When you think you’re not on a diet, but actually you are
How to know if you’re stuck in a diet mentality
Zoe Nicholson (Accredited Practicing Dietitian at Figureate) has written many times about the importance of letting go the notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. You can read here why this kind of thinking is incredibly unhelpful.
As a fitness professional, I hear many people talk about food and their eating, and how they relate it to exercise. Many people adamantly agree that diets don’t work and are dangerous, swear they’d never go on a diet, yet still approach food with the same mentality as diets.
You may still be subscribing to a diet mentality if you find yourself doing, thinking or saying any of the following…
Using exercise to ‘balance out’ or ‘compensate’ for foods you’ve eaten
“I made up for the brownie I ate by exercising”
Choosing only certain versions of your favourite foods (despite not having any allergy or intolerance)
Looking for ‘gluten free’ , ’sugar free’ or ‘raw’ recipes as you feel like they are ‘guilt free’
Only eating dark chocolate even though you love all chocolate
You often skip what you really want, eat something else, but then feel deprived
You really wanted chocolate, but thought you should have an apple instead. You ate the apple, didn’t feel satisfied, so ate a muesli bar. You still thought about the chocolate so you finally ate the chocolate and then felt so full because you ate three snacks instead of just the one you really wanted.
Choosing from a menu according to what you think might be the ‘healthiest’ or ‘lowest calorie’ option
Not choosing what you feel like eating and will enjoy
Feeling food envy when everyone else is enjoying a meal you love and you’re eating the meal you deemed ‘healthiest’
Asking for food ingredients to be removed at restaurants even though you like the taste and you’re not intolerant or allergic
Ordering no dressing as you’re worried about the fat content
Asking for no cheese, no bread, no rice etc even though you enjoy those foods
Feeling like you have to justify certain food choices to yourself or others
“I really deserve this muffin as I studied so hard this morning”, you say to yourself
If any of the above feel familiar to you, have a think about whether you’re assigning food ‘good’ and ‘bad’ judgements, and fearing foods you used to enjoy.
You can consult with a dietitian who specialises in the non-diet approach by finding one near you at this link: http://www.healthnotdiets.com/Registry-of-Dietitians.html