Does the number on your scale determine whether you have a good day? When you feel you have overeaten at one meal or eaten a “bad” food, so you skip the next meal? Have you recently gone on a diet that eliminates an entire food group? Do you obsess about how many calories you burn during exercise?
If so, you may be a victim of the diet mentality. Research shows that this might actually be causing you to gain weight!
What Is The Diet Mentality?
People who have a diet mentality tend to follow a predictable cycle:
- They go on a diet that restricts calories or makes certain foods off limits.
- With this plan, they often don’t get enough calories to fuel their bodies or they miss out on nutrients needed by the body. Because the body’s drive for adequate fuel and nutrients is a powerful force that helps ensure survival, people on restricted diets often develop cravings.
- Further, by forbidding ‘bad’ foods or entire food groups, psychologically they tell their brain that these foods are in short or no supply, intensifying cravings for the foods.
- The cravings are — you guessed it — usually for something that isn’t allowed on the diet.
- When the cravings get strong enough, or when they’ve had enough of the diet, they often go to the opposite extreme, eating to excess foods they haven’t allowed themselves. They’ve broken the diet so they “might as well give up and really cheat,” eating larger quantities of foods or focusing for days on all the foods that were off-limits.
This can occur the day they start the diet, or after having been on the diet for months. Ultimately, the cycle results in guilt and self-loathing. Then the dieter might go back on her diet determined to do it ‘perfectly.’ That is, until her body’s needs overwhelm her again. And she begins the overeating cycle once again.
Why is getting rid of the diet mentality so important?
The restrictive negative thinking of the diet mentality sets us up for struggles and almost guarantees defeat. Once we overcome it, we’re much better able to make choices that are in our best interest, instead of being driven by needs that don’t even exist when we are feeding ourselves in a supportive manner. Such needs arise from out-of-control hunger – a sure set-up for overeating — a poorly-nourished body and feelings of deprivation. Supportive eating features regular, balanced meals that manage hunger, provide vital nutrition that supports a healthy metabolism, and allows for the other important roles that food plays in our lives such as healthy pleasure.
Do You Have The Diet Mentality? Take Our Quiz!
It’s a common affliction in today’s world as weight-loss diet rules increasingly define how we think about healthy eating and healthy living. Take this quick scientifically-validated quiz to see how entrenched you are in the diet mentality.
For each statement, select the number from 1-6 that describes your attitude.
Your total of plus 4 is your Diet Mentality score. Here’s what it means:
How did you do? If you’re more influenced by the diet mentality than you’d like to be, consider joining the ranks of non-dieters. A stay at Green Mountain at Fox Run can help you stop dieting and start living.
Learn more about how our non-diet approach can help you achieve a healthy weight and stay there!
For more information, call us at 1.800.448.8106 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.