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Do You Play Mind Tricks on Yourself to Stay Healthy?


In the May issue of Elle, Fergie confesses that she tricks herself out of eating the bad stuff.

"I'm not going to lie: There are times I play mind tricks on myself, like that the french fries are poison. With desserts, I'll let myself have just one bite, but I'll look like a freak when I'm eating it, like when I did Duncan Hines commercials as a kid, just savoring every morsel."

My tactics are a little different than Fergie's because I'm worried that calling something "poison" might lead to a bad relationship with food. I have, however, made a point to keep unhealthy foods out of my home — I figure if it's not there, I won't eat it. A trick my friend plays on herself when she gets cravings is to imagine herself fitting into smaller clothes; it's enough to stop her from overindulging!

Tell me . . .

leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 4 years 23 weeks
Well with the way french fries are produced now n' days, they are poison. Better off making them yourself for a special occasion if you need to have them. Anyway, I used to try and trick myself however I found the better way to avoid a certain junk food craving was to simple read the ingredients. Once I did that, my craving would fade away since I did not want to intake the unpronounceable, un-natural substances. Now I focus on strengthening my willpower to overcome my craving for the "healthy" cookies in the pantry (like Kashi and Newman's Own.) That is the challenge but I will make myself prevail,lol. Food wise, I can't lie to myself however I can when I need to push through a workout. That is when a little mental trick definitely helps.
inlove23 inlove23 4 years 23 weeks
To katieb: wow! I don't know anyone (beside me) that has read that book. Defiantly interesting.
benheld benheld 4 years 23 weeks
I definitely use strategies to keep myself eating healthy. Like keeping fruit in a bowl on the table, so I just want to pick some up and eat it, or limiting my bagel habit to a Friday treat only. But I would never go so far as to think of my food as poison, put salt deliberately on my food, etc. That's just too much for me.
snarkypants snarkypants 4 years 23 weeks
i think it's funny that a former meth user calls fries "poison". like many of you, i just think about how yucky i feel after pigging out or how long it will take to shed the calories
Zulkey Zulkey 4 years 23 weeks
Julea, I feel your pain. Here's hoping we can both pull out of it--not for the sake of losing weight but feeling like failure just sucks.
julea julea 4 years 23 weeks
Where's the option "None of the above, I am in a slump now and eating really badly and need to lose the 7 lbs I have just gained"? :( I am FAILING so badly at what usually comes pretty easily to me, and I don't know how to switch it off. UGH. I feel so gross. I hate phases like this, losing weight is a bajillion times harder than gaining it....
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 4 years 23 weeks
I think I have trained my taste buds to genuinely enjoy and crave healthy foods--fruits, veggies, soy, and whole grains--and it grosses me out to think of eating processed salty, fatty foods. Plus like Mandeelei said, there are ALWAYS healthier alternatives to "junk foods." When I know something is bad for my body, it takes away the pleasure of the taste!
Zulkey Zulkey 4 years 23 weeks
Giasbash, just out of curiosity--no birthday cake, wedding cake, homemade cookies or brownies or anything? How do you do it?
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 4 years 23 weeks
Eating healthy just comes easily for me! I will NEVER EVER EVER touch anything with sugar in it... other than vegetables [and they have a minuscule amount of sugar]! I adore healthy foods - bring on a huge salmon fillet or some sashimi! Delish!
Zulkey Zulkey 4 years 23 weeks
I feel like "mind tricks" sounds a little insane...but sometimes I'll just tell myself I won't have something now, I'll have it later.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 4 years 23 weeks
I'm with 2muchtv.
omminka omminka 4 years 23 weeks
I say to myself 'matter over mind' which reminds me that my body is easier to control than my mind so I focus on controlling only my body and somehow this allows me to feel more in control of myself and quiets my mind especially when I'm craving something unhealthy. If that makes any sense...
TADOW TADOW 4 years 23 weeks
Not really, but I am conscious of calories so like Anon 3 I think about how hard it is to burn off the calories.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 4 years 23 weeks
Pretending wouldn't really work for me since I'd know full well I was lying to myself. I just think about how guilty I'll feel or allow myself a small piece.
Mila_83 Mila_83 4 years 23 weeks
I guess I'm just lucky - I just love and crave foods that are naturally healthy for you - I always crave fruit and never chocolate:) but I'm also try to treat my body as well as I possibly can and I'm very aware of what I want and don't want to put into it. I know that it won't enjoy greasy french fries,fatty chocolate cake or chips but some fresh pineapple, oatmeal with blueberries and a spoon of almond butter will make us both a lot happier:)))
MandeeLei MandeeLei 4 years 24 weeks
I also thought about Dolores from"She's Come Undone" when I read this. I do not play mind tricks with myself when it comes to food, I tell myself the harsh truth. There are much more filling foods to eat than french fries or brownies or cupcakes and much healthier choices too. You can even make healthy versions of these or any foods. So I rarely feel deprived. However when it comes to working out I play mind tricks with myself pretty much the whole time. If I can find any way to make the exercise I'm doin fun or a game or some kind of challenge then I will just to make it go by faster.
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 4 years 24 weeks
I just pretend I don't like the taste of something or visualize how much time on the treadmill it would take it burn it off. That usually does the trick, but if not, I can probably say that I am genuinely craving it and then give in a little and move on with life.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 4 years 24 weeks
I have enough food that are effectively poison to me, so I don't need to add to those.
Meowphotog Meowphotog 4 years 24 weeks
My mind tricks have more to do with running on the treadmill longer. I look at food and go "is it ok for me to eat this today, did I work hard enough? do I deserve it?" I don't really want to look at food and think "ew, that's gross and filled with poison!" everything in moderation.
Spectra Spectra 4 years 24 weeks
I don't know if I'd call it playing "tricks" on myself, but I focus more on what I CAN eat than what I can't. I think of a bowl of fruit with yogurt on it as a decadent dessert; not a healthy substitute for ice cream. And I drink coffee with cream and sugar in it instead of having dessert when I'm eating at a restaurant...it's got a fraction of the calories of a real dessert and it's much cheaper. Plus, if I use real cream, it's got a very nice mouth feel to it. I definitely don't feel deprived when I do that.
4 years 24 weeks
I just remind myself how hard it was to burn just 200 calories which isn't even a candy bar!
2muchtv 2muchtv 4 years 24 weeks
After time, your tastebuds adapt, and you taste all the un-healthy foods, and it's pretty gross. Believe it or not, you have to get used to junk food. Once your tastes have changed, 1-3 bites, and you stop eating.
katieb82981 katieb82981 4 years 24 weeks
This reminds me how the main character in "She's Come Undone" loses weight by visualizing her food growing mold.