No Wellness Wankery

37: Why can't I stop eating peanut butter, cereal or bread?

November 15, 2022
37: Why can't I stop eating peanut butter, cereal or bread?
No Wellness Wankery
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No Wellness Wankery
37: Why can't I stop eating peanut butter, cereal or bread?
Nov 15, 2022

Do you spend all day eating well, but comfort eat when you get home?

Do you eat healthily during the week, but overeat on the weekend?

Guess what? There's nothing wrong with your willpower or dieting strength!

If you believe foods like peanut butter are ‘fattening’, you’re almost setting yourself up for a troublesome relationship with food. 

When your body trusts that you aren’t being deprived, you will stop emotional eating and no longer feel the need to binge on this food.

Lyndi suffered from binge eating for over 10 years, so let's unpack some of her most helpful strategies.

❔ Are you a binge or emotional eater? If you feel out of control around food, or can’t stop eating once you start, PLEASE take my quiz to find out if you display signs of binge or emotional eating. I’ll promise to hand over helpful guidance to help you create a normal relationship with food.

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Show Notes Transcript

Do you spend all day eating well, but comfort eat when you get home?

Do you eat healthily during the week, but overeat on the weekend?

Guess what? There's nothing wrong with your willpower or dieting strength!

If you believe foods like peanut butter are ‘fattening’, you’re almost setting yourself up for a troublesome relationship with food. 

When your body trusts that you aren’t being deprived, you will stop emotional eating and no longer feel the need to binge on this food.

Lyndi suffered from binge eating for over 10 years, so let's unpack some of her most helpful strategies.

❔ Are you a binge or emotional eater? If you feel out of control around food, or can’t stop eating once you start, PLEASE take my quiz to find out if you display signs of binge or emotional eating. I’ll promise to hand over helpful guidance to help you create a normal relationship with food.

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Jenna
 0:00:00
 Hello, this is the No Wellness Wankery podcast and you have chosen the correct podcast if you want help to find all the wankery within the wellness world. I am Jenna D'Apice and I'm joined by my lovely co-host, Lyndi Cohen.

Lyndi
 0:00:47
 Hello, it's Lyndi. And I feel like you could be listening to any number of podcasts right now a lot of like There's a lot of there's a lot a lot of there's a lot of podcasts I'm grateful that you're listening to ask for your walk for your commute or just wanting a chat with friends So today is a goodie and something that's seriously common and I want you to know that it's common is a bit of a question I often get is why can't I stop eating peanut butter? Why can't I stop eating cereal? Why can't I stop eating bread? And these are really common. It's really common for us to have these relationships with things like peanut butter. I know for myself, I used to really have a thing with peanut butter where I couldn't really keep it in the house when I was older, but when I was at home, it certainly was something that was quite forbidden and bad. My mom used to try and keep quite a healthy household, but peanut butter was still allowed because peanut butter is healthy. And so what I would do is I'd take a teaspoon and I'd go and get the peanut butter and I'd have a teaspoon and then I'd secretly eat it and then I'd go away and then I'd come back and then 10, 20 teaspoons later, the peanut butter is almost gone again and here I am in a very familiar situation where I can't stop eating the peanut butter.

Jenna
 0:01:56
 And it's this insane feeling of like you are completely out of control of your own body. Like you know you should be stopping. You know this is not making you feel good. But you physically are like on autopilot and you can't stop.

Lyndi
 0:02:10
 Yeah, and you might even be enjoying the process. Yeah. You know, like I think sometimes we can look forward to it. Like I took a hard day, but I can't wait till I can go home and I'll have a pin of butter and that'll be my reward. Or I'll go and have bowls of cereal was another one for me where I could just have one bowl and then I'll just have a little bit more and then I'll just have a bit more and then it would just cascade and then I'm having the peanut butter as well, pieces of bread. There's all types of these really common binge foods and I think there's a lot of people kind of going, what are they? Did you have any experiences with any foods and what was it?

Jenna
 0:02:41
 I feel like similar to you is I always was in like a quote-unquote healthy household. So my binge foods were a lot of the time things that people were like, oh, that's fine, it doesn't matter that you ate heaps of that because it's healthy. But it's just the thought process around it that wasn't healthy. It's like if you're having, I'd have a lot of like salada and crackers with cheese because there'd be always slices of cheese in the fridge, but a lot of that or a lot of popcorn, nuts,

Lyndi
 0:03:14
 Nuts, yogurt, toast.

