5 Strategies to Take Back Your Power (With Food & Life!)

In Blog, Body, Life, Mind, Nutrition by Jenny DeMarcoLeave a Comment

In the last two blog posts we’ve covered challenges and solutions to being consistent and why diets don’t work.

Now it’s time to start getting into actionable items when it comes to food and fitness!

Here are 5 things you can do today to take back your power with food (and life!)

1) Tune Out the Noise

There is a reason this is numero uno (and the longest!): It’s by far the most important.

I would say this is also the most overlooked when it comes to making changes in our lives.

In order for our bodies and hearts to communicate our needs – we need to tune out the outside noise pollution.

Here are examples of “noise”:

  • Social Media (fitspo accounts, dieting “gurus,” people who only post about the success and leave out the struggles, etc)
  • Friends who constantly post about food, their latest diet, their body, or exercise.
  • Loved ones who often make comments about food and body (either their own or others’).
  • Television shows discussing the latest “studies” or “newest way to lose weight!”
  • Magazines telling us how so-and-so lost weight.
  • Coaches who say their way is the ONLY way or the BEST way.

Why tune out this noise?

First: Because if  something makes you feel crappy or question yourself – it isn’t doing anything positive for you and your body image. 

This is very easy to gauge. Next time you are feeling fine and suddenly take a nose dive – take notice of what triggered you to feel badly about yourself or in general. Was it looking at someone’s social media picture or post? Was it a magazine cover? Was it a comment someone made to you about your body or what you are eating?

Then decide how to either eliminate or combat this trigger – because it has most likely been happening for a while and it is not serving you or your goals.

Second: (If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard me say this before) There is absolutely no one in this universe that will ever be YOU again. Therefore, how could someone else possibly know exactly what works for you? (That is why good coaches cost so much – because they perform the trial and error for you based on your feedback…unless of course it’s Intuitive Eating Coaching – then you do the work! 😉 ).

Yes, scientifically certain things may have been proven work best for fat loss, muscle gain, and overall health – however there is not another soul on this plant that has the exact same genes as you. So relying on others or a one-size-fits-all program to tell us exactly what we need for our genetics and our lifestyle is honestly just wishful thinking.

If we rely too much on other’s guidance or information – we focus all our attention outside ourselves and learn not to trust our body’s signals (like pain, hunger, fullness, satiety, etc).

Coaches like myself are here to make recommendations, educate, help you through the process of self-discovery and ultimately to lead you back to yourself – but you have to put in the work.

Should we try different approaches to reach our goals? Absolutely! But in the process, we can take that opportunity to really learn what works from a particular approach or program and what doesn’t.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself throughout the day to start to get back in touch with your body:

  • How do I feel right now? Pleasant? Unpleasant? or Neutral?
  • What does hunger feel like to me? How hungry am I?
  • How did/does this food make me feel after eating it?

2) Notice Your Thoughts

There is a voice inside your head which does not stop talking – I know, because I have one too – and unfortunately most times what it’s saying is negative, fear-based, and just plain untrue.

But we have the power to decide if we want to listen to, repeat, and believe the things it says!

If you are hard on yourself, have poor body image, or are constantly comparing or feeling inadequate – you probably feel pretty crappy when you are in the midst of one of these mental beat downs.

The great thing about these moments of self-sabotage is they will lead you directly to the thoughts which cause you to feel this way.

Make a habit out of recognizing when you are saying mean things about yourself like “ugh, I’m so fat,” or “I can’t even look at myself,” or “I hate my stomach,” (or whatever your choice of words happen to be!) and realize that these are just stories you are telling yourself.

Just because you are telling yourself that story doesn’t mean it’s true! It only becomes true when we believe it and act upon it.

And trust me when I say – if you continue telling yourself these stories you will always believe them, and no matter how much your body changes you will never be satisfied. I’ve been there.

The first step is just to recognize the mean voice chattering and how often it happens, that’s it.

Just noticing alone will help you realize how nasty that voice can be and how much you’ve been believing what it says!

I can guarantee you’d never put up with a friend speaking to you or about you that way (or at least I’d hope so!); so why are you letting the voice talk that way to you?!

3) Decide What You Are Willing
To Give Up…and Add In

You want your body to look a certain way, to lose 10-pounds, to be healthy again, or to feel good in your skin – but you aren’t willing to give up drinking 4 glasses of wine on the nights or weekends, your nightly Netflix binge until midnight, or your addiction to trying the next best diet…

Here’s the thing; if you want your body or health to change you have to make changes and stick with them. It’s not sexy or exciting – but I promise that’s the “secret” to a body and life you love.

Over the years I’ve had so many clients (including myself!) who have tried many different ways to lose weight, are frustrated and unhappy with themselves, yet they refuse to give up the very habits keeping them stuck in that place.

It’s not what the diet industry will have you believe – but you DO have to give up some unhealthy habits in order to reach your physical/health goals.

This doesn’t mean do a complete overhaul on your food or habits all at once (that’s called a diet). Make a list (today!) of habits that aren’t serving your goals and choose one to replace with a habit that will!

