Do you ever think, I should be able to eat what I want when I want? And then become unhappy when eating what-you-want-when-you-want leads to unpleasant consequences such as weight gain, clothes that don’t fit, feeling crummy, and health consequences? In today’s podcast and blog post, we’ll talk about how to stop entitlement eating so you can lose weight and keep it off, but the tips and truths will also help you break any habit.
Examples of Entitlement Thinking
Note: I’ll list the truths for these lies at the end of today’s podcast episode.
- I just had a hard workout. I deserve a little treat!
- They’re eating something. I should be able to eat something.
- It’s a pandemic. I deserve a little treat.
- This should be easier.
- This is MY time and I deserve a treat. (Note: This is usually said during times of sacrifice such as when the kids have been fighting all day and they’re finally down for a nap.)
- It’s too hard to do a weight loss Bible study and renew my mind. I’ll just listen to a podcast.
- I ate healthy all week. I deserve a few treats on the weekend!
- Why follow boundaries if I’m not losing weight anyway? I deserve to lose weight if I’m following my boundaries.
9 Steps to Stop Entitlement Eating
- Recognize that you have more than one want. When we say, “I should be able to do what I want when I want,” we’re usually thinking of wanting some yummy treat. We forget though that food isn’t the only thing we want. We also want to lose (or maintain) weight. We want to be healthy. It’s important to remember that we also want to be healthy as that will help us actually want to follow our eating boundaries. And from a biblical perspective, we want to eat with control, hold food with open hands, and go to God rather than food for help with life.
- Look at the benefits and consequences of each want. In the next section of this blog post, I’ve made two charts listing the benefits and consequences of entitlement eating. One way to stop entitlement eating would be to make a chart like this each day around 3:00 in the afternoon or right before dinner. If you can’t think of things to put on the chart, refer to my charts for ideas.
- Look at the wants themselves from a spiritual perspective. God is not a big advocate of the do-what-you-want-when-you-want policy. Instead, He says things like, “Deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and follow me!” He cared enough about self-control that He gave it as a gift of the Spirit. Since we only need self-control in situations where we’re telling ourselves no to things we really want to do (or telling ourselves yes to things we really don’t want to do), we can assume He wants us to say no to things we really want to do at times.
- Decide which benefits, consequences, and wants you care more about. Review those charts at the bottom of this post for benefits and consequences but also think about your wants. Would you rather indulge the desire to eat whatever you want or would you rather indulge the desire to be healthy and the desire to live with self-control (remembering that it’s not the evil thing the world tells us it is, but it’s an actual fruit of the Spirit that will make our lives and the the lives of the ones we love better).
- Recognize that either way you make a sacrifice. No matter what we choose we have to give up something. The columns in the charts at the bottom of this post show what we sacrifice based on our choice.
- Recognize that it’s not a huge sacrifice when you think of the benefits. Some people would say it’s not even a sacrifice. Just think of a bride on her wedding date. She’s giving up dating all those other guys, but does she think it’s a sacrifice when she gets to marry the one she loves? Probably not!
- Renew your mind or lecture yourself with truth whenever you feel entitled. Change the way you talk to yourself. Instead of saying things like “This isn’t fair” or “I should be able to eat this,” say things like “It’s worth saying no to this to be healthy,” or “I would far rather be healthy than eat what I want and then feel bloated and miserable and regretful afterwards,” or memorize Bible verses that like “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” and say those out load – both when you’re tempted and even when you’re not to help drill the truths in! I have more Bible verses on my I Deserve a Donut app. You could also say things like, “This is not that hard! I can do this with God’s help!” The more often we say things like, “I can’t do this,” the more we reinforce those lies in our lives.
- Work on letting go entitlement in other areas of your life. We live in a culture of entitlement. The more we can let go of entitlement in all areas of our life–work, housework, child raising, entertainment, etc–the more we can let go of it in the area of food. It’s super hard to let go of it, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
- Learn to see boundaries as a good thing. This is necessary if we want to stop entitlement eating. In the old days, people actually did see boundaries as a good thing. They didn’t eat between meals. They didn’t have dessert first. They did their work before they relaxed. And they didn’t struggle with weight as much as we do today. Boundaries really ARE a good thing. They make our lives better. We just have to keep telling ourselves that truth until we believe it!
Benefits vs. Consequences of Eating What-You-Want-When-You-Want
Benefits of Eating What You Want When You Want
Consequences of Eating What You Want When You Want (If you’re a person who wants to eat more than is good for you.)
|It’s fun for 1-3 minutes.
|Lack of energy and/or sleepiness
|Depressed the next morning or even that night about how much you ate
|Weight gain (which leads to many of the following consequences)
|Not able to do the things you want to do physically
|At greater risk for other diseases (They actually have roadside signs in Scotland that say “Obesity may cause cancer”!)
|Not fitting into clothes
|High blood pressure
Benefits vs. Consequences of SAYING NO to Eating What-You-Want-When-You-Want
Consequences of Saying No to What-You-Want-When-You-Want
Benefits of Saying No to What-You-Want-When-You-Want
|You have to say no to things you’d love to eat.
|Feel good in clothes.
|Enjoy getting dressed in the morning.
|Less likely to get certain diseases.
|Can do what you want physically.
|No more waking up with that feeling of regret and hopelessness – at least over eating choices.
|Feel good about eating with self-control.
|Self-control will often spill over to other areas of life.
|Better chance of going to God rather than food for help with life.
|Grow closer to God if food was an idol.
Resources We Talked About:
- Freedom from Emotional Eating
- Taste for Truth
- I Deserve a Donut (and Other Lies That Make You Eat)
- Truth Journaling
How to Listen to the Podcast:
- Apple Podcasts: Click here to subscribe or listen on Apple Podcasts
- Google Play: Click here to subscribe or listen on Google Play
- Stitcher: Click here to subscribe or listen on Stitcher.
- Android: Click here to subscribe or listen on Android.
- Spotify: Click here to subscribe or listen on Spotify.
- Amazon Alexa: To listen on Amazon Alexa, say, “Alexa, play the Taste for Truth Podcast.”
Would you like to be on the Taste for Truth Podcast?
If you’d like to do a coaching interview or victory interview (to share your weight loss with God’s help story) for the Taste for Truth Podcast, sign up here for an interview slot! I’ll take some of the interviews and put them on the podcast.