Sometimes the harder you try to make something stop, the more it takes over your life. That’s unquestionably true when it comes to food. Or more specifically, anxiety about every bite of food that you eat.
Seems like the more you think about food, the more anxious and frenzied food makes you feel.
Maybe you just need to stop thinking about food, you tell yourself. But be honest–has demanding that the food-obsessed thoughts cease and desist ever helped?
I’m willing to bet that’s a NO.
I also know that if food-centered anxiety has been dominating your thoughts, you’re in good company.
For years I thought that to stop food fear from hijacking my life, all I had to do was stop thinking about food.
I bet I can guess what you’re thinking…good luck with that, right? Because we all no what happens when we tell ourselves NO.
It’s like someone insisting that you don’t watch that TV show, wear that outfit, or look at that car wreck. Our brains never seem to get it.
You probably know through trial and error that you can’t demand your way out of food anxiety. That’s simply not how the brain works.
But if just saying NO to triggering food thoughts doesn’t stop the food fear, what will set you free?
If you’re serious about shutting down food anxiety without forcing yourself into change (which never works!), today’s post is for you!
In this video, I’m sharing three ways knock out food fear for good, no forcing or demanding required!
I’ll show you how to take that time and energy back from food-based fear, so that you can create the space for the things you’d rather be thinking about!
Ready to set yourself free from food worry once and for all? Then watch this video below!
Step 1: Feed your body (and your mind!) Right now, I could tell you a million different ways to shift your thoughts away from your next meal. But if your body and brain aren’t sure that there will even be a next meal, mindset strategies won’t do a thing for you.
Here’s the thing. If you’ve been restricting your calories, cutting your carbs, or otherwise following a diet, your body might be running on empty. And without your knowledge.
So take care of business first. Be sure that you’re giving your body the nutritional love that it needs so that it isn’t genuine hunger driving your food fears.
That means eating enough food (yes, enough food!). It also means eating a variety of foods so that your body gets a vast array of nutrients to keep it happy.
There’s another reason why eating enough is so crucial.
Any time you restrict your food, it causes your brain to be legit worried that your body won’t be fed. That’s enough to trigger a psychological food-fear fest to go along with the physiological one.
But when you meet your body’s nutritional needs on the regular, you not only support your body, but you also build trust. Your brain learns to trust that you won’t let your body starve, which can relieve even more anxiety.
Now, here’s a little disclaimer. A lot of expect this step alone to cure all binge eating, emotional eating, and food struggles. Unfortunately, there’s a little more to it than that!
But this first step must be in place before any other strategies will help. So first things first.
Start with the basics.
Love your body, eat enough food, and create a trusting partnership with your body. It’s the foundational step to knocking out those stressful food thoughts for good.
Step 2: Stay in the moment with food. It’s a familiar story. Your breakdown, eat a cookie, then spend the rest of the day paying for it. In food-focused thoughts, that is!
Have you ever eaten something “bad,” then decided that the day is shot, so you go on a food bender for the rest of the day and promise to start over tomorrow?
Yeah, me too. That was my go-to strategy for years. Then I realized that this makes as much sense as getting a flat tire, then slashing the other three and promising to buy yourself a brand new set the next day.
Still, everyone does this at some point. It’s one of the ways that we step out of the moment with food. It’s one way that you either regret the past or fear the future.
Let’s look at a few more tactics that I bet you’ll recognize…
Maybe you feel guilty about overeating one day, so you “make up for it” by fasting the next day.
Or you know a holiday dinner or a party is coming up, so you skimp on calories all day in anticipation of an all-out calorie fest later.
One situation keeps in you stuck the past, the other worried about the future. They both put you in a place of restriction, shame, and judgment around food. Neither of them does much good for your body or your mind.
It all feeds the food-anxiety beast, and it’s based on things that have already happened, or haven’t happened yet.
However, if you focus on what your body needs in the moment, the past and future won’t be a factor. You’ll find more presence and peace in the NOW…and a lot less food stress.
So start there. When you sit down to eat, take a deep breath, let go as best as you can, and ask your body what it needs right now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but in THIS moment.
Step 3: Acknowledge (and release) the fears behind the food. Now, let’s get to a big-time food anxiety fact. Ready? Here it is…
It’s not the food itself that throws you into a panic. It’s what your mind believes that food will do to your body.
We’re talking about fear of losing control with food, falling into binging and gaining weight. The biggest factor here, of course, is the fear itself.
Choices based on fear invariably lead to one thing–more fear. In fact, if fear is your motivator, you end up in a place of scarcity, lack, and survival. And back to square one with food anxiety.
By now you’ve probably noticed a trend. After adequate fueling, it’s all about where you put your focus. And if you’re looking for less fear and more peace, the best place for your focus is in the present moment.
Let’s put all three steps together and kick food anxiety to the curb for good!
First, be sure that you eat to support your body’s needs. Do that by connecting with your body and determine what it needs each time you sit down to eat. Focus on the moment, not the past or the future.
Instead of making up for that bag of chips you ate at lunchtime by skipping a meal, ask yourself what food would support you in this moment. Rather than “saving calories” for a big night out, ask yourself what would honor the feelings you desire right now.
If you’re anxious, fearful, or judgmental while you’re in then present moment, remind yourself where these feelings come from. They’re based in a past that is gone or a future that has yet to arrive. They’re also based on old stories and beliefs that are tied to a survival mindset–and are likely not even true.
Staying in the moment is the greatest gift no matter what you wish to accomplish, and it can work all kinds of magic on food fears!
Not that it’s necessarily easy to do on demand, of course. After all, your mind can get it the way (and it frequently does). It takes practice and patience with yourself. And the entire idea might be a brand-new thing to you, too.
But you can master the present moment, and I can help!
If you want to be more present in your mind, body, and spirit and let go of food fears for good, I have something special for you!
It’s a free video that walks you through the present-moment process. It’ll take you the path to freedom and empowerment with food, one step and one moment at a time!
Use the power of the present to let go of food fears and take back your life. Grab my free training at the link below!
How do you feel about food-based fear? Have you tried present-moment living to take food anxiety out of your life?
I’d love to hear what you think about what I’ve shared here today. Does it sound like a good idea, or too good to be true?
Leave me a comment below!