Jenna
 0:03:18
 A handful of nuts turns into 20. Correct. All of these things that are not necessarily bad for you, they're all healthy, normal foods, but when you're eating in excess and then adding shame and guilt and just not feeling in control. I always remember it was like, you feel like, I can't be in this house by myself because

Lyndi
 0:03:39
 Yeah, and then feeling like you have to replace empty containers or empty wrappers or hide empty wrappers.

Jenna
 0:03:43
 Hide wrappers, take the rubbish out so people don't see the wrappers.

Lyndi
 0:03:47
 Totally. Or forgetting to do that and then getting caught and getting reprimanded for that. That sucks. That sucks. Or I've heard stories, I did this as well, where you sell the chocolates for charity and then you eat all the chocolates and then you have to pay for it, but you can't afford all the charity money to pay for the chocolates that you've now consumed.

6
 0:04:05
 Yes.

Lyndi
 0:04:06
 Yeah. Anyway, so let's break down why this happens. And by the way, you might have known already, and in case you don't, I used to be a binge eater. I was compulsively binge eating for over a decade where I eventually decided to stop dieting and learned how to stop binge eating. Now I'm a dietician who specializes in helping people stop binge and emotional eating. I have my program called Keep It Real. If you are binge and emotional eating, if you're nodding your head to this, being like, yeah, I do these things, then I can help you inside the Keep It Real program. If you go to my website, you'll be able to find Keep It Real program, and if you use the code podcast, you'll be able to get 20% off Keep It Real. Anyway, let's talk about why this is happening. So, do you know why it's happening?

Jenna
 0:04:48
 I think it's happening because these are the foods you don't give yourself permission to eat. Yeah, absolutely.

Lyndi
 0:04:53
 So there's one kind of situation where people feel quite uncontrolled around foods. They'll binge on sweets and lollies, but they'll also binge on carrots and cucumbers and a piece of fruit and yogurt. That was me.

Jenna
 0:05:07
 I would binge on, it wasn't even about what it was. It was whatever was around me.

Lyndi
 0:05:13
 Yes, so that kind of binge eating is very typical of someone who's been told to restrict energy. So it's a sense of, if you're following portion control, if you're kind of interested in calories and points, then you're more likely to be that kind of person who's got specific, who doesn't have specific things, but will just binge eat everything, because what your body actually misses is food and calories and energy, and that can be found in every food.

Jenna
 0:05:41
 So that's everywhere. And when you've been told that, I know a lot of diets that I went on was like, these are the free foods and these are the zero-point foods and these are the foods you can eat as much as you want of. So then you're like, okay, these foods are safe and then you just eat in excess.

Lyndi
 0:05:55
 Yeah. So in a way, it's kind of encouraging you to have this binge eating relationship with these so-called free foods. And just like, yeah, of course eating vegetables is healthy, but if you're eating them and you're feeling like, you know, I once ate a whole bag of carrots, and it's like, that's not healthy for you.

Jenna
 0:06:12
 A doctor told me that the palms of my feet and my hands were orange.

Lyndi
 0:06:18
 Carotidemia, which is a very real issue you can have from eating too much beta-carotene from things found in orange fruits and vegetables. Okay, so that is a very explainable reason. The other thing that can happen is when you think certain foods are bad for you or you shouldn't eat them because they're not good for your weight or whatever it is, then you might find that you're binging on things like peanut butter or cereal. Particularly if you've ever been told that carbohydrates are bad for you, and a majority of us living in this era have some kind of underlying feeling like, you know, if I wanted to lose weight, I should just not eat carbohydrates. And then what ends up happening is you wake up in the morning, like, I'm pretty good in the morning, you know, quote, unquote. Lunchtime, I'm also like, you know, I can kind of eat a healthy meal then and then it all starts unraveling in the afternoon. And I just want you to point out that very likely what's happening in this situation It's the very foods you're binging on that you feel out of control with, probably carbohydrate-based foods, things like cereal and bread, and it's because you're not fully giving yourself permission to have these during the day as part of your life because you have in the back of your mind a belief system that you're only going to lose weight, you're only going to be healthier if you don't eat these foods. And the irony of all of that is all that ends up doing is you get to the afternoon and you binge uncontrollably for hours probably until all the food has disappeared and you start the vicious cycle all over again.

