Eliminating Dieter’s Mentality
Many different diets can lead us to form rigid rules about what we should and should not eat. When we get stuck in a dieter’s mentality, we may deeply scrutinize our choices and feel angry or guilty when we eat something we believe to be bad.
Unfortunately, when we make eating choices based on inflexible rules and depriving ourselves of certain foods, it can make our desire to eat “bad” foods even stronger. Thinking about foods as all or none can lead us to have harsh expectations of ourselves. When we don’t meet these expectations, we can feel ashamed and guilty, and these emotions can make us more likely to eat the foods we feel we shouldn’t.
According to Dr. Lisa Galper, a clinical psychologist who teaches classes on weight loss, we need to eliminate this negative mindset to form a more peaceful and productive outlook on our eating habits.
“It’s not healthy to feel guilty and shameful after you eat,” Dr. Galper says. “It’s healthy to notice what you did that didn’t work so that you can learn something from it.”
The Problem with “Forbidden Foods”
When we forbid ourselves from eating certain things, we create a painful and unsatisfying relationship with food. As we deprive ourselves of these foods, we can actually intensify our drive to eat them. Our forbidden foods become overvalued, and we may develop obsessive thoughts and cravings about them.
Giving in to these cravings can make us feel like we’re spinning out of control. Eating forbidden foods causes us to experience feelings of guilt or failure, resulting in a drop in self-esteem that we may cope with by eating even more.
Do You Have a Dieter’s Mentality?
The dieter’s mentality can lead to a great deal of anxiety about food, turning us into restrained and fearful eaters. If you find that any of the following statements apply to you, it may be time to develop a healthier and more positive relationship with food:
- You feel like a food addict
- You tend to be punitive with yourself and fearful of food
- You often get urges to eat when you are not physically hungry
- When you get urges to eat, you have a difficult time managing them
- You regularly skip at least one meal a day to keep calorie intake low
- You sometimes feel afraid that you won’t be able to stop eating voluntarily
- You attempt to manage anxiety and self-esteem issues by controlling food intake and weight
- You fast, excessively exercise, vomit or use a laxative to get rid of extra calories when you feel that you’ve eaten too much
Becoming a Peaceful Eater
Instead of trying to conform to broad judgments about whether foods are good or bad, ask yourself this question:
What works for me?
As long as you take your personal needs and medical conditions into account, you can give yourself permission to eat all foods in a preplanned and effective manner. To avoid feelings of deprivation, we need to balance eating for pleasure with eating for health, and bring our bodies, minds and eating habits into harmony.
To help yourself develop a more peaceful relationship with food (and yourself), it will also help to:
- Eat only when you’re hungry. Don’t lose contact with your body—listen to what it’s telling you. When you’re hungry, eat, and when you’re not hungry anymore, stop eating.
- Eat mindfully. We usually overeat because of our minds, not because of our bodies. Try to stay mentally present whenever you eat, and take note of the ways that different foods affect you.
Instead of berating yourself for overeating or eating something you would prefer to avoid, ask yourself why this happened and use it as an experience to learn and grow.
When we eat, it isn’t always because we’re hungry. Sometimes when we feel emotions like stress, anger, sadness or boredom, we turn to food for comfort, hoping that it will soothe some of the complex emotions we’re dealing with. Unfortunately, this often leaves us feeling worse.
Emotional eating happens when we eat because of emotions instead of hunger, and it’s a frequent cause of overeating. Everyone experiences emotional eating to some degree, but by learning how to anticipate and overcome it, you can help yourself achieve better health and lasting weight loss.
Carbohydrates and Weight Loss
Because carbohydrates can be used as a primary energy source by our bodies, they have an important role in our diets. However, many people eat carbs in excess, and this often contributes to weight gain. During your weight loss program, you’ll be reducing your carb intake, which will help you avoid the fat buildup caused by high carbohydrate consumption and take advantage of your body’s ability to burn fat.
Dining Out during Medical Weight Loss
Because preparing your own food at home will keep you in complete control of your diet, it’s the best way to ensure a healthy meal. You should try to keep eating out to a minimum during your medical weight loss program, which you can do by:
- Eating breakfast at home or bringing your own breakfast to work
- Bringing your lunch from home every day
- Cooking dinner at home at least five nights per week, and every night if possible
Reading Food Labels
This question has so many potential answers that it can be overwhelming to find the right one. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help us make more informed eating decisions: the nutrition label.
Nutrition labels can tell us exactly what’s in our food before we eat it. If you know how to read nutrition labels, they can help you stick with a nutritious diet during your weight loss program and beyond.
Low Calorie Diets
While some weight loss diets focus on eliminating one food group or reducing the amount of food eaten at certain times of the day, a medically monitored low calorie diet is one of the most effective methods for achieving long-term weight loss.
Calories and Weight Loss
A calorie is a unit of energy. Each of us uses a certain amount of calories daily to perform tasks, like sleeping, walking and talking.
Mindful Eating Strategies
During your medical weight loss program, it’s important to develop healthy eating habits. Mindful eating is a way of eating that involves complete awareness of your food and how you digest it. It can be a useful tool when it comes to digestion, portion control, losing weight and eliminating “mindless” eating. In fact, mindful eating can even enhance how enjoyable your meal is.
Dietary Fats and Medical Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
There are many types of fats, and most foods contain a variety of fats. Your body produces its own fat from excess calories while some fats are found in foods from plants and animals. These are known as dietary fats. Dietary fats, along with protein and carbohydrates, provide your body with energy. Although many people think of fat negatively, it is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some even promote good health.
Glycemic Index and Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
The glycemic index (GI) is a measuring system that shows how foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. GI uses a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose measured at a GI of 100. Foods with high GI are foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed; therefore they produce gradual rises in blood sugar levels and have proven health benefits and promote weight loss.
Healthy Eating for Weight Loss
The path to sustainable weight loss is paved with healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. This is especially true for anyone in a medical weight loss program. Developing healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off without feeling hungry.
Share a Meal
Avoid eating alone. Sharing healthy meals with others provides many social and emotional benefits – good company makes food taste better. Eating with others also provides subconscious clues about healthy choices, portion sizes, and a cue to stop eating. Dining alone, especially in front of the television or computer, leads to mindless overeating and habitual snacking.