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?