Jenna
 0:07:46
 I think that is such an interesting point because if you think about it protein is the only macronutrient that hasn't had a pitchfork chased after it and no one's like oh I binged on chicken and steak and protein shakes. Yeah like tuna and brine is just... You're not binging on that because you know it's quote, unquote, the right thing to be eating.

Lyndi
 0:08:08
 Yes. I assume there are some people who would be doing that, who kind of in the keto, paleo world who would be doing a little bit of binging on protein. Or let's say protein shakes or protein bars, those are very easy to binge eat on as well because it's kind of like that idea you mentioned before, but they were free, they're okay, they're allowed, therefore once I start eating them,

Jenna
 0:08:28
 I can have three of them in one sitting. Okay, right.

Lyndi
 0:08:31
 Yes, that makes sense. That does happen as well, but you're totally right. I don't think people are binge eating on pieces of chicken. I think there is a real correlation between the foods that you think you're not allowed to eat and the foods you binge eat. And if we want to reduce binge eating, what we need to do is actually reintroduce these these binge foods, these trigger foods, whether it's peanut butter or cereal bread back into your life. For me Nutella was always a huge one. Nutella was a big one for me. If we like ever made a cake or something that needed Nutella and you didn't use the whole jar, those leftovers from baking was always a big thing like the Nutella or the chocolate chips. Yes, leftover chocolate chips. Anything like that. I realized I have like a half thing of chocolate chips in my house and I forgot that they were there. I'm like, oh, intuitive eating wins again. But Nutella was a big one for me, kind of in the same way that you have peanut butter and you can't stop eating peanut butter. What I needed to do to create a healthier relationship with Nutella was to go out of my way to eat it outside of my house. Because I was still at the point when, sometimes in recovery, some people, I couldn't keep Nutella in my house. I wasn't yet at that point that I could. And so I would go to a cafe and I'd have like a chocolate croissant, you know the ones where they go like spreadable kind of Nutella in it. Or I'd have, you know, you can find chocolate crepes. There's a creperie near me so I can go get Nutella on a crepe. Or just different ways that I could go and order a piece of toast in some places would have Nutella. Or you're in a buffet and sometimes they've got Nutella into my life so that I knew it was always something I could have. Peanut butter as well, I needed to know that peanut butter wasn't something that was off limits to me. And I had to get out of the habit of knowing that, of having it on a teaspoon, because there's something that's different about placing it up. There's something about me going, okay, I can have it on a slice of bread, and it can be two slices of bread. It doesn't have to just be one by one.

Jenna
 0:10:27
 Making a meal and know you're going to sit down and enjoy it and not just eating it out of the cupboard.

Lyndi
 0:10:32
 Yes. I have posted things on Instagram before where I've had a bowl of porridge with seeds and nuts and I've had a scoop of peanut butter on it. And the number of people to write comments being like, oh my God, that is so much peanut butter. And I'm just writing little shaming comments. And I'm like, I have a very healthy relationship with peanut butter. You know what I never do? I never go into the pantry anymore and scoop peanut butter out because when I eat peanut butter, I'm not just going, oh, the measly portion size that I'm allowed is how much I'm allowed. I'm eating it to satisfaction. I'm eating it so it feels like a part of my life. And as a result, I eat so much less peanut butter. So all those shamey people on Instagram can go get, you know.

Jenna
 0:11:12
 And unfollow any of those social media accounts that you see that have like, they'll have an image with like two bits of bread, one with more peanut butter and one with less peanut butter and they'll have like the calorie difference. They're so hard not to follow. They're so hard, but they're so shit.

Lyndi
 0:11:29
 They're awful. They're awful. My diet brain is like, I should be listening to this. This is what I need to be doing. And it's interesting, but you have to unsubscribe. You have to not be checking that stuff because what that is kind of creating is this undercurrent of this accidental portion controlling. Okay, so this is a very big one, accidental portion control. This is when you say to yourself, all right, I'm only allowed one more handful, I'm only allowed to have this scoop of peanut butter, I'm only allowed to have one slice of toast. All this does is encourages you to continue to binge eat. And when you think, well, this is my allotted amount of peanut butter, you're kind of setting yourself up to have that like scooping peanut butter out of the jar situation. When we're kind of going, I'm going to eat the amount of peanut butter that I need to feel satisfied, that's when we change our relationship with something like peanut butter. My bowl of cereal, okay, I don't, I remember going to digestion when I was young and she'd be like, this is the portion size of acceptable cereal, which is like, it's

Jenna
 0:12:22
 tiny. You weigh out what they say on the back of the box?

