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Episode 53: Good and Bad Foods


In this episode of the Weight Loss for Food-Lovers podcast Molly is fired up about the notion of “good” versus “bad” foods and programs that rely on abstinence as a model for weight control. As a coach she has witnessed first-hand the high rate of failure among those who rely on the total elimination of certain foods or food groups. While extreme or highly limited diets may work long-term for some people, as a lifestyle it just doesn’t work for the majority of people.

Programs based on will power might work for temporarily, but there is no escaping the ubiquity of food. It’s everywhere! When forbidden foods are established and then banished, there is an inevitable boomerang effect. Deprivation leads to heightened desire which leads to a slip and then … the sense of failure and futility.

Molly wants to help food-lovers break that cycle. For starters she recommends ditching two buzzword notions that she believes only undermine our ability to find peace and balance in our relationship with food – foods of all kinds. First, she wants to eliminate the term “addiction” in conjunction with food. While that “all or nothing” approach might be effective for some, Molly believes the majority of people need a perspective that allows for a little more nuance. And speaking of nuance, she wants to ditch altogether the labels “good” and “bad” as regards food. She explains why it’s important to free both hunger and specific foods from harsh labels. A bag of Cheetos is not sinful and a plate of asparagus is not synonymous with virtue!

Learning to neutralize toxic beliefs and break habits of thinking that undermine a healthy relationship with food is a multi-layered process. Molly explains a bit about the role life coaching can play in that journey and how it differs from psychotherapy or traditional weight loss programs. To ask questions or learn more in a free one-to-one discovery call, just reach out to Molly here.

Topics Covered

· “Good” and “Bad” foods and flaws inherent in the abstinence model of dieting.

· You can run but you can’t hide: Fear of food is a real thing. But you are not powerless. Favorites can indeed be eaten in moderation, if you learn how.

· Using addiction as a model for weight control can set up a self-defeating cycle of fear, anxiety and deprivation.

· Moderation versus “all or nothing” thinking. Don’t let yourself be set up to fail!

· The harsher the dichotomies and strictures erected around different foods, the stronger the primal brain’s need to rebel or act out.

· Use compassion and self-understanding to unify your relationship to food.

· Food is neutral; neither virtuous nor venal. There are all kinds of ways to break free from old modes of thinking and Molly’s program covers them all.

Key Quotes

· “The way to feel in control around concentrated, processed foods is not to eliminate them for the rest of your life. It’s actually to practice being around them.”

· “You cannot run and hide from food for the rest of your life. That is not realistic.”

· “Some programs talk about food as an addiction. They talk about being at the personal mercy of foods with sugar and flour. My personal feeling is that that type of language and labeling has no value.”

· “When you’re thinking ‘I’m powerless to these foods’ of course you feel powerless. And what happens? You lose control. You eat, overeat and go back for more.”

· “Programs that set you up to think of food as an addiction or certain foods as ‘bad’ sets you up to fail in my opinion because they are not realistic.”

· “We have this misconception that it has to be black or white. Either I have to give up all the ‘bad’ foods or I might as well not even try.”

· “If you want to end the cycle … Drop any terminology around addiction.”

· “We think of food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but the truth is that food has no moral value.”

Links & Resources

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