Want the fastest way to another dreadful holiday full of food woes and body image concerns? Keep your restriction and deprivation mindset in place.

Restriction and deprivation in the brain sounds like, “I’m never going to get this again… I should eat more,” or “This food only comes around once a year… I should eat it all.” This mindset can produce unwanted binges and less-than-desirable emotions making your experience even worse.

This is a longer training video for you, where I explain the big picture habit formula plus strategies to begin shifting this unproductive mental habit. Practice this and ONLY THIS new way of thinking for the holidays and I promise it will transform your experience.

In this video:

  • The Curriculum of life courses created to help you change your physical, emotional and thought habits to help you cultivate your own enoughness and become the very best possible version of yourself.

Video transcription: 

I’ll tell you, holidays for me back in the day used to be really, truly a time of dread. Like complete dread and terror because I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t trust myself around food. There were tables and tables of food, and sweets, and candy. I was a sweet, candy person, but stuff that I would never allow myself. Therefore, when I was in its presence, hence the holidays, I would eat as much as I possibly could because God forbid, I never got it again in my life. Restriction and deprivation is the number one saboteur on health or a healthy holiday, if that’s what you’re going for. My name is Maya, I’m a Behavioral Registered Dietitian, founder at Healthy Habits Solution and creator of an entire online curriculum of life courses. That teaches you how to change your habits and behaviors physically, emotionally and mentally, so you can step into being you, the best possible version of you.

Let me give you a big picture here because we’re going to talk about restriction and deprivation. Restriction and deprivation are thought habits. A client or student comes to me and she wants to lose weight or increase her health and well-being. She’s like, “Well, I eat too many cookies.” That’s a physical behavior and we only do what we do because of what we’re feeling. Some of us are more in tune with our feelings than others, some are more feelings, some are more thinking. There’s no wrong in that. I said, “Why are we eating the cookies?” She said, “I’m stressed out.” Our emotional habits on this journey tends to be a lot of stress, anxiety, frustration, overwhelm, even maybe sadness or depression. Our emotions drive our behaviors. “I eat a cookie because I’m stressed out.”

Now, we can take it one step further and instead of emotional habits, those emotional habits are driven by our thought habits. I said, “Why are you stressed out?” “Because somebody didn’t answer my phone call, or the meeting got rescheduled, or things didn’t go my way, or my schedule changed.” A common thought habit in this work tends to be controlism, fellow control freaks, all-or-nothing, extremist thinking, perfectionism, fear of failure, overthinking, always waiting for the next shoe to drop, walking on eggshells. As humans, we’re humans, we have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts in a day and those thoughts can be categorized into habitual patters if you will. I don’t have to tell you to think in terms of restriction or deprivation, or all-or-nothing, or perfectionism, you just do it.

It’s habit, it’s automatic, autopilot. It’s just as simple as it is for you to get stressed out, eat a cookie, brush your teeth, tie your shoes, or ride a bike. It’s just that simple. Let me give you the full formula. We only think what we think, and feel what we feel, and do what we do because of what we believe to be true about our world. After 11 years of doing this work and being on my own journey to enoughness and becoming the best possible version of myself, because you and I are on the same journey, it’s that we’ve never felt enough for ourselves. We’ve never been enough for ourselves. We’ve never been smart enough, pretty enough, perfect enough, good enough. We’ve just never been enough for ourselves. Our whole life, it comes down to this belief system which just is a repeated thought. If you repeat a thought over and over, it’s going to become a truth in your life.

We only do what we do, we think what we think and feel what we feel, because of what we believe to be true about our world. If we don’t believe we’re good enough, pretty enough, perfect enough, smart enough, whatever enough, then we’re going to compensate via our thought habits, our emotional habits and eventually our physical habits. They manifest into the physical habits. Because it’s a lot easier to not pick up a cookie when we’re stressed out … Well, when you’re not stressed out, because your emotional habits are joy and peace, unconditionally. Because your thought patterns are balanced because you’ve trained your mind, you’ve trained your brain. You are not your brain. To think the middle ground, gray, balanced thought instead of the all-or-nothing thought. Because you know that no matter what, it’s good enough.