Lyndi
 0:12:26
 45 grams is what they say, or 40 grams.

Jenna
 0:12:28
 40 grams is nothing.

Lyndi
 0:12:29
 It's nothing. And by the way, you know why cereal companies do this. We did an episode on this, how industry make things, the health halo and how that's done. The reason they are saying 40 grams is a serving size is because it makes their nutrition panel look better than it. It makes you look good. They're ticking boxes. They can make health claims. It's not about 40 grams is going to satisfy you. 40 grams is going to be enough to get you through the lunch. No, rubbish. That's not how much you need. So for me nowadays, instead of going, well, I'm measuring cup out or weighing out my food, which is depressing, terrible. I get my bowl, I scoop up, I ask myself, how hungry am I? Some mornings I'm pretty hungry. I need a big bowl of cereal. So I have a big bowl of cereal and then I'm done. I'm not to the point where I used to be where I have a little measly cereal. I'll just have a bit more. I'll just have a bit more. And that ends up, I end up eating twice as much as if I had just said, I'm gonna eat as much as I need to feel satisfied.

Jenna
 0:13:21
 Exactly, and I think a lot of foods, like say some food that I would have a problem would be is like bread with butter. Like I always, I told myself for so many years I didn't like butter. Oh. Because I just wanted to like, it's easy,

Lyndi
 0:13:33
 like I didn't. That sounds like dodgy PR to me.

Jenna
 0:13:35
 Yeah, I don't like butter, I do like butter. And it would be like sometimes if, when I was coming out of it and trying new things, like if I went to a cafe for breakfast, you can just order what you feel like. I was always thinking, what's the meal with like protein and healthy fats and the perfect little balanced meal every time I order? Whereas sometimes I would just order, I want a coffee and I want some toast with butter on it and I don't have to attach that with shame because then now I know that's a perfectly acceptable food to be eating and I don't need to then go and eat plain toast with butter when I get home by myself.

Lyndi
 0:14:10
 Yes. So often what ends up happening with dieters, binge eaters, what we do is when we're at home by ourselves, we binge on all the foods that we think we're not allowed and when we're in public, we eat perfectly, you know, like the way I should be eating. And what I want is for that to be flipped. When you're out in public, that's when I want you to know that that's the time. We're out at a party, that's the time to be having the delicious food. You're at a cafe, order the thing you really want. And so we flip it around so we're not creating this secretive eating thing that's happening anymore.

Jenna
 0:14:41
 What would you say to someone if they feel like that's a really scary thing to do, that they're going to get judgment from people, that they feel like everyone's watching them and judging them and their body for making those food choices.

Lyndi
 0:14:56
 Yeah, it's incredibly hard to eat intuitively when you feel like you're being judged. I think there's a point where you come to accept that it's either their discomfort or it's my discomfort, and you've been prioritizing, you've been trying to prevent them from feeling uncomfortable for your whole life, and now you're deeply uncomfortable with yourself and your body, and that's just not worth that sacrifice. They have this perception that their judgment is helping you eat healthier. It's not. It's creating binge eating. It is turbulent. So something I talk about in the Keep It Real program, which is to help you stop binging emotional eating, is I talk about speaking to the people in your life so that they're not making these comments. Because as long as we have this environment where we feel we're being judged around food, it makes it really hard for us to eat intuitively. But also you can also just know in your heart and going, this is what's healthy for me right now. This is what I need. You think about binge eating, it's either disordered eating or it's an eating disorder. And if you can kind of accept that this is big stuff we're working on, this deserves you prioritizing, you're not going to eat like everyone else eats and healthy eating advice for everyone else is not applicable for you, you need to do what is healthy for you right now. And if that means having the Telluron toast at a cafe and just eating it and dealing with other people's judgments, you just know in your heart, you're like, this is what I need to be eating right now so that I can have a healthier, better relationship with food and be healthier in the long term, then that's what needs to happen. And just dieting just isn't an option anymore. We've done that. I think what's really important as well is when we're labeling food as good or bad, I have a lot of people who are like, okay, I started the day and I was really good and I ate a good breakfast, which basically is code for like, I ate a low calorie, like ticks all the nutritional boxes. I think, you know, looking back at that example you shared about having toast and butter, what's really important is that you're stepping away from that meal and not thinking to yourself, well, bread and butter is unhealthy, I've ruined it for the day, and thinking that you're somehow deviating from what you should be eating. But basically, a healthy intuitive eater is the kind of person who knows that they can have that for breakfast and that's not a big deal and they can just move on with their life. As soon as you're demonizing those foods and thinking that's a bad breakfast, now you get into thinking, well, I've ruined it already. I may as well eat whatever I want. You haven't ruined anything.