Some examples of things to give up could be:

  • Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
  • Negative self-talk.
  • Drinking alcohol often (more than a glass or two every night or several nights during the week).
  • Not making time to move your body.
  • Focusing on others instead of yourself.
  • Stressing without figuring out a way to alleviate or mitigate the stress/anxiety.
  • Eating fried foods.
  • Being on your phone/ipad/television right before bed.
  • Negative talk about others.

However – if giving something up is too hard to do at first – then it may be easier to add something in instead!

For example:

  • Add in an earlier bed time to cut down on the TV-watching or phone surfing prior to sleep.
  • Add in more water to cut down on sugary or sugar-free drinks.
  • Add in more grilled foods to cut down on the fried foods.
  • Add in more positive self-talk to cut down on the negative self talk.

…and so on.

Once this new habit becomes a staple (like brushing your teeth or putting on shoes) then add in another one.

THIS is the most effective way to build lasting health habits. Sorry, no shortcuts here – just slow and steady.

4) Drop the Guilt


Wayne Dyer said “It’s not the event that makes us feel bad, it’s our thoughts about the event which make us feel badly.” I believe this to be SO true when it comes to food – and anything really!

Imagine you were rushing around all day and don’t get a chance to eat. You are starving by the time you get home and end up overeating. Honestly? Your body would adjust if you just left it alone! But what normally ensues is a whole host of negative thoughts.

“I can’t believe I ate all that.”
“What a pig.”
“Ugh I feel so gross.”
“See? This is why I can’t stay on a diet.”
“I’m not going to eat tomorrow to make up for it.”

And then…you may even say “screw it” and keep eating until there is no room since “I’ll start tomorrow” is often what comes up after we think we’ve ruined our diet.

The most life-changing part of the process happens when you let go of the part where you have to punish yourself because you feel like you did something (or ate something) that wasn’t in line with your goals.

It’s magical.

So here is how a letting-go scenario would look:

You are out all day doing errands and didn’t get a chance to eat. You also didn’t prepare food so you know there isn’t anything at home – but you are so hungry! You promised your 3-year-old and 6-year-old (who you just picked up from a friend’s house) some ice cream if they behaved. So you end up eating a very large bowl of yummy-goodness from Coldstone Creamery for dinner.

It tasted so amazing and you are satisfied! Regardless, the old you would’ve had a field day with what a failure you are and how awful you feel because it wasn’t clean and has so much sugar and it’s not on your diet and bla bla bla.

The new you revels in how fantastic that tasted and feels satisfied. You know this wasn’t a typical situation and that it wouldn’t feel great to eat ice cream for dinner everyday. You also know that one bowl of ice cream for dinner is not going to derail your health or make you fat. You drink some water and go enjoy the rest of your night with your family.

See how much more pleasant that is? You aren’t letting go of the goal – you are letting go of the guilt.

I promise – it doesn’t do anything but make things harder.

5) Eat What Makes You Feel Good

I can almost hear your thoughts, “But if I ate what made me feel good I’d be 5,000 pounds!”

Ok…maybe you didn’t think that, but I’ve heard enough people respond with some variation of that so I took a stab.

Anyhow, what I mean is this: say your favorite treat is a chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top. And let’s say you ate that in the middle of the day for lunch. My guess is that probably, a) wouldn’t sustain you through dinner, and b) would make you feel really tired not too long after.

So what would give you energy and sustain you? Well I don’t know for sure because only you can know, but I can take a very educated guess and say probably some lean protein, healthy fats, and/or fruits or veggies.

Bottom line: What our taste buds like and what makes us feel good may not always be the same thing.

But we can’t know what foods truly fuel our body and make us feel good unless we are paying attention to how we are feeling (instead of what other people are saying works!).

The next three times you eat, pay attention. Ask yourself:

  • During the meal: How does this taste?
  • During the meal: Am I chewing and tasting my food?
  • Right after the meal: How do I feel? Too full? Satisfied? Hungry still?
  • An hour or two after the meal: Am I energized or tired? Do I feel hungry again?

These questions will uncover what foods work best for you and your body – the foods which keep you the most energized – and the foods that are making you sluggish.



To take back your power around food and in life start implementing some or all of the following five strategies:


  • Tune Out the Noise



      1. Did something I watched or saw make me feel bad about myself or current situation?


      1. What can I do to not feel that way while I am working on myself?


      1. How do I feel right now? Pleasant? Unpleasant? or Neutral?


      1. What does hunger feel like to me? How hungry am I?


      1. How did/does this food make me feel after eating it?


      1. Notice Your Thoughts

What thought is making me feel this way?


      1. Decide What You Are Willing To Give Up…and Add In

What habits are not serving you or your goals?
What can you add in in order to cut down on the sabotaging habits?


      1. Drop the Guilt

Am I making myself feel guilty right now?
Will I feel better if I let this go and move on?


      1. Eat What Makes You Feel Good

During the meal: How does this taste?
During the meal: Am I chewing and tasting my food?
Right after the meal: How do I feel? Too full? Satisfied? Hungry still?
An hour or two after the meal: Am I energized or tired? Do I feel hungry again?

Did any of these strategies resonate with you? Leave a comment below and let me know which ones!

Yours in Health,


PS. Next post I will be diving into calorie counting and nutrition – so make sure to get on my email list so you don’t miss it!

Photo Credits
Woman Covering Her Ears: Business image created by Kues1 – Freepik.com

Woman Jumping: Designed by Freepik

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