A Great Way to Lose Weight

This is for everybody, but mostly aimed at parents, kids, those trying to lose weight, or maintain weight. My message is simple: Food should not be a reward. I’m not really one to talk, but now I try to follow this too. Of course, we look forward to special dinners, nights out with friends, and barbecues with families, but what I speak of is different. Think about this situation: reminding your child before you drop them off at kindergarten that if they are good all day and don’t cry, they get to go to McDonald’s after!

Who thought eating at Wendy's could be so seductive?

Who thought eating at Wendy’s could be so seductive?

Now, what’s wrong with that situation? Well, many things, you might say. But think about the habits that it forms. Child thinks…do not cry, get to go to McDonald’s. Being good = deserving yummy food. They then depend on it. This doesn’t just revolve around children because children tend to grow up into adults. And then we develop emotional eating. 

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced emotional eating at one point or the other whether it be happy (like the McDonald’s child) or sad. Every time, we feel we deserve a reward, we often think of food…cupcakes, an ice cream, you name it. It just sets us up for failure if we’re trying to stay on a healthy lifestyle or lose weight. We aren’t dogs (although, I tend to resemble one when it comes to churros) and we shouldn’t treat ourselves like dogs. When you’re sad, or when you were a child and became sad, doesn’t the thought of ice cream cheer you up? Stop your tears right in their tracks? Now it’s time to reverse that habit.

This takes a lot of time, effort, and willpower to reverse this bad habit that is so constant in our society. Whenever you feel like you deserve something, that you did something well, instead of celebrating by binge-eating that batch of brownies your partner made, go out dancing, to a museum, to a convention, on a trip! Find other ways of rewarding yourself. Put this into your mind! Think about it and let it seep into your life. Food is not a reward. It is an energy source. There are so many other things we can reward ourselves with.

Girl Scout cookie madness

Girl Scout cookie madness

This is so important for those trying to lose weight. Again, sometimes I do this myself (I could argue I’m not trying to lose weight, but it’s good to set examples), but I’m urging you to simply get out of the habit of rewarding yourself with food to avoid emotional eating or setting triggers for yourself. Let’s set ourselves up for success, not failure.

Yup.

Yup.

Feel free to comment or contact us in regards to any questions with how to break this. I hope you enjoyed these ridiculous pictures of Chris. Cheers! Use this post to stay hungry and fit!

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15 Responses to "A Great Way to Lose Weight"

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  1. innocentbystandr

    June 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Hi there, new reader here. I appreciate this post bc I think about/struggle with this kind of stuff all the time. This idea that we somehow “earn” food, or otherwise create emotional reward connections with food. For kids, it’s if they behave, for adults it’s if they ate well all week, or “deserve” it after long workouts. I deal with this myself. I also think connections with resturant s is important to address. I know for myself, I associate dining out with a sort of “satisfaction currency”… if I am paying $40 to eat out, I am going to eat and eat well.. and the definiton of “well” thus gets very, very blurred. I think I’ll be dissatisfied if I only have a salad, as opposed to the eggplant rollatini — like, if I wanted a salad I’d have just stayed home. This means I equate dining out with some kind of worth, as opposed to just seeing it as a social opportunity independent from my food satisfaction currency. This was probably developed from years of early emotional connections to food, such as the ones you mention in your post. I dont think my mom over did it with the food rewards but whatever happened I developed those unhealthy connections. The things in my comment and in your post are VERY VERY difficult habits to break and take a long time of consistent emotional re-training that often can’t be done alone– a little professional support is always helpful! For myself, I have IBS and certain foods always cause problems for me. A couple of years ago, I didnt know what I ha or what my triggers were. Now that I DO know, I just think about how I will feel if I eat a certain way. Ironically, my “reward” foods were anything but rewards– they were like the opposite of a reward. Thinking BAD FOOD is a reward is ridiculous. The picture is always bigger than the food. Dining out is about the social aspects, not the meal/dessert you think is financially worth it. Working out is a component to a healthy lifestyle, not a means to earning McDonald’s.

    Reply
    • hungryandfit

      June 15, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Great comment. So true.

      Reply
    • Akela Louise

      June 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

      I love your comment!. The eating out thing was something that I definitely had to overcome!!! To the point where-for the first three months of my journey I avoided nights out with friends until I could at least slightly understand that food is fuel NOT A REWARD! Why would I pay to feel miserable the next day? I’m absolutely ordering the salad or another healthy choice on the menu and not focusing on the cheesiest, sauciest, most unique thing. It’s definitely about fellowshipping and following through on my lifestyle lift.

      Reply
  2. SweetHanrahan

    June 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I loved this post.

    I agree, food should NEVER be a reward. I try to reward myself with clothes, shoes, purses, etc. because it makes me as happy as food does without the calories!

    Reply
  3. Eva McElwain Tucci

    June 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    :( Guilty as Hungry knows although I have a sweet tooth I am NOT a junk food eater but when my children were young I felt so guilty because it was always why doe so and so get this and that and you are the mother who brings out a bowl of fruit ( major embarrassment) so every once in a while I would treat my children to those types of Happy Meals although it was not something I believed in …like soda …guilty mom syndrome ..sigh

    Reply
  4. fitin52

    June 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I really appreciate this because first and foremost I am an emotional eater. Always have been. I have had to learn that food – while awesome – is not my “friend” and seeking comfort in its arms is not healthy or very rewarding in the end. Do I slip back into that every now and then? Yup. Sure do. But since it really is ONLY ever now and then I just pick myself back up and continue forward rather than beating myself (because food should also not be a punishment).

    The second reason I appreciate this is because I work with families and children and I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a parent say “if you’re good you can have a treat after school.” How about instead “if you’re nice to people they will be nice to you. What a good feeling!” I mean, really, let’s think about the important things in life and teach our children about them instead of quick fixes like throwing a bag of M&M’s at them just to make them stop crying. Seriously, folks.

    Anyway, thanks!

    Reply
  5. Akela Louise

    June 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Love this!!!

    Reply
  6. Hannah Eagan

    July 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Great reminder!

    Reply
  7. Victoria

    July 12, 2013 at 4:13 am

    I love this article very much well explained about Losing Weight

    Reply
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    July 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

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