The word diet can mean so many things to so many people, but it’s most commonly associated with deprivation and despair. So many people struggle with dieting, and it’s one of the biggest stressors in our lives. What’s strange is, is that when we were toddlers, we were able to eat instinctively, knowing when we were hungry or not hungry, and when to stop eating after we were full.
As we grow up, we learn various eating behaviors from our parents, friends, teachers. We observe the adults and start to practice their habits of emotional eating, stress eating, eating because food is offered to us, etc. This leads to dieting-bingeing-dieting cycle. Did you know that the mere contemplation of dieting brings on urges and cravings for “bad” foods? Dieting causes feelings of deprivation, reduced self trust, social withdrawal– symptoms of diet backlash.
It is very common to be dieting and not even know it. These are unconscious forms of dieting. Do you relate to any of the descriptions below?
Were there any of the types of eaters that you associated with the most? You may notice you are a combination of a few. This is common. Once you notice what type of eater you are, you can begin the steps of becoming an intuitive eater, and say goodbye to dieting for good.
Many of my younger clients identify with the “Waste-Not” eater and the “Emotional” eater. In the book Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole (a book I HIGHLY recommend to both dietitians and clients), she refers to the term “Returning Home Syndrome”. This occurs most often in post-college aged women, who overeat because they felt deprived of familiar foods while away. When they come home, they feel emotional and eat familiar foods, and when mom cooks a large comfort meal, they turn into the waste-not eater and eat seconds and thirds– just because mom made it.
I encourage a no dieting philosophy with my clients. Since deprivation of favorite foods causes binges, we don’t ban those foods. The quality and quantity of an item’s ingredients are so much more important than how many grams of fat, fiber and protein are in it. Once we get past the calories and start eating real food, we’ll be much happier and healthier.
Source: Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole.