053. Why You Can’t Get ‘Control’ Over Your Eating


Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Episode Transcript

The Illusion of Control

Ever thought that gaining control over your eating would bring peace and solve all your problems? Today, let’s talk about this elusive idea of control and why it feels so challenging to attain.

Control is a Construct

Overcoming food struggles isn’t about gaining control over food because, truthfully, food is not something to be controlled. The desire for control is based on unrealistic ideas propagated by diet culture—ideas about self-discipline, willpower, and worthiness. We create chaos in our minds, thinking that if we control our food perfectly, all our problems will vanish. But here’s the catch: control is a mental construct, a meaning we assign to situations.

We Can’t Control Everything

We’re not in control of how much energy our body needs, our emotional needs, our genetic makeup, or our reactions to various stimuli. We’re not robots; we can only respond to these factors. Trying to control what can’t be controlled only fuels the feeling of being out of control.

Responding vs. Controlling

Instead of trying to control everything, shift your mindset to responding. Recognize that you can’t control your body’s energy needs or emotional responses, but you can respond appropriately. Peace around food comes from accepting that food is nourishment, both physically and emotionally.

Peace Comes from Acceptance, Not Control

Sanity around food doesn’t come from control, discipline, or willpower; it comes from being okay with your food, regardless of what happens. Food doesn’t define your worth or morality. Peace with food is about being okay with whatever happens and responding to your body’s needs.

Moving from Control to Response

If you’re struggling to let go of the need for control, remember what you can and cannot do:

  • You can respond to hunger and fullness cues; you cannot choose when you’re hungry or full.
  • You can treat your body with respect, even if you don’t love everything about it; you cannot reject your body and expect to feel better.
  • You can do the inner work to process and respond to emotions; you cannot change your body’s genetics or your past.
  • You can let go; you cannot ignore your body’s needs and be okay.

Live in the Present

Focus on the present moment. All you have is this moment, so ask yourself, “What do I need right now? How can I respond to my body’s needs?” Avoid letting your mind drift into the future. As long as you try to control, you’ll have less control. Let go, respond, and remind yourself that whatever happens with your food today, you’ll be okay.

You’re stronger than you think. Remember, peace with food comes from acceptance, not control. Take a moment to reflect and respond to your body’s needs. Virtual hugs, and I’ll catch you next Wednesday on the Food Freedom Lab.

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Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.