Learn To Say “NO” to “Junk Foods” and the Weight Will Come Off

We first formed this mindset of having to please everyone and be everything to everyone when we were just a child. First you craved the approval of your parents, then your teachers, then friends, peers and you get the picture. You grew up and now you strive to please your boss, your spouse and the end result of all this "have to please mindset"? Is that it enables us to say YES to everything and we begin to have a great deal of difficulty saying the word, NO! Individuals with food addictions in particular have a difficult time saying no when it comes to food; hence they become overweight or obese. In order to lose weight they need to retrain their minds to say NO.

The learned response to say, yes, in order to please may have begun when your mom or dad asked if you wanted a second helping of food and to please them, you said yes, even if you were full. Someone may have rewarded you if you cleaned your plate (grandparent, childcare worker), or you were taught that it is wrong, wasteful or sinful to leave food on your plate. In order to please others you began to say yes to eat more food than your body needed you to eat. Soon, the habit of overeating in order to please others became a habit.

It is especially difficult for youth to say no when they are trying to fit in. This inability to say no in order to not disappoint, fit in or in order to not stand out can and does contribute to eating disorders. Unlike other habits that occur for the same reasons, drinking, doing drugs or having sex, food is considered by many as something that is not harmful so why not join the crowd at the local fast-food establishment for those combo meals?

Admitting that you have a problem saying no to food is the first step in helping yourself to lose weight. It can be difficult to say no when you are so used to saying yes. You need to learn to eat when hungry and for no other reason.

If saying no to food is contributing to your weight problem, you need to learn how to say no, or no thank you when someone asks you to eat something fattening or to have a second helping, or when someone is asking you to eat all the food on your plate and you are full. In order to be successful at saying no to extra food, try role-playing with a friend. Role-playing will give you practice and confidence. Learning to say no and finding out that when you do say no to extra food nothing bad happens, the world doesn't end, your friends are still your friends you will start to gain confidence and more comfortable with saying no whenever it is necessary to do so.

Keith Ckardwell is a

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