I heard the greatest word this morning, FoMO. It stands for fear of missing out. And while it’s being tossed around as the reason people are addicted to social media and why they can’t stand to miss so much as a text message, I think its application to the way we approach food is wildly appropriate. There’s something really crazy about the social and emotional power of food. If everyone else is eating cake and you’re not, you feel deprived. If everyone’s got a drink in hand, you feel like a tool if you don’t. If everyone else is ordering the extra large popcorn at the movies, grabbing a hot dog at the ball game, or out for ice cream on a hot summer’s night, well you feel like you totally should be too. You feel like if you don’t, you are missing out on something (FoMO), and to make matters worse, the food pushers will insist that you are missing out on something when you aren’t an active food participant.
But I want you to think about this, what exactly are you missing? It’s a question I had to wrestle with when I quit sugar and stopped eating processed foods. I am totally serious when I tell you that I think people felt genuinely sorry for me (and hey, maybe there were even a few quiet moments when FoMO hit, and I felt a little sorry for myself). But let me tell you, as I began to radically transform my approach to food, I slowly realized how much more I was gaining. I felt better, I looked healthier, I had more energy. Let’s be real, while it’s true that I’m missing out on the opportunity to talk about how good a dessert tastes, share a plate of fried mozzarella sticks, or taste a piece of candy I’m not battling the bulge, dealing with fatigue or doubled over with a stomachache. So in all reality, what am I missing out on?
Are you ready to face your FoMO head on? Here are three simple steps to overcoming FoMO.
- Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can have. There are amazing flavors, foods and healthy dishes that will totally satisfy your palate and give you something to talk about with your family and friends.
- Taste, don’t eat it. Especially in the early stages of battling your FoMO, try the old bite don’t binge rule. Instead of eating a piece of whatever, eat a bite instead. You’ll be able to talk about it without feeling guilty about it later.
- Find alternatives. For just about any food that you love, there is a healthier alternative. Make the effort to find it.
Okay now, FoMO fighters!! You CAN do this. And hey, if you need help dealing with your food FoMO, I’ve got just the program for you!