5
 0:17:09
 There's nothing to ruin.

Jenna
 0:17:10
 Nothing to ruin.

Lyndi
 0:17:11
 You're eating as you need to be eating. So part of the challenge is getting over the hurdle that if you're incorporating these trigger foods into your life to re-normalize them, that you're ruining it, you're not ruining it, you're doing exactly what you need to be doing, that this is what healthy eating looks like for you right now, and that there needs to be this underlying belief, and this is this, anytime I want to eat more of this food, I can. So if I'm eating the peanut butter on toast and I feel like I need to have another piece of toast, I'm allowed to. We're not sitting down with a peanut butter, trying to normalize it, going, I'm just going to have this one piece of toast, I'm only allowed this. No, you have to sit down to that meal being like, this is about eating as much as I need to. And you have to truly trust that if in an hour from now I want more peanut butter on toast, I can have it. Or if I want it tomorrow, if I want it for every single meal, I can do that. And you think, I'm just going to lose control, I won't be able to stop eating peanut butter, the absolute opposite happens.

Jenna
 0:18:06
 You will gain so much more control.

Lyndi
 0:18:08
 So much more control. As long as we keep telling ourselves, I can only have this amount, that's when we're out of control. When we do the opposite and say, you can eat as much as you want, you're going to be surprised to learn, yeah, your body doesn't want to just binge eat bowls of cereal and whole things of peanut butter anymore. And it's amazing. It's amazing. You can stop doing that. If any of this resonates with you I would love to be able to help you with your binge and emotional eating. It's like my Keep It Real program. It's been happening for years. I've gotten to the point now where I've helped thousands of people stop binge and emotional eating. It's a big deal to me because I used to be a binge eater. I want to be able to help you too. If you use the code podcast when you go to my website to check out Keep It Real you can get 20% off and also there's a 30 day money back guarantee. I feel like what's really important about that is I know you've been burnt by many diets. I know you've been, you don't want to just throw money at yet another failed approach and I don't want that to be this for you. I like truly want you to get results and if you don't, you said to me like I'm not feeling you after 30 days, like sure, cool, great, money back, like no questions asked. So it's kind of like what do you have to lose?

4
 0:19:12
 Yeah.

Lyndi
 0:19:13
 Anyway guys, I have so much one-on-one support.

Jenna
 0:19:15
 You can literally type in questions and we will answer them for you.

Lyndi
 0:19:19
 Yeah, like I want good things for you. I hope you found today's episode useful. I've really enjoyed talking about it. Thanks for joining us. If you do have any questions you'd like us to answer on the podcast, please hit me up at nude underscore nutritionist on Instagram, send me a DM, ask me a question, or better yet, leave me a voice message asking me a question. I'd love to hear from you. And the other thing we'd really love is a review. If you hate this podcast, please do not leave a review. Go live as a nice review if you can. Anywhere you get your podcast from, we'd be ever so grateful.

3
 0:19:49
 Do you feel like you know what you should be eating, but you feel completely out of control with food?

Lyndi
 0:19:54
 You're either eating perfectly or you're face planting into the fridge. Well, if you've got binge eating or you're struggling with emotional eating, I can help. Check out my program, Keep It Real. I've got lots I can teach you, and hey, you don't have to be a binge eater for the rest of your life. You can get 20% off Keep It Real when you use the code PODCAST when you check out via the website. And because I don't want this to be just another failed attempt for you, I'm offering a 30-day money-back guarantee because you know what, you just gotta give these things a go, because you know what, you just gotta give these things a go, no risk, give it a try, check out Keep It Real.