Now that you have the full picture, restriction and deprivation is really the one thought habit that will tank everyone in this work, chronic dietors, yo-yo dietors, stress binge and emotional eaters. It has tanked us during the holiday season. This is the one thing that I want you to be able to pay attention to. I’m going to give you some tools. This is a thought habit. Thought habits ask you to start thinking differently. If you’ve seen a picture of a brain before, you’ve seen grooves in the brain and there’s grooves in the brain and it’s kind of the Grand Canyon. The more you think that thought, the more that the neurons fire in a very specific sequence, and the more you create an easy, habitual thought pattern that your brain automatically goes.

If I say to someone from the first week they start working with me to drink nine sodas a day instead of 10, our brain starts to go a little crazy. Like, “If I don’t it all, then I’m not going to get where I want to go.” Automatically we’re starting to think differently. Your permits, becoming the best version of yourself, this work is cultivating enoughness. It’s not about learning to do differently because if you’re like me, you have a lot of knowledge, and you’ve done a lot of things, and you’ve probably experienced a lot of failures. It’s not about learning to do differently, it’s just about learning to think differently. That’s what I’m asking you to do over this holiday season, is to think differently.

Restriction and deprivation is a mindset, a pattern of thought you have engaged in for sometime in your life. It’s a pattern of thought that it’s just how you’ve always thought. It’s how you will always think should you not be conscious and aware enough to change it. Restriction and deprivation, there’s a couple of truths that you have to know going into it. One of the tools that we use here at Healthy Habits Solutions and this is what I teach clients and students to do, how to change physical habits, how to change emotional habits and how to change thought habits. Ultimately, what to believe, how to cultivate new belief systems. In thought habits, when we learn to think differently, we use a tool called thought redirection that simply says, “How can I see this differently? How can I feel better about this?”

I talked about resistance before. I’ll make sure I put a link below this video, talking about resistance. There’s two kinds of resistance that we experience. There’s physical resistance and our physical behaviors and habits. Let’s say going from eating 10 cookies a day to zero cookies a day, there’s a lot of resistance. Going from drinking 10 sodas a day to no sodas a day, lots of resistance. Exercising not at all and then starting an exercise regimen tomorrow, seven days a week for two hours a day, resistance. There’s also thought resistance. Thought resistance simply says that, “That is a very large concept, a large chunk of information, a very new way of thinking that’s being introduced to my life.”

Meaning, going from restriction and deprivation, we can’t simply go to balanced, in between black and white, non-extremist thinking tomorrow. That’s resistance, that’s extreme. We’re not going for extreme but one thing you will practice over this holiday season, is working your way towards balanced thought and balanced thinking. Already you’re having to ask yourself, what is outside of restriction and deprivation? What is not restriction and deprivation? Now, you hear a lot of … The word that’s coming to my mind is bullshit. You her a lot of crap when it comes to the holidays around, “Just make this swap, and this food, and just do this, and just do that, and then don’t eat as much, and skip dessert and have more vegetables.”

Every time I heard that when I was going through my own journey and changes at this particular point in my journey, I just wanted to punch these people in the face. Because I was like, “There’s no way I’m going to have extra vegetables and not have a piece of pie. In fact, screw your vegetables, I’m going to eat a piece of pie.” Part of moving outside of restriction and deprivation and seeing it differently is what we call “allowing”, and this is in your physical habits and behaviors. You will allow this holiday season all that you want. The more you can start eating real food … I would encourage you in your food to make everything whole and real. Only real food ingredients, only whole fats. Don’t go margarines, don’t go fat free, don’t sugar free, use the real, whole, good stuff. Use real butter, use real bacon. If you’re going to do sugars, go for the raw, cane sugars, or do honey, or goblin, or dextrose. Knowing that sugar is still a sugar, I get that, but you’re using whole, real ingredients.

When you are met with those foods, now that you have the whole, real ingredients, you are going to allow that which you want. Because the opposite of restriction and deprivation is allowance. Allowing, finding the path of least resistance. When you allow what it is that you want in the whole, real food form, then you’re starting to see it differently. Allowance is already that mind redirect. How can I see this differently? How can I think about this differently? What can I allow myself to have? “I will allow myself to have … There’s six different kinds of pies, I’m going to allow myself at this party to have four of those different kinds of pies.” Allowing myself to have four different kinds of pies in addition to a step that also says, “I’m only going to have two bites of those kinds of pies.”

