"What's your single most troublesome trigger food or eating behavior? (....)
Any rule you create is fine—as long as it doesn’t restrict your overall calories and nutrition too much—and provided the rule is crystal clear, such that if ten people followed you around all week they'd all 100% agree whether you followed it.
Also, you can change your rule(s) whenever you want, provided you take at least a half hour for written reflection and are clear why you want to make the change, and allow at least 24 hours before the change takes effect.
The last and most powerful part of this strange method involves deciding that all your destructive, impulsive food thoughts no longer belong to you. Instead, they belong to a kind of inner enemy associated with your reptilian brain. (You can call it your "Food Monster" or "Binge Lizard" or anything else that’s not a cuddly pet.)
Then, come up with a name for your Food Demon's voice. For example, my Food Demon doesn't talk, it Squeals. Any thought, feeling, or impulse which suggests you will ever break your rule again is that voice, which you will learn to recognize and ignore.
Finally, come up with a crude name for everything your inner enemy craves. For example, my Demon Squeals for Demon Slop.
The idea is to help you more easily recognize and ignore the inner voice which has to this point been responsible for all your bad choices around food.
As crazy as it sounds, this very crude, very primitive technique can give you the extra microseconds you need at the moment of impulse to wake and remember who you are and why you made the rules in the first place. It’s not a miracle, and most people have to experiment with a variety of rules and behaviors before everything really comes together for them...but it really can quickly restore your sense of power and agency with food, especially if you’ve been struggling for a long time.
"I don’t eat Demon Slop and I don’t let my lizard brain tell me what to do!"
What we are actually doing when we overeat things we know aren't good for us is "getting high with food."
Knowing that helps many people to think twice about overeating when they're stressed because they don't want to think of themselves as abusing drugs. I know it's a bit of a stretch, but there's at least some truth to it, and I find when clients can tell themselves "Wait a minute, I'm about to get high with food again" in the moment of temptation, they can often stop and make a healthier choice (.....)
Your Food Demon will tell you that you simply cannot maintain your food rules forever, but this ignores the fact that forever is an infinite string of now moments. (...) You focus on eating healthy and following your food rules now, and ignore the Food Demon's attempts to distract you. That way all your energy can remain targeted at the goal. You can only ever use the present moment to eat healthy, so if you always use the present moment to do so, you will always eat healthy. Forever!."