Diet Tools – Don’t Be One

By Robyn Priebe on 02/03/2010
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We had a pretty good discussion in class today about “diet tools.”  Diet tools are anything that we use to rigidly control our eating. They usually reinforce feelings of restriction and deprivation.  Common examples are food scales, obsessive food journaling, the bathroom scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons, etc.  Another less obvious “diet tool” may be people in our lives who focus too much on food, nutrition, weight loss, or what WE are eating (or not eating) to the point where it causes us to feel restricted.

That said, not everyone responds to these things above in the same way.  For example, if I occasionally step on the bathroom scale but don’t allow the number I see to control my eating or make or break my day, then it’s not necessarily a diet tool FOR ME.  However, if I choose to go out to eat with a friend who is very opinionated about what everyone should or shouldn’t eat for weight control purposes, in the hope that she will help me control my eating, then I’m using her as a diet tool.

Our response to others commenting on our food choices can be an interesting thing, however.  Rebellion eating or sneak eating can develop.  When someone suggests that we should NOT eat something, that food can magically become unbelievably appealing.

Even when we aren’t using other people as diet tools, we can’t always control what they say about our food choices but we CAN control our response.  The next time you consider eating something to teach someone else a lesson, think twice and do what’s right by you (eat it if you truly want it; if you don’t let it go).  It will make you feel better, physically and mentally.  Or even better, consider letting the people in your life know what they CAN DO to support you in adopting a healthy lifestyle.  Check out this FitBriefing on Getting the Support We Need.

Have you ever used any unusual diet tools? What about not-so-unusual ones?

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • I am definately a bad diet tool user! I have to be very careful. I have found that knowledge and portion control hav ebeen the best tools I could ever have.
    Listening to our body and using healthy common sense can go a long way!

  • DaniJo says:

    Robyn was the tool double meaning purposeful? LOL I’m glad you listed the journaling. It’s a horrible, horrible thing for me and yet I find myself constantly having to defend that it isn’t just some innocuous activity for me.

  • love2eatinpa says:

    oh boy, you nailed me on this one. i use a food scale, measuring cups and spoons and i write down just about every calorie i eat. i was a compulsive overeater for over three decades and have been binge-free for just over two years. i am three weeks bathroom scale free. baby steps!!!
    .-= love2eatinpa’s last blog post..I Feel Like I Just Went on a Binge =-.

  • Robyn says:

    Shannon, I agree. The way I feel is much better than any measuring cup at letting me know what I need!
    DaniJo – Yeah, the double meaning was on purpose. I’m glad someone out there gets my style of humor. Do you really need to food journal if you hate it so much? I tend to just reflect at the end of the day on how I did with my eating patterns. I don’t need to write it down to identify areas that may need more attention.
    Love2eatinpa – Congrats on your new scale-free status! That’s a big deal. I agree, one thing at a time; there’s no need to change all our habits at once.

  • Amen. The scale for me has represented a healthy relationship gone bad. We went through the romance phase where I loved the check and balances and then an OCD phase where whatever the scale said, I took to heart and either experienced an unhealthy (and fleeting) feeling of euphoria or a sense of despair resulting in self-sabotage. So, I recently decided to call it quits with my scale and dump him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoiPzXA3WOk

  • Robyn says:

    Annabel – Wow! I just watched your video at work and I’m sure my co-workers are wondering what I was just laughing about, all alone in my office. Great video; funny, yet I feel your pain at the same time. I have been there too, weighing myself AM, PM, each time I pee (just to see what happened), tooooo much. Thank so much for posting that!

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