That might be resistance, that might be a lot of steps for you. It may be too much in the beginning. Instead of saying, “I’m only going to have one piece of pie and it’s going to be small.” The next thing you know, you eat all six pies. Your next step is to find the path of least resistance in your physical behaviors. “I will have four of those pies. In having four of those pies, if it feels good to me, I am going to taste each of them, eat them slowly and move on. That’s my plan for the pies.” In doing so, in allowing yourself to have what you want to have, all the real food if you want to go that direction. Allowing yourself to have what you want to have, then we start to move out of the restriction and deprivation mindset. You want to ask yourself … In that moment I had a client that asked herself, I wrote this down. “I’m I eating it because I want it or because I want to be bad.”

You can feel restriction and deprivation, you can feel how full of resistance it is, you can feel how much of a fight restriction and deprivation is, or you can feel how expansive open and allowing, allowing is. She says, “I’m I eating it because I want it and because I’m allowing myself to have some, or because I want to be bad.” Where restriction and deprivation leads. Sometimes the only difference between a mindset shift is feeling your way through this mindset shift. If I want to restrict and deprive, then that’s going to feel restrictive, it’s going to feel harsh, it’s going to feel like fighting, it’s going to feel like resistance. Versus, “I am going to allow something this holiday season, which is open and expansive and feel so much better.”

I always used to use with myself as well, that there will be more tomorrow. As I am allowing myself to have a piece of pie … I don’t know why I’m using pie as an example. As I’m allowing myself to have a piece of pie, I will tell myself in that moment, should I want to have six pieces of pie instead of one, that I can have pie tomorrow. I can have pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I want to, tomorrow. That was my step in allowing. If I want to tomorrow, there will be more tomorrow and I could have more tomorrow. Because it’s the moment that you tell yourself that, “I cannot have more tomorrow, that this is all I’m ever going to get, and then I may as well eat all of it right now because this food only comes around once a year.” You’re setting yourself up for failure and falling right back into the restriction and deprivation mindset, that produces unwanted emotions and unwanted behaviors. You see the full train here.

I had a client, she came to me because she wanted to goo gluten free and she had a bunch of food allergies and fell into the restriction and deprivation mindsets. She was binging on … The moment that she had gluten break, then she was like, “Well, screw it. I had one piece of bread, so I may as well eat the whole loaf and I’m going to go gluten free on Monday again.” Right, you’ve been there too? Eliminating restriction and deprivation is about finding a stepping stone of least resistance in your physical habits. “I’m going to allow four slices of pie instead of six. I’m going to allow four different kinds of pie instead of six. I’m going to put it on to a small. I’m going to find a feel good step in my physical behavior change that is small, that I can do forever. I’m going to start thinking differently.”

How can I see this differently? How can I feel better about this? Those answers could be “I’m I eating it because I want it or because I want to be bad? There will be more tomorrow.” Those are mind redirects, thought redirects, something that helps you to see a different way. If you have any questions on restriction or deprivation, all-or-nothing thinking, place those below. If you’ve had any a-ha moments, I’d love to hear from you. What was the most helpful? This was more of an in-depth discussion and training on how do I change my thinking habits, my thought habits and patterns. No, that should you choose to go deeper into this work and remember this work is not about doing differently as much as it is about thinking differently. I know a lot of you have tried so many different things. “I hear it all the time. I know, What’s the difference? I’ve done this before.” I need you to know that there’s a difference between knowledge and integration.

You can have all the knowledge in the world and write your own diet book at this point. However, when you integrate something and you experience something, in your experience you take it in and you feel the difference that it creates in you. When you practice outside of all-or-nothing, restriction and deprivation-based thinking, you are going to feel a different emotional habit because of it, feel a different emotion because those thoughts produce emotions. Should you want to take your work deeper, there’s two ways that you can do this. I have an online curriculum of life courses, how to change a habit, how to feel, how to change your emotional habit, how to think, how to change a thought habit and what to believe.

Those are the foundational life courses in the curriculum and then there’s extra curriculum courses as well. It’s as low as around $50 a month to get started. Anybody can start this work and it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing to do it. You can start this work and you can start right now and start to experience these changes and shifts. The next thing you know, by next holiday season, you’re going to be a completely different person. Of course, if you want to do it with me, there’s part-time and full-time options to do it with me as well, as a personal client. I’ll put everything that you need below to get started and don’t forget about your comments. I want to hear more from you to keep this discussion going. You could maintain a healthier holiday in a whole new way.