Let’s take it one by one.
What does FOMO stand for?
It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and is basically the manifestation of the grass is greener syndrome.
What do I mean? You’ll get me after this.
You buy a T-shirt and 2 days later you start having second thoughts and believe you should have got your other option, cause you may be missing out.
You’re on a family dinner and you see your friend’s story from a party and you think you’re missing out.
And further down the road, you’re afraid to commit to a relationship or career path cause you may miss out on what is available.
But how does FOMO come in to play with food?
Very similarly I can say.
Let’s take the story of Robert.
Robert is currently on a diet yet he decides to go and eat out with his best friends. They go to a fancy buffet, and just from walking by the array of plates available, Robert’s deprived mouth starts to water with anticipation.
But Robert has only 1200 calories available on that day so he has do cautiously decide on what to eat.
Is it going to be the unlimited sushi or the Italian carbonara? Or wait… maybe the infinite amount of curry plates, or the seafood section, or, or, or…
All these create a subtly rooted fear that he is not going to have the chance to taste any of that food again. That he is not going to have a fancy 1000 calorie dessert after the fancier previous 5 courses.
As expected, he goes on a binge spree and blows his diet to pieces.
Now Rob has a food baby (or triplets) and is 3500 calories over his limit which puts him a week behind in progress unless he literally starves himself for the following 4 days.
The fear of missing out on the good food activated Robert’s survival instinct to consume everything and anything. But was he really missing out?
Chances are that he is going to see that food again…
and again and again.
And a few more times after that under better circumstances. By then he may have achieved his fitness goal and is able to treat himself to some more dietary flexibility, or he could even plan to consume a certain amount of plates that would constitute a lesser amount of his daily calories, so to enjoy the food with no regrets and self-hate.
To take the blame away from my imaginary buddy, Rob, I’ve been there and chances you have too.
We consequently need to understand that unless it’s a unique plate offered to us by an alien visitor, we’re going to see it again. So we don’t need to stuff ourselves with it all at once.
We are genetically biased to overvalue losses and undervalue gains. Therefore we put more importance on the food we may be missing out on, and less on our goals and well being.
Don’t get me wrong good tasting food is a wonderful experience, but what’s even better is knowing that you are in control of yourself and can enjoy grubbing without blowing all your efforts away.
I hope I got my point across 😉
Till next time,