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Episode 88: All Or Nothing


Is your life status one of two things: On a diet or off a diet? If so, that bifurcated way of thinking may be undermining your best intentions. In this episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers, Molly teaches us how to tease out the concept of all-or-nothing thinking and the ways in which it does not serve us.

Sometimes when we give in and indulge we make that mean that we can just completely fall off the wagon or – on the other side – must completely punish and restrict ourselves because we overate. But there is a third way – an intermediate approach that Molly details along with providing various strategies.

We know that restricting ourselves from a place of all-or-nothing thinking perpetuates a cycle of extreme weight loss and extreme weight gain. Inside Molly’s program, the goal is to move away from this mentality and instead invest in a lifestyle; something positive that is livable on a day-to-day basis and can be enjoyable for the rest of our lives. By definition that kind of program will include slips. Why? Because they’re inevitable.

The reality is that none of us can be perfect – because the human condition is in fact one of imperfection. When we expect ourselves to be flawless, the result is usually a boomerang effect. Either we rebel midstream or give up before ever starting at all.

This episode is about finding a different way, a sustainable approach. Molly encourages us to look for the in-between option – a path we can choose and still feel fantastic. She shares a couple of very helpful examples of real-life situations in which finding an intermediate solution can keep us in integrity.

The more you are willing to offer yourself food that you love in a very deliberate and conscious way, the less likely you are to rebel and overeat. Take a pause: What does your happy medium look like? That is the sweet spot that Molly helps her clients create inside a food program designed for life – and enjoyment!

You don’t have to be all-in or all-out. There is a way to design a food plan that embraces something in between. If you’re interested in the support or accountability a one-on-one coach provides, you can set up a free discovery call with Molly here.

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Topics Covered

  • Molly asks: Are you a victim of all-or-nothing (or black-and-white) thinking?

  • Extreme thinking sets us up for inevitable failure – because the truth is no one is ever going to be perfect and hit every mark. That’s just not the human condition.

  • What does intermediate thinking look like? Molly provides concrete examples:

    • If you eat something off your food plan, take a pause. Write down a brief reflection.

    • Acknowledge the detour and get right back on the plan, not next Monday but right away.

    • Ask yourself: What’s a next best step? Just one, incremental step.

  • Implementing an extreme plan – something that is black and white – is not going to be sustainable and will inevitably lead to rebellion.

  • Molly shares an illuminating story about pumpkin pancakes, her favorite fall “joy eat.” It’s a great example of finding a middle way!

  • Be curious in your own life: Where are you seeing all-or-nothing thinking? Are you veering from overly restrictive to all-bets-are-off?

  • Molly suggests specific ways of introducing a grey area to food choices and ways to navigate with intention and, increasingly, confidence.

Key Quotes

  • “All-or-nothing thinking is one of the easiest ways to get stuck in a cycle of losing weight in an extreme way only to regain it in a pretty extreme way.”

  • “All-or-nothing thinking is very easy for the brain to offer you. It’s really easy to think that you’ve got to be completely perfect or you’re simply going to fail.”

  • “The in-between space of all-or-nothing thinking is a place of curiosity, where you notice your extreme thoughts and consider if there might be something else you could do.”

  • “When you follow a restrictive diet, ultimately you’re going to want to rebel against it and that’s not sustainable.”

  • “The goal of my program is to create something where you don’t have to feel deprived or restricted or like you’re suffering.”

  • “So much of food is related to the way we imagine it. And oftentimes the pleasure we imagine in eating can actually be even more vivid in our thinking than in the actual eating.”

  • “Find the grey area. It’s a very powerful place to be because it looks like a lifestyle that will not only help you lose weight but maintain it long-term.”

Links & Resources

Subscribe to Molly’s email list and request her free 6-Point Guide to Kickstarting Weight:

Connect with Molly




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