Last week I discussed the problem with diets and why they don’t work. Dieting usually involves, weighing foods, measuring, counting points, drinking odd things, buying expensive food, replacing food with chemicals, taking pills and perhaps worse of all depriving yourself of foods that you love. What happens when you deprive yourself of something you love and enjoy? Well let’s try a little experiment here:
Right at this moment, I don’t want you to think of pink elephants! No, don’t think of pink elephants!………. what happens?
In order to not think of pink elephants, you have to think of them first don’t you! This is exactly what happens when most of you deprive yourself of the foods you love when dieting. So the diet says “no chocolate or no bread, or no potatoes” and then you find yourself craving bread, potatoes and chocolate. You find yourself thinking about them, imagining eating them, tasting them almost in your mouth, having internal battles with yourself to stop yourself eating the forbidden food and what usually happens is you give in ! You rebel, eat the “bad” food and then feel guilty, a failure, give yourself a hard time and feel that it’s all been a total disaster and you will never lose weight! I hear this many times from my clients who have tried time and time again to lose weight by dieting!
For many of you, being told, or telling yourself “you can’t have x” or “I must not eat chocolate!” will bring out the part of you that wants to rebel and doesn’t want to be deprived or be told what to do! Hence once again, you have internal conflict: you know the one which goes something like this:
Rebellious Part: “I want chocolate”
Good Part: “You are not eating chocolate at the moment because you are on a diet and trying to be “good”
Rebellious Part: “But I want chocolate. I deserve it, I have had a really hard day”
Good Part: “No….. you are trying to be good remember?”
Rebellious part: “There’s a bar of chocolate in the cupboard, I’ll just have a bit, one bit won’t hurt!” As you go off and then scoff the whole lot with that part saying “Oh well you’ve had a couple of squares and blown the diet, so what, tomorrow’s another day, you might as well enjoy the rest!” You continue eating, until the whole bar is devoured. Sound familiar?
The reality is deprivation simply doesn’t work. It is far better to have relationship with food, where nothing is banned or off limits. A little of what you fancy some of the time is an enjoyable and normal way of eating. If you are curious about how to change your eating strategy, so that you don’t have to deprive yourself but can eat normally, in balance and maintain weight loss, then do let me know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . I can give you information about my “soon to be launched” on-line self coaching package that will enable you to change your eating habits and will introduce you to a more normal way of eating again, where you can eat all foods and still lose and maintain weight loss. It’s called “How to Eat Chocolate and Still Lose Weight!” Alternatively, you may like to sign up to my newsletter (see the sign up box on the right hand side”) where details of this very affordable package will be available in the next few weeks.