Leave All-or-Nothing Thinking
at the Door
Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #018 -- Avoid falling victim to black-or-white thinking
In This Issue
1) Pros of “Black-or-White Thinking”
2) Cons of “All or Nothing Thinking”
3) What I Want You to Know
4) A Night Out for Pizza
5) Quick Math Lesson
6) What to Do
This issue of Tiny Tummy Tips is inspiring by my close friend “RG.”
RG suffers from a common faulty approach to healthy eating and weight loss that I call “black-or-white” or “all or nothing” thinking.
RG vacillates between making good choices 100% of the time...and then not at all…0%. The time in between is spent dreaming of the day she will be able to get back “on” 100%.
Pros of “Black-or-White Thinking”
Is great when you’re “on!” Life is good when you think you’ve “finally” got a grip on things and have mastered your eating.
When you’re on 100% you think making good food choices is going to last forever. You have a great sense of pride when you’re doing so well.
Cons of “All or Nothing Thinking”
It’s not sustainable.
NOBODY is “on” with healthy eating 100% of the time. Myself included.
What I Want You to Know
It's faulty to think you NEED to be a perfect eater to see results. This is wherein the problem lies.
There are no “good foods” or “bad foods.” ONE food won’t make or break you. ONE meal won’t make or break you.
However, there ARE “good patterns” or “bad patterns” of eating. It’s these patterns that make or break you.
If you think you need to be a perfect eater… “on” 100% of the time… and on any given occasion you’re NOT “on,” the behavior that follows until you can get “perfect” again is most likely the problem. Not the “slip up” itself.
A Night Out for Pizza
In a recent dinner excursion with my friend RG, I ate quite a few pieces of pizza. It’s not usually what I eat for dinner and it was definitely more calories than I like to have!
If I had let the fact that I ate pizza upset me, my healthy eating could have easily been derailed. However, I simply resorted to my
"Call it a Vegetable and Move On" Attitude.
Quick Math Lesson
Let’s say my usual healthy dinner is around 500 calories. I ate 4 large pieces of pizza that night instead. I’ll estimate that each piece was 300 calories (1 slice of a 14” pizza).
That means I probably ate a 1200 calorie dinner. That’s 700 calories MORE than I usually eat! Yikes!
Just a reminder… there are 3500 calories stored in 1 pound of body fat. That mean to truly gain 1 pound of body fat, you have to eat 3500 calories over and above how much you USUALLY eat.
Eating the pizza may have upped my usual caloric intake by 700 calories that day. It seems like a lot, I know! And I certainly wasn’t thrilled about it, but I also know 700 calories won’t make me gain 1 pound.
However, if I went on to eat ice cream, cookies, fast food, and more pizza in the days that followed because I wasn’t “perfect” that night, then I very well may have been able to eat enough extra calories to truly start gaining body fat.
If I were to have weighed myself the next morning, I’d guess my weight would have been higher, due to the water retention that happens after eating salty pizza!
The take home: weight gain doesn’t necessarily mean fat gain! It can simply be water weight too.
What to Do
Ditch the faulty on-or-off/black-or-white thinking. Find the grey.
There is no need to be a perfect eater. That faulty thinking leads to “I might as well eat anything and everything until I can be “perfect” again after a “mess up.”
Accept that you WILL “mess up.” It’s not important whether you fall “off” the healthy eating wagon or not. It’s more important that you learn to quickly brush it off and avoid allowing “slips” to affect your subsequent choices.
Since we’re talking about pizza…
Here are my healthy tips on
How to Satisfy Pizza Cravings.
You can do this! I know it!
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See you in the next issue!
Suzette Kroll, RDN