When women want to lose weight.
They’re trying to lose weight.
They’re thinking about losing weight.
Or they’re not losing weight.
I hear, “I get going for a little while and things are going good. Then I get really bored, I get bored of the food. Then I quit I. You know, get off track. I binge eat and it’s really hard to keep going. I just get really bored. I’m so bored of the food.”
I have thoughts on this.
First of all, and I know it’s not the answer or the response I should say that anybody ever wants to hear……..so what?
The answer is, so what?
It’s two words you can use all the time. I don’t know that you want to use it right away with your kids and your spouse because they probably will be taken aback. When you’re having these thoughts, “I’m so bored with the food.” So what?
- So what is the question?
- What does that mean?
- What are you making it mean?
- Why is this a problem?
You’re asking your brain to come up with an answer other than “it’s just so boring” and it makes sense. It’s almost very much like being a kid or having kids that are always bored.
Kids today have iPhones, iPads, and TVs with a million channels. Everything under the sun. A million YouTube channels, it’s a crazy world out there, so that our brains will never be bored.
We’re just flipping and switching and scrolling to the next thing. Now there’s reels and tiktoks and all of this stuff, as if being bored in general is a bad thing. We are overstimulated as a nation. With food, it’s kind of that same expectation.
We expect that food should be:
- Bring me pleasure
- Something I should look forward to
- A reward
- A treat.
All of these things.
We’re always thinking, it needs to be interesting. I need to love it, it needs to be tantalizing, and flavorful, and all of these things. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m also not saying I would eat things that are burnt, rotten, terrible, or that you hate because that’s not going to work.
If you really do hate something, it doesn’t sit well with you. The smell of it is repulsive to you, you’re not going to eat it, right?
I think with many diets, programs and plans we end up in that situation. Women coming in and out of keto, you just don’t like the mouthfeel of a high fat diet. You don’t like fatty foods, you don’t like to be on a low fiber diet, essentially. So it’s a consideration.
I’m not telling anyone that you have to do something that doesn’t work for you.
If there’s one thing that you’ve probably figured out from Unf*ck Your Weight Loss, it is about doing something that works for you and it has to be sustainable. It has to be fairly easy. It has to be fairly enjoyable.
Every meal we have is not going to be and a f*cking fiesta in your mouth. It’s just not. It doesn’t have to be. You also don’t want it to be, because if every time I eat is the best meal I’ve ever had;
- What will I look forward to on Thanksgiving?
- What will I look forward to on my birthday?
- Don’t I want to have some meals that are more special?
Wouldn’t it just be easier if most of my meals were good?
They hit the spot and they had flavor and taste and fuel and nutrition and energy? Wouldn’t that be okay too?
I get it. If you eat the same things over and over and over, you will be bored. You’ll be burnt out. It’s like listening to the same song over and over and over. We all do it. We find something that we like, and we ride it out till it’s done. It’s okay. I believe that we should probably rotate our foods.
I always talk about having “go to meals.”
- Things that are easy for me to make.
- I don’t need a recipe.
- I don’t need 10 million ingredients.
- It’s things that I generally already have in my home.
- They can be mixed and matched.
- Simple, easy things.
I understand having these go to meals. Every so often, I’ll take one out, I don’t want any more. I’m sick of XYZ. That’s totally fine. I can give it a rest. I can put it on the bench. I can bring up the next level, right?
What’s another go to meal I can use? Sometimes it’s very simple. It’s rotating in and out eggs, or protein shakes, or a different kind of salad. It’s that simple.
We don’t have to assume that the way we are eating is all boring and I just need to eat Doritos on the couch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s a time and place for Doritos on the couch.
I would also ask you:
- Is my food boring?
- Or it’s boring?
- Or I get bored?
- Is that a thought?
- Is it a feeling?
- Or is it both?
I want to talk about it quickly as a thought.
It’s just a thought.
It’s boring. This is a thought.
So what? Why is it a problem that your food is boring?
I’m going to argue that boring food, in many ways, is very helpful to weight loss. If you’re no longer overstimulated, over excited, over desiring food. If it’s just whatever, it’s just food, then you’re less likely to over eat it.
Boring food. It’s just plain and simple.
Sometimes it’s just changing what boring means to you. You’re boring to me is simple. You’re boring to me is easy. You’re boring to me, is predictable.
Do you ever go home and think my house is so boring?
