. If your plans feel overwhelming, give yourself permission to cut them in half. Slower weight loss that lasts is more effective than the crash diet that doesn’t. Keep it simple and when in doubt, say no.