While we think we can only have dysfunctional relationships with people, we can have them with food too. See if you fit into any of these dieting profiles to identify where you are…and how you can free yourself from a lifetime of dieting.
1. The Serial Dieter-For you, dieting is a lifestyle. You’ve been watching your intake, counting calories and consumed with your food intake for so long you couldn’t image life any other way. For you, food is the enemy, it can’t be trusted, it wreaks havoc on your body and your mind…it’s also an exhausting and frustrating way to live.
The solution- a great place to start is by getting in touch with your hunger versus eating due to appetite. With hunger, your body is telling you it needs to be fed as opposed to the clock, the size of the plate, the smell of something delicious or the commercial you just saw on TV. With appetite, the “need” for food is triggered by a thought, feeling or emotion and you’ll crave something specific. With hunger, you may feel dizzy, lightheaded, your stomach will rumble and just about any food will do. Knowing the difference, responding to hunger and finding an alternative to eating due to appetite is your first step to ending the “serial dieting” lifestyle.
2. The Grazer-Afraid to sit down to a regular meal, you choose to “pick” all day. Unfortunately, this strategy leaves you eating constantly, with no sense of satiety, satisfaction or completion. There’s no beginning and no end to a meal so you don’t know when to stop. Even if your choices are healthy, without a system to measure your intake you may be taking in way more than what your body actually needs.
The solution-For you, a non-negotiable rule may work like “I will eat every morsel of food sitting down.” This way, you can still have 3 meals along with an afternoon snack and evening dessert but you’ll be much more mindful of what you’re consuming. Individual portion sized snacks and desserts will also help you stay in control of how much you’re taking in.
3. The Carb Loader-You’re still hanging onto the idea that any type of fat is the enemy. As a result, you’re taking in way too many calories in the form of carbohydrates, which leaves you constantly hungry, encourages binge eating and mood instability, while contributing to excess weight along with many chronic illnesses and conditions.
The solution-With the simple solution of always having a portion controlled, quality snack (ex: apple with peanut butter, almonds with Greek yogurt, hummus and vegetables) you’ll be much more satisfied with less. That feeling of satiety will prevent the need for “carb hopping” where you have some crackers, then cookies, pretzels, dry cereal…you get the idea.