This is gonna be like a Dr. Seuss rhyme.
My spouse is so boring.
My kids are so boring.
My dog is so boring.
Guess what they are?
They are. We all are. We’re all boring!
And that’s okay.
It’s home for us.
If we just look at “it so boring” as a thought that we think, that our brain thinks. Our brain likes excitement. Our brain likes rewarding food. Our brain likes hyper palatable food. Our brain is always looking for the dopamine hit.
If we could just get our dopamine hit in other ways;
- We would probably be leaner,
- We would probably hit our weight loss goals faster,
- We wouldn’t struggle as much with food, over eating, and over desiring food.
The next time you have a thought, “It’s so boring. I’m so bored of all this food.” Take a moment to ask yourself. What’s the problem with that? Why is it a problem if the food is boring? If it’s so boring that you are having a gag reflex, that’s totally different.
We just want clarity around what is so boring and what the problem is.
I am an advocate for boring food.
I am on board with that. Keep it so simple that we are getting in the routine. Most of our meals are for fuel, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them. How could you enjoy them more?
Sometimes, with boring food, we are being too restrictive. Are you limiting yourself to some really Spartan draconian food list? That happens too.
This is why it’s really important to tease this all apart, not just accept it wholesale and just say, “yeah, it’s boring.” That’s the problem. The food is boring, I’m bored, I get too bored. Then I quit.
Let’s really dig in and find out what is going on.
Are your food choices just really limited by old diets and things you’ve learned before that you think you have to do? I can only have these five foods, or these four things, or this kind of protein powder, or whatever. Maybe that’s the problem. I get it.
I have at least 30 or 40 years of, “these are the only foods you can have.” It’s very weird to break out of some of those patterns.
That’s part of really learning about;
- Your relationship with yourself,
- Your relationship with food, and
- Becoming somebody who does lose weight and keeps it off forever.
If we’re always going to go,
- Food is boring.
- I’m so bored.
- I need excitement.
- I need to love my food.
- I need the highly hyper palatable food to be excited about again
We’re going to find ourselves losing and gaining and losing and gaining.
Although I’m advocating for boring food, I know you’re like, “oh, I don’t like that.” My food is never boring. I put salt on everything. I like ketchup. Nobody ever got fat from too much ketchup by the way. Nobody ever got fat from too much salt.
What about loosening your food list? Look at your go to meals, what are you eating? Is it really rigid and strict? Are you trying to make every sandwich out of lettuce? What is happening?
Boring food can be your best friend, it’s just a matter of flipping your thoughts.
I also understand that being bored is also a feeling. It could be a thought, it could be a feeling. Often, our brain makes being bored a problem.
Many of the women I know are eating at night. You know, after eight or nine o’clock at night. We’re gonna watch our shows. We’re going to scroll through our phone. We’re going to scroll through Instagram or Tiktok or whatever. We’re going to not go to bed because we need to have our time. I need my me time, my alone time. Yet, I’m bored. I’m lonely. I’m sad. I’m anxious. I’m all these things.
Our brain doesn’t want to be bored. It is like a five year old forever. Right now my 45 year old brain is really five years old. A five year old does not want to be bored. Can I look at your phone? Can I look at the iPad? Can I watch TV? I see it all the time with my own kids, and my own brain too.
I don’t have a better brain than you. I just question my thoughts. I feel my feelings and I try to figure out what they’re all about. Sometimes I just feel them. Sometimes I want to feel them. Sometimes I want to feel sad. Just like anything else. You want to feel sad when it’s appropriate. When you see some sad news on the TV or you read some horrible story. You want to feel sad when somebody you love dies. You want to be sad when something doesn’t feel just right to you. Sometimes we just want to be sad. There’s nothing wrong with that.
As it pertains to eating, overeating, eating off our plan, and all the ways our brain tries to convince us there’s a problem, like being bored. I’m going to suggest that if you feel bored, are you just bored in general? Are you just bored with your food? We want to figure all of that out.
We don’t want being bored or thinking I’m bored, or thinking certain foods are boring to be in the way of our weight loss.
You can lose weight, eating pretty much anything.
I know. Sounds crazy. It’s just not eating anything you want, as much as you want, when ever you want. So could you eat pizza and Twinkies and ding dongs and Doritos and lose weight? You could? You absolutely could.
