Monday, August 11, 2008

Deprivation Diets NEVER Help!

As a leading international emotional eating I can tell you that we are the fattest people on earth? Do you know why? One reason is because we diet. Did you know that diets actually cause weight gain? Each diet promises a slender, healthy body, yet, as we diet more, the numbers on the scale continue to rise. As we realize we are getting fatter, we are likely to become more discouraged and anxious. We may search frantically for the latest, fastest ways to lose weight and diet more desperately. We may find that the harder we try the fatter we become! Following are some reasons to never diet again:

Diets forbid us to eat the healthy fats we need to feel satiated.

Dieting lowers metabolism.

Diets encourage us to consume diet products that are often filled with chemicals and devoid of nutrients.

Diets foster a lifestyle of deprivation and, if we feel deprived, we are likely to make up for that later by overindulging.

Diets limit our choices and restrict us. We may resent this and act out our anger by overeating.

If we severely restrict our caloric intake and we deny ourselves the pleasure of savoring foods we love, we will build resentment. If our friends are enjoying pasta and we are chomping angrily on a dry chicken breast and a few leaves of lettuce, we are guaranteeing ourselves that we will make this injustice up later by overindulging on junk foods.

The intention then is not to diet but instead to strive for balance. We do this by first educating ourselves about what foods promote high energy and health. Then choosing these foods most of the time. We can indulge now and then, noticing how we feel when we make less than self-loving choices and how we feel when we select nourishing, health-promoting foods instead. Over time, as we strive to be more mindful about our choices and their consequences, we can make more and more self-loving choices. Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons!

This is the most effective overall strategy to achieve a life of zest and radiant health. Deprivation diets are never helpful. They do cause weight gain so be gentle with yourself!

Enjoy the rest of summer! Warmly, Dr. Denise

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