Do you struggle with consistency in healthy eating? Do you have a hard time aligning your behavior with your good intentions long-term? I want to share a powerful insight with you. It’s a statement that I repeat often because it’s a statement that can open your eyes to why you struggle. “Why you eat determines what you eat.” On the surface it seems very simple, but it holds the key to unlocking so much about the food choices you make. Manufacturers design processed, hyper-palatable foods to hijack your brain chemistry on purpose. They create the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat to light up the reward and coping centers of your brain, knowing that you will continue to reach for these foods over and over again. This is why committing to real food is a critical step in your journey to success. Real food doesn’t hijack your brain chemistry and send your hormones flying in all different directions. In fact, it does the opposite. This makes real food a very ineffective coping mechanism. Here’s where the psychology of all this comes into play. If your life is full of stress and disorder and you don’t have a healthy, productive way of handling those stressors, your brain will beg for a coping mechanism to protect itself. Processed, hyper-palatable food is a fast, cheap, and easy coping tool. On the flip side, if you’re in a great place in life mentally and emotionally and you’ve done significant work to mitigate stress, increase margin, and arm yourself with tools to handle the rest of the stress in a healthy way, you will not need the coping ability of processed, hyper-palatable foods. Why you eat determines what you eat. If you’re eating to cope, you will choose the coping foods: processed, hyper-palatable garbage. If you’re eating to nourish your body and continue your snowball of success, you will choose real, whole foods. Your brain doesn’t seek out real food when you’re in a high stress, disordered state. It seeks out the food that will promote the release of feel-good neurotransmitters. To complicate this further, I want you to notice that environments that lead to a high stress state are also where processed, hyper-palatable foods are found in abundance, e.g. the workplace. So what’s the takeaway? If you want to change your eating patterns, stop trying to consciously change your eating patterns. Instead, work to eliminate stress triggers and work to acquire the psychological tools to respond to stress in a healthy, productive way. This is what I mean when I talk about changing your relationship with food. What you’re left with is a state of mind that is nourishment-focused rather than drug-focused. A state of mind that is not susceptible to being manipulated by food manufacturers. A state of mind that is almost effortlessly consistent.