If you think that those foods are exciting and desirable and not boring, you could, you absolutely could. You just can’t eat all the pizza and all the ding dongs and all the Doritos all the time, because you will over consume calories.
At the end of the day, weight loss is going to be some math and science. We can’t override the amount of calories that we need to either maintain our current weight or lose weight, it is a little bit of a moving target. For sure. We don’t necessarily know exactly.
It does take time to figure those baseline numbers out.
However, you cannot figure out any of those numbers if we just randomly eat whenever we’re bored. Whenever we want, because we feel like it, someone offers it to us or everybody else is doing it. We do have to make a plan and stick to it. A lot of the feeling bored seems to come after 5pm, right?
At 7am, as you’re making coffee or you’re just getting ready for work, you’re in the shower, you’re just not in that mindset of it has to be exciting. Do you drink your coffee a different way every single day? Probably not. Everything before 5pm is pretty much clockwork. Then again, 5pm is arbitrary. Maybe it’s 3pm for you. Maybe it’s 7pm. Maybe it’s 8pm. Depending on your schedule, but you get what I mean.
I want you to be aware of the next time your brain tells you that you’re bored. That you feel bored, or you think something is boring, the food is boring.
That’s the moment.
- It’s just a sneaky thought.
- It’s a thought about how this can’t work.
- How it’s not fun.
- It’s not good.
- It’s not exciting.
Just know that it’s okay.
It’s okay to have the thoughts. You’re going to have all sorts of thoughts. You’re going to have all kinds of feelings. We don’t have to make those go away. We just want to be aware of them and see what they’re all about.
Why does it matter that the food is boring?
You know where it’s going. When we feel like we don’t have other things to look forward to. We don’t have joy in other parts of our life. The joy comes on a Friday evening, right after the long week. What I look forward to is drinking wine, eating pizza, and sitting on my couch.
There’s nothing wrong with that;
- Unless it’s getting in the way of your goals.
- Unless it’s going against all the whys you want to lose weight.
- Unless it’s standing in the way of being who you really want to be.
It’s hard sometimes to confront this sort of truth, where I’m getting my joy from food. I know for me, that was true for a long time.
- I get my joy from food,
- I look forward to food,
- I need that weekend,
- The cheat meal,
- A diet break.
I can’t wait for that.
When I am trying to be more aware and more cognizant of what I’m eating, you start to realize, Okay, now what? Am I going to talk to these people in my house? What are we going to do? I’m not eating. I’m very much aware of my thoughts and feelings.
To our brains that feels scary.
I’m going to leave you with this.
The next time your brain is pitching a fit over the food, ask yourself;
- So what if it’s boring?
- Why is it a problem?
- What am I making this mean?
You can also choose to rotate out your foods. Take a look at your food lists. Are they too restrictive? Are you trying to achieve some level of perfection that’s just just not sustainable?
You can decide at any given time to incorporate certain foods. You can. Your food does not have to be boring. Boring is just a thought. What I think is boring and you think is boring are two different things.
Boring is not universal.
It is your brain. seeking pleasure, seeking joy, seeking, dopamine seeking something to do other than maybe doing nothing. Maybe resting, maybe read a book, maybe fold your laundry, maybe go to bed.
Here’s to our wonderfully simple and boring lives!
NOTES IN ANCHOR
“I’M BORRRREEEEDDD!” If you are a parent, you may have just flinched at that very triggering statement. In today’s world, we expect to be entertained 24/7. Being bored is not an option. I mean we have phones, computers, TVs, streaming services, and literally any and everything you can think of to be entertained.
If we aren’t scrolling TikTok or Instagram, we think we are bored. Sadly, the same mindset also applies to food. After a while, our go-to meals get boring.
But the question is…why is that a problem? Isn’t it ok to be bored?
Isn’t it ok for our food to be boring? If every meal is absolutely the most amazing thing you have ever eaten, then you have nothing to look forward to on Thanksgiving or your birthday. When it comes to food, maybe boring is good. It could certainly help with weight loss if food is no longer overstimulating or overly desirable.
Luckily for all of us, boring is not a universal thing. My boring and your boring could be totally different. The point is boring food might not be such a bad thing. Especially if that boring food helps nourish your body properly, keep you healthy, and yes, even help you lose and maintain permanent weight loss.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what boring means and why it often gets in the way of our weight loss journey!
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience.
Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.
Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you unf*ck your diet brain.
She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.
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