Do you crave and overeat unhealthy treats when others around you are eating them?
If you struggle to resist food temptations, today I wanted to share a tool you can use when you encounter a “ME TOO” eating situation.
Not sure what “ME TOO” eating is all about? Read on.
The challenge to lose weight when others around you are eating foods we would typically label “off plan” or “not on our diet” is a real struggle sometimes!
You may be familiar with this struggle, especially if you are around family not eating the way you do, or while at work during office luncheons when someone brings unhealthy goodies to share.
“Me Too Eating,” is simply what I call the scenario where others around you are eating or drinking something and you feel tempted to eat or drink it too.
Sometimes this a healthy item, but many times it’s something unhealthy. Perhaps it’s on holidays when others are eating Christmas cookies and you begin to feel the temptation to have one too. Or at a party when everyone around you is drinking alcohol and that makes you feel like you need to drink as well. Or at the movie theater when others are having popcorn – you feel like you need to get popcorn too.
We usually struggle to resist food temptations for one of 2 reasons:
- 1) We are tempted because we just WANT THE FOOD – yum 😉
- 2) We are feeling the “social pressure” to eat/drink what others around us are eating or drinking. Or it’s just “what we typically do” in those situations. Like with movie theater popcorn – an example is thinking, “Hey, if I go to the movies I eat popcorn. That’s just WHAT WE DO at the movies!” 🙂
I wanted to share a quick story about this struggle and introduce a new tool to help you if you end up in a similar situation.
MY MILKSHAKE STORY
Here’s an example of a ME TOO Eating situation I encountered recently and how I handled it.
My daughters wanted milkshakes from McDonald’s while running errands. I thought about getting one too (for a minute), but in reality, I wasn’t craving one. Now, if I was really wanting one you probably know by now I live a “no banned foods lifestyle.” We’ve talked about tools I’ve shared in previous messages for how you can have milkshakes occasionally and still fit that into our healthy lifestyle, but that would not apply here.
Because I wouldn’t even have thought of milkshakes unless the girls’ brought it up.
But in the past, even though I didn’t even think about having one to begin with I would have had one anyway, simply because I was in a situation where others around me were having milkshakes — totally a “me too” eating moment 😉
Instead I stayed present in the moment and gauged what I really wanted. I ate a butterscotch protein bar I had in my purse instead. I didn’t feel deprived and it had the perfect amount of sweetness.
My husband, Ron came home later and asked what we did that day. The girls told him about getting milkshakes. Ron asked if I got one too. I told him I didn’t get one. He asked, “How could you be around milkshakes and not have one?” Honestly, I didn’t feel tempted like I would have in the past.
Huge change from the way I was before when I probably would have had one because I thought they looked good at the moment, but then felt guilty later and probably would have “blown” my eating the rest of the day because I went “off plan” anyway.
So, how did I say “no” when in the past I couldn’t resist being in the same car with a yummy milkshake and watching others enjoy them?
HERE’S THE TOOL TO HELP WITH “ME TOO EATING”
There’s 3 parts
1) (Most important) Always be mindful of your situation and internally gauge what YOU TRULY want to eat – not what the situation dictates you should eat.
- I ask myself, “Would I really have wanted this, or am I only feeling the need to have this now because I’m around the food and others are eating it?”
2) Practice saying “no” at least once per day
- Sometimes we just need practice saying, “no” and to see that we will be ok 🙂
3) Remind yourself if you ever DO really want that food, it’s always available to you – but it will be on YOUR terms.
- You don’t have to eat foods based on the situation around you. (#NoBannedFoods weight loss – see my recent Sugar Cravings blog post for how to have sweets and not gain weight)
This forever-fit mindset shift only works because I know if I’m ever REALLY craving a milkshake – I’m allowed to have one (or half of one, sometimes I even have a few sips) any day of the week.
Old yo-yo dieter Barb would typically restrict something like this until weekend cheat meals. This would cause one of 3 responses.
- 1) It would leave me thinking about what I “couldn’t have” all week. Ugh – a life a deprivation. Dangerous mindset to stay in because we can’t keep that up forever.
- 2) It would make me binge on milkshakes or other sweets when I was finally “allowed” them. I could never stop at “just one or two bites,” like I can now.
- 3) It kept me in the ME TOO eating mindset and giving-in when around those foods, causing me to feel bad and guilty about it. Plus, at that time I had lost the ability to internally gauge what my body truly wanted.
Biggest takeaway I want you to get from this message: You don’t need to know how to do this RIGHT NOW. In fact, it takes practice!
Where do you start when you want to begin to practice and resist food temptations?
Practice by being mindful and saying “no” to a ME TOO eating scenario at least once per day.
Maybe to the cookies in the break room at work, or to popcorn at the movie theater, or even a milkshake at McDonald’s 😉 Work on building this new habit. Keep practicing and soon it will begin to get much easier to resist food temptations!
Remind yourself these foods are never off limits forever, but you will be eating them on YOUR terms, not what the scenario dictates.
I hope these tips have given you some inspiration and some valuable insight to help you “just say no” to a ME TOO eating situation!
If you found this article useful, you may also enjoy my most recently published resource guide Beat the Weekend Binge.
Brand Spankin’ New Freebie: BEAT THE WEEKEND BINGE
If you haven’t picked up your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE.
I’ve never been more proud of a resource I’ve created for you guys than I am of this one! It comes with a PDF sharing my 3 strategies to stop the weekend (and evening) backslides, and then 5 follow up daily coaching emails to further teach the strategies. Those follow up coaching emails get really raw and personal. Some of it I can’t believe I shared and I was nervous to publish it, but I wanted to do it for those who struggled like I did.
It makes me angry there are not more resources out there to help us with issues like this.
The “perfect diet” doesn’t do us any good if we struggle with the mental/mindset stuff.
Again, this download is FREE for those who are interested.
I’ve put my best tools into it & I’ve been hearing great feedback already.
“Thank you for this! I feel like you are totally in my head and understand! I’ve already started making progress.”
“This has been tremendously helpful to me. Thank you.”
Again, I’ve created this helpful resource to help you stop nighttime snacking and binging on the weekends. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE or simply let me know below so I can get it to you ASAP.