Stop beating yourself's a trap!

Jun 29, 2022

Have you felt guilt or shame after an overeating episode? Have you beaten yourself after, hoping that will give you momentum to make healthier choices moving forward?

Does these thoughts sound something like this?

“I shouldn’t have eaten that!”

 “I will make sure I eat extra clean tomorrow to make up for this”

You are not alone! Many women have learnt through diet culture that self-discipline is the only way to learn not to repeat a behaviour, but guess what… beating yourself up may provide short term momentum, however, it will not provide you with the long term confidence to develop a healthier relationship with all foods, and a sustainable eating pattern. Permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes! 


Why beating yourself up never works!

Beating yourself up leads to a lot of negative emotions such as distress, guilt, and shame, these emotions leave you stuck in the problem, rather than focusing on the solution! You may try to be ‘extra strict’ with your next meal, but what inevitably happens is that you end up turning to food once again in a similar scenario. Why? Because you never started to unpack the root cause of the overeating episode!

Then why do we beat ourselves up?! Deep down we believe that it helps us..however the reality is it is actually slowing everything down for you.


What actually works

What if we told you that ditching the harsh inner critic, guilt, and shame is essential to achieve permanent weight loss? Our clients that are the most successful in achieving, and most importantly, sustaining weight loss, are the ones that adapt the 1% Rule. The 1% rule is a solution focused approach to dealing with any setback like a pro. If you go into any eating situation, and you feel that you may have eaten more than your body needs, instead of turning to the harsh inner critic, the 1% rule challenges you to get curious and interested. Ask yourself this 1 simple question, “what is a 1% tweak I can make next time I am in a similar scenario?” This is called practicing resilience. Resilience allows you to learn, and grow from a setback, that way you feel more equipped when you are faced with a similar eating scenario!


Example of the 1% Rule

Let’s say you went out to a restaurant, and you ordered a steak and vegetables. You felt full after eating half of the steak (as it was a large piece!!), but you felt guilty wasting the other half so you pushed yourself to finish the full steak. After, you felt overly full and a little uncomfortable.  

Your 1% tweak: Next time you are dining out, you will check in with your fullness halfway through your meal, and if you are full, you will ask the waiter for a to-go container. You can then re-purpose the leftovers to make a steak salad the next day!


How you can implement the 1% rule 

Step #1: Notice how your brain may be defaulting to beating yourself up! Get curious and interested, what is your brain telling you? What feelings are these thoughts generating?

Step #2: Take a self-compassion pause. Recognize that focusing on the problem is holding you back! Take a moment to accept that the overeating event happened, and the best you can do is look into the future. Use phrases to practice self-compassion, for example, “this happened, but I get to learn and grow from it”.

Step #3. Apply the 1% rule. Ask yourself, “what is a 1% tweak I can make next time I am in a similar scenario?” Make sure this is realistic and do-able for you!


In health,

HMC Team

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