How to tame the food and diet Gremlin in your mind

September 3, 2021

Would you sleep all night with the radio on at full volume?

Probably the answer is: “No, thanks!”.

And yet, most of the time you allow the diet and food Gremlin in your mind to play at full volume and go on and on and on as you go through your day. You might have started to notice this, or maybe not.

Whether you are aware of it or not, this inner chatter is just exhausting and it can really affect your mood and the way you relate to your loved ones, your colleagues, friends and even strangers crossing your path on the street.

Ultimately, it impacts the way you show yourself up in the world.


Sometimes it might just gently whisper words which sound innocent to most:

One slice of bread and that’s it, no more bread for today. You know!

Let’s check what she ‘eats in a day’. You can copy that!

Only a few pounds left. Then you can say yes to that invite and people will finally see you and compliment you. You time to shine!

Other times it goes ahead with heavier messages like:

How can you possibly expect to fit into those jeans? Are you serious? You ate like a pig for months! Now what? There’s just no hope.

Don’t pretend others don’t see you. It’s in front of everyone’s eyes that you put on a lot of weight. Now don’t complain if they comment on you eating that pizza.

Look at your skinny girlfriend. Certainly, she’s got more willpower. She doesn’t spend all her time munching on chocolate. Will you ever stop?”.

Is your mind overwhelmed by this chatter right now?

If it does, know that most of these thoughts are heavily influenced by the constant external messages you receive regarding your body and its looks, the foods you should or shouldn’t eat in order to look a certain way.


Back in 1983, Rick Carson was one of the first to refer to this inner chatter as “The Gremlin”.


This is how he defines the Gremlin:

“A vile, vicious, villainous, insufferable bully lurking in the shadows of your very own mind”.

I totally agree with this description. I’ve spent the last few years of my life noticing my own Gremlin and learning how to tame it. It can be very nasty at times!

This inner chatter can really get in the way of you appreciating what your body does for you and prevent you from welcoming and truly savoring delicious food in your life.

Not to mention that it can extend way beyond the physical body and our eating choices. It can cast doubt on our value as employees, business owners, parents, partners and any other roles we have. Just like those Gremlins duplicating themselves overnight in the popular film from the 80’s.


There are many ways to tame this gremlin and put it in its place.

I share different ways to do that with my clients whenever I think it might help them.

However, if I was to choose the one tip, I think can help most of you, I would pick this one:

Go for some good mental clean-up.

What I’m suggesting is you do a little bit of Marie Kondo-style digital de-cluttering of the messages and content you get exposed to on a daily basis.

I’m referring mainly to the information your daily consume here online. However, the same really applies to what you consume offline, choosing the places and people you like to hang out with.

Consider that most of those messages, pictures, videos, stories are there to sell you the idea that you could be better than who we are now, BUT only if you tried to be or do something else.

They’re there to make you compare with impossible standards and make you feel bad about who you are right now. Only then you are sold to the need to change the shape of your body, the way you eat, the way you speak, you name it.

They don’t really care if in the process you lose track of what your real needs are and what you stand for in life, what really matters to you.

Are you really sure the meter of your worth is in the size of your jeans or the number of carbs you ingest in a day?

Could it be that there’s more to yourself than this? What about all the incredible skills you have, your sense of humor, you standing for an important social cause? Does that not count?


See the two recommendations below as advanced Marie Kondo de-cluttering techniques to protect and cherish the core of who you are.

1. Make a list of all the:

  • Apps
  • Pages
  • Profiles
  • Book
  • Magazines
  • Podcasts
  • TV shows
  • Shops
  • Brands

that make you feel wrong, bad, helplessness, cause you anxiety and the urge to be different than who you are.

Then Delete, Remove, Unsubscribe, Give to charity, whatever action is needed.


2. Make a list of what you really stand for.

Make it big and large.

The next time you’re there clicking to follow, subscribe, change channel, swipe, buy, make sure you check in with yourself by asking:

  • Does this make me feel wrong about myself?
  • Does this make my inner food and diet Gremlin happy?

If the answer is YES, then you know you have a choice to say NO to it.

Ready to go and defeat the food and diet gremlin?

Let me know in the comments below if you do!

With kindness,

Dona 🌷


Would you like sharing about this and other issues with like-minded women and doing some journaling together?

Why not joining The Mindful Body Women Circle? It’s a group support for women who want to increase the confidence in their body, and learn to enjoy eating again, without guilt.

Click here if you’d like to find out more!

Donatella Porceddu - Contact Me

Written by Donatella Porceddu

I am a registered psychologist and life coach specialised in binge and emotional eating, body kindness, and mindful eating. I empower women to become the best version of themselves through my comprehensive approach, which combines personal coaching and psychology, leveraging my client’s strengths and building around their opportunities.

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If you have any questions, reach out to me today. I’ll be more than happy to connect with you and see how I can help.

Donatella Porceddu Psychologist & Eating Coach specialised in Binge Eating, Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food freedom, anti-diet approach. 1:1 support through my Make Peace with Food program.

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