Eat Till You’re Bored (and Other Red Flags)

A client at her final prepaid session recently said, “I think I’m okay on my own. I’m not bored yet.” From that, I knew she’d fail if we didn’t continue.

Now I confess. I’m a nutritionist who finds standard nutrition boring. Important, but boring.

Here’s one historic example. In 1991, the Food Guide Pyramid was released. We were also promised ’91 food labels that, among other things, would list the percent of calories from fat – because fats were the bad guys then. Food politics and finagling postponed the release of the labels until – in 1994 – we finally got the labels still in use today.

That year, every nutritionist I knew offered a seminar on how to read the new nutrition labels.

I offered a seminar on the lies and deception by the product developers that brought us the ’94 labels – instead of what they promised in ’91. I explained how to figure out what you really need to know despite the labels.

So I understand boredom with nutrition.

When Boredom’s Just What You Need

When it comes to food, though, we may need a little boredom. A good food plan needs to be a set-it-and-forget-it thing.

In fact, at a weekend financial course, the instructor told us, “Money should be boring.” She meant we should plan ahead and follow the plan, no matter what. If you’re really excited when unexpected money shows up, she said, you’re not following the plan.

She could have been talking about food. Food should be boring, too. No, you don’t have to eat the same foods every day, every week.

But the foods that provide thrills are typically junk – and often addictive. Think of sugar. Its effect on brain chemistry is the reason it’s not boring.

And that’s precisely the problem. With brain chemistry, stability is the key to feeling great long-term. That’s the focus of psychoactive nutrition, which is what I do.

When addictive foods are removed from the diet, we receive stronger signals from the body about its true needs. Control goes up. Appetite goes down. Moods even out. Reactivity to junk drops way down. We become less reactive to triggers – the sight of addictive foods, the smells and the sounds of the preparation or cooking.

Making nutrition internal is what I help my clients do. The time it takes to detox from addictive foods – sugar is the prime example – is relatively short. The time it takes to make a food plan part of you so it becomes “The Way You Eat” may be longer.

Making Your Food Plan Part Of You

A good plan makes you nonreactive to old triggers. It helps you form habits that skyrocket your energy. It changes your brain chemistry so you don’t crave the junk that kept you stuck. It makes you want to get back on the plan anytime you lapse because you can feel the difference.

It’s asking before you eat, “Will this stabilize me or de-stabilize me?”

It’s about no longer looking to food for its thrills.

When your food plan becomes part of you, your success – health, weight, relief of depression, appetite control – is your priority.

I discussed all of these things with my almost-finished client, and she renewed for several more months. The plan will be perfect for her, and she’ll succeed. Which is exactly what I want her to do.

Eat Till You’re Bored (and Other Red Flags) by Joan Kent

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