Helder If only I had more willpower, I could stop eating so much junk food.
Can you help?
For me this is not the fact that you have less motivation or willpower, it is more about your environment.
What do you mean Helder?
Try these 3 steps
1. Determine your red, yellow, and green light foods.
Let me start by saying I don’t believe in good or bad foods. Everyone’s red, yellow, and green lists will be different.
Here’s how to identify yours:
Red light foods = “no go” foods. These are foods that present such a difficult challenge for you that they just aren’t worth the struggle. Red light foods may not work for you because:
They don’t help you achieve your goals You always overeat them You’re allergic to them You can’t easily digest them You just don’t like them Ultra-processed foods often fall into this category.
Yellow light foods = “slow down” foods. Maybe you can eat a little bit of these and stop, or you can eat them sanely at a restaurant with others, but not at home alone.
Green light foods = anytime foods. They’re nutritious and make your body and mind feel good. You can eat them normally, slowly, and in reasonable amounts. Whole foods usually make up most of this list.
Knowing the above clean out your fridge, pantry, freezer, and other places you keep food. In the process, you’ll make some foods a lot harder to eat and other foods a lot easier to eat.
2. You’ll probably need a large bin bag!
First, get rid of the red light foods. If you struggle with the idea of wasting food, consider donating unopened, non-perishable, unexpired items to a charity.
Remind yourself: Overeating is no less wasteful than trashing the food, given your body doesn’t actually need the calories. Plus, you just might find, that your kitchen purge actually saves you money over time because you’ll stop buying certain foods.
Next, deal with the yellow light foods. You have a few options here. You can remove them, keep them in smaller quantities to prevent overeating, or put them somewhere hard to see and reach.
Lastly, stock up on your green light foods. Put these foods front and center and take steps to make them easy to grab and eat.
3. The next time you get a craving for a red or yellow food, notice what happens. Do you reach for something on your green light list, since that’s what’s right in front of you? Or do you drive to the store to get food you crave? Or… do you decide not to eat anything at all because it requires way too much effort?
Make a note of the feeling and your action, over time your notes will tell you how well or how bad you are doing.
Understanding that your environment guides your decisions can facilitate better actions long term.