Food Deprivation and Guilt: How to Stop It?
Are you the kind of person who thinks like this: “I’m hungry, but I should not eat,” “I want to eat this food, but I have to eat this one instead,” or even “I don’t want to eat this food, but I have to.” Even if that type of reasoning can initially help lose a few kilos, it becomes more harmful than beneficial to the silhouette in the long run. Why?
In fact, having such restrictive thoughts reveals that we have a bigger response to external food stimuli, that is, our environment, the rules set by some diets, as well as our beliefs and those of our relatives… up to the point of completely forgetting our physiological needs and our hunger and satiety signals!
Sometimes, depriving ourselves from foods deemed too high in calories, too fat, or too sweet can make us overeat healthy foods to compensate for our cravings.
Sadly (and fortunately!), it is hard, even impossible to have such strict control over our nutrition on the long term. One day or another, we finally lose control and end up wolfing down “forbidden” foods until we feel guilty. This feeling of guilt undermines our self-esteem and body self-image, making us engage once more in hyper-controlling behaviour toward nutrition.
5 tips to break free from this cycle
1. THE fundamental principle: eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are not anymore.
2. Dismiss from your beliefs the notion of “good” and “forbidden” foods. What counts is the quantity and the frequency at which we eat them.
3. Allow yourself a treat from time to time. On the contrary, depriving yourself will only exacerbate your frustration and obsession toward excluded foods.
4. Take smaller servings or choose smaller-sized treats.
5. Avoid distractions (newspaper, television, computer), and put your senses on alert: appreciate what you favourite foods look like, their smell, texture, and taste.
By Vanessa Martin