5 Tips to End “All or Nothing”

You: Well, I ate that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Negative little voice (NLV):  You messed up your diet. Everything’s ruined now. There’s no turning back.

You: I might as well eat the whole bag then.

NLV:  You’ll never reach your goals anyway, so why not just eat crap for the rest of the day?

You: I’ll just start eating healthy again tomorrow.

True or false: when you have a piece of  candy or a few spoonfuls of  ice cream, you’ve ruined your chances of ever reaching your goals, so you might as well eat the entire pint of ice cream and the whole bag of candy.


Eating something you don’t usually eat, or something that you know won’t make you healthier, doesn’t mean that anything is ruined or that all hope is lost.

In fact, in the long run, one or two or even three Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups won’t have a big impact on how quickly it takes you to reach your goals.

But eating an entire bag will definitely impact the time it takes to get to where you want to be.

Not just because of the sugar, but because of your approach to eating the bag of Reese’s.

All or Nothing.

The All or Nothing mentality pops up when you’ve been “good” –eating foods that will make you healthier—and you decide to eat something “bad”—a food that you know will not make you healthier.

When you eat that “bad” food, your brain (that negative little voice) tells you that YOU are bad. That you’ve ruined your “good” streak and you might as well eat ALL the candy.

That negative voice is wrong.

The truth is that eating that “bad” food isn’t bad.

When you have a bout of unusual eating, the next second is your opportunity to get back to your usual healthy eating habits.

Nothing is ruined.

Unless you give that Reese’s the power to ruin your day.

And why would you want to give power to a piece of candy?

Take the power back. Don’t let some candy ruin your day or set you back mentally.

Your journey toward your health goals is much more important than some candy.

Take the power back.

The power to choose to get back to your healthy eating immediately.

All or Nothing 008

Your journey toward your goals is not All or Nothing.

Your journey toward your health goals is all about balance.

Here are some tips to take back the power and squash your All or Nothing mentality:

All or Nothing 006

Acknowledge that negative voice telling you that everything is ruined.

What pushes you to feel obligated to eat the entire bag of candy? It’s that negative little voice in your head telling you that you’ll never be able to reach your goals. Telling you that you are not worthy of reaching your goals and that you’re bound to screw this up.  Acknowledge that the voice exists and that she’s in direct opposition to what you really want for yourself.

Listen to that negative voice.

Listening to that voice and really hearing what she has to say take some of her power away. The negative voice acts out because she’s ignored—no one wants to admit that they have a negative voice in their head sabotaging them. To many people, negative voices equal weakness—no one wants to be weak. Listen to what she’s saying and why she wants you fail.

Choose to take the next second as an opportunity to get back to healthy eating.

After acknowledging and listening to your negative voice, politely and lovingly tell her that you’ve chosen to get back to your usual healthy eating routine.  That you WILL reach your goals.

If that choice is hard, find out what your body really needs.

The choice to move on from the candy might be hard. That’s okay. If the choice to get back to healthy eating is hard, it means that you have a need that isn’t being met.  Ask yourself (the negative voice) what you need—and see if there’s a non-food way to satisfy that need.  Maybe it’s not the candy that you need, but comfort, or a friend. Once you have an idea of what you need, find a non-food activity that will satisfy that need.

Remind yourself that nothing is ruined, and that you don’t need to wait until tomorrow.

Breaking your All or Nothing mentality can be a long, difficult process. As a holistic nutrition counselor, I support women just like you to tune into their inner body cues and their negative voices so that they can ultimately heal themselves and their relationship with food.

If you’d like support moving away from an All or Nothing mentality, feel free to email me at Allison@friskylemon.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Do you have experience with All or Nothing? Tell me how you’ve coped in the comments below.

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3 Responses to 5 Tips to End “All or Nothing”

  1. Lucy October 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM #

    It’s the addiction of sugar. Most of the time I’m not aware of it but some times I do say screw it. My diet has always been all or nothing. I’ll do Paleo for a while then I take in that sugar and it’s all down hill……. It’s been a vicious cycle

    • Allison October 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM #

      Thanks for sharing, Lucy. It’s true that sugar can have a serious hold on you mentally and physically. It’s really tough to break away from sugar cravings because there’s often MORE to it than just the sweetness of whatever you’re eating. I can remember being emotionally attached to certain sweet foods and I know how difficult it is to break out of that vicious cycle. It can take lots of time and patience, but I’m certain that you’ll get there. Feel free to email me if you want some support 😉 Allison@friskylemon.com


  1. 5 Tips to End “All or Nothing” – Frisky Lemon Nutrition | Know What You Eat - October 31, 2013

    […] More here: 5 Tips to End “All or Nothing” – Frisky Lemon Nutrition […]

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