When you want to lose some weight, you typically start looking at your diet and exercise habits. That’s usually where most of the immediate change can take place. It’s something you can DO to start seeing RESULTS right away. I mean, most people start losing weight as soon as they drop the sugary sodas and candy.
What if I told you that there was more at play to seeing lasting results than just today and can? In fact, old programming and beliefs might be derailing your progress. Some people are just unable to keep weight loss results for the long term. Instead of long term progress, they revert back to old patterns that get them more of the results they don’t want. Your long learned behaviors, beliefs, and identity can have a major impact on your ability to make change in your life. The belief we’re going to discuss today is a Scarcity Mindset.
A scarcity mindset can be defined as the belief that there will never be enough of whatever it is that is necessary. It could be money, time, food, love, or anything else that holds value for you.
If you are living with a Scarcity Mindset, your thoughts and actions stem from a Place of Lack. Instead of believing there is enough to go around, you cling to everything you have out of fear of coming up short some day. This belief can negatively impact the way you behave and act towards certain things.
Here are 4 Ways Your Scarcity Mindset is Making You Fat
1 – You Buy Low Quality Foods – If you have a scarcity mindset you may think that you are saving money for a rainy day by buying a $.89 can of green beans instead of the fresh green beans. You may feel like you can load up on more cans, and keep them for a long time….you know, “Just in case.” You probably also skip over the Organic and NON-GMO foods, and go right straight to the cheapest produce and meat you can find.
In both instances, you are probably choosing to eat foods that are less nutritious, lower quality, lower flavor, and more likely to contain chemicals. None of which are best for long term optimal health or the health of your family. When you eat less nutritious foods, your body signals you to eat more of it to get those nutrients. This can cause overeating. Also, lower quality foods doesn’t taste as good…so we pile on ranch dressing, salt, and other flavorings in an attempt to just “get it down”. This adds even more calories and chemicals to our diet.
You have to decide what is most important to you right now. The few bucks you save every payday by purchasing low quality foods will likely be needed to take care of the medical expenses later in life of consuming that very food. Start doing better by yourself and family now!
Yes…buying organic food is more expensive. But, here are a few tips to cut costs.
- Try not to buy your food from Wholefoods or other high end grocery stores. Find local sources like Farmer’s Markets and family farms in your community
- Understand that not everything needs to be organic. Try to eat clean, healthy produce and meats for at least 85% of your meals. Learn about the Clean 15 (these foods are safe to purchase without being organic) and the Dirty Dozen (foods that should always be purchased as organic)
- Shop for foods that are “in season”. These foods will be at their most nutrient dense, and most delicious foods. Plus…they’ll be cheaper in season because there is an abundance.
2 – You Wolf Down Your Food – Having a scarcity mindset creates urgency. That urgency can, and often does, manifest itself into poor eating habits. Rushing through your meal like a puppy at a supper dish with his 6 siblings is not a way to maintain a thin physique.
For one, it takes your body about 20 minutes to register that you are full or satiated from your meal. If you shovel down your food in 3 minutes, it is very easy to over eat. Consistent over eating can lead to many extra calories per week. On average it takes a caloric deficit of around 1,500/week calories to lose 1 lb of body fat. Consider that you may be actually taking in an extra 200-500 calories per day by over eating, and you’ll see how important this idea is.
- Slow Down! Set a timer at your next meal and see how long it normally takes to finish your food. Each meal try to add 3-5 minutes. Your goal is to consistently take at least 20 minutes to eat. Enjoy your meal, and enjoy the process of having a meal.
- I’m sure you’ve been told by a family member at some time during your youth to “Chew Your Food”. Taking the time to chew each bite of food at least 20 times does several things. One, it slows down the eating process. Two, properly chewed food digests better and it’s nutrients are better extracted.
3 – You Force Feed Yourself – “Clean Your Plate!” is a Depression Era mentality that our grandparents forced onto our parents, and they in turn forced it on us. You had to clean your plate, because it might be a while before you got to eat again.
Look, there’s no shame in wanting to not waste food…but extra food is Extra Calories! Stuffing yourself because there is more food to eat is only adding inches to your waistband. It is not saving you money, and it is not saving you from starvation.
- Start by putting smaller portions of food on your plate at meal time. This will ensure that you don’t over eat if you clean your plate.
- Stop using serving bowls on the table. Make a plate of food from the stove, and immediately store the leftovers.
- As soon as you are satisfied from your meal (7 out of 10 on the Fullness Scale), box your food up or throw it out. Don’t hesitate on this, or you may be tempted to continue eating.
- Develop an understanding of why you have this obsession with not wasting food. Where did it come from. Accept it and understand that it no longer serves you well. Hire a coach to help you with this!
4 – You Finish Your Kid’s/Spouse’s Food – Once again your scarcity mentality is forcing you to finish off food so it “Doesn’t Go To Waste”. It’s still going to WASTE! You don’t need the extra calories. It’s making you fat. Being fat causes health problems that will cost you money on doctors bills, medication, and lost work. That seems way more wasteful to me than scraping your kids leftover lima beans into the wastebasket.
All of the tips from #3 work here, but I would add.
- Stop giving your kids adult size portions of food. Sometimes I think it’s easy to misjudge how much food a child needs…especially toddlers. I was told by a pediatrician that a very young child’s stomach is only about as big as their own fist. Use that a guide for if they have too much food on their plate.
Restructuring Old Beliefs and Behaviors
There’s a book shelf at your local Barnes and Noble filled with diet books up to the ceiling. Picking a diet is easy. But, restructuring your old beliefs and behaviors in a way that makes it easy for you to stay on track and actually follow through on your lifestyle changes can be extremely difficult. Working with a health coach can help you get past the limiting factors that are holding you back. A coach knows how to ask the right questions that lead to long-term habit change, rather than short term goals. And, if coaching isn’t the right option for you I have created something new that I call the Accountability BFF program. This program is a great place for people to get started with their lifestyle changes if they just need someone in their corner.
If you don’t know where to start, I’m here for you. Each and every week I set aside times for what I call Success Strategy Sessions. These short (and FREE!) coaching calls are designed to get you moving toward your goals and reaching them at lightening speed. During the call we’ll talk about where you currently are, where you’d like to be, and come up with some quick actionable steps you can take right away.
These calls are FREE, but I only have a limited amount of time to do them each and every week. They are “first-come-first-serve”. Schedule a free Success Strategy Session today!