Intuitive Eating Self Paced Course
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- Principles of Intuitive Eating
My name is Gila Glassberg and my goal is to help you change your relationship with food and learn the principles of Intuitive Eating. These principles were adapted by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D.Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A. I will walk you step by step through the process. Together we will get through this and you will be a brand new you.
- Women looking to change their relationship with food
Honor your hunger, feel your fullness and discover the satisfaction factor:
How can we know if we are eating for physical versus emotional reasons if we don’t know the difference in how these things feel?
We start by identifying physical hunger/fullness. Where do you feel this in your body? What does it feel like -describe the physical sensation. Has dieting turned these cues off by telling you what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat?
Do you even know what you like to eat? Let's discover together what food tastes, textures, smells, temperatures fit with your desires.
After each session - we create goals to work on throughout the week.
We have begun our Intuitive Eating Journey by learning about diet culture and deciding if we want to reject it or not.
Now we are going to move on to hunger and fullness. Dieting can turn off these natural cues because it tells us what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. I want to help you get in touch with these natural cues in order to trust your body again. Every positive eating experience is one step closer to restoring body trust.
Hunger is a biological drive to enforce eating in order to survive. I know many chronic dieters who hate and fear the feeling of hunger, but really, this drive is sustaining you. To re-frame this even more, understand that breathing is also something we need to do in order to live, but it is not pleasurable, g-d made this pleasurable out of kindness.
Note, when you are comfortably hungry, those bites taste the best, as fullness starts to emerge, the food starts to lose some of its pleasurable qualities. This is to reinforce eating when comfortably hungry and stopping when comfortably full.
Here is a summary of the two principles: honor your hunger and feel your fullness:
Now, I want you to notice that there are nutritionally things that you can actually add to your daily intake in order to aid in fullness and satiety. For example, when you add protein to a carbohydrate, it will help delay gastric emptying - which means the sugar from the carbohydrates won't be able to go directly into your bloodstream and will release the sugars on a more steady basis, cause you to stay fuller longer. One way to understand your own body and what foods will keep you for a comfortable time is to use this handout:
Notice - you want to choose foods with staying power(refer to summary of this chapter). You want to be able to exercise autonomy and make a choice about your food. Am I meal hungry or snack hungry? How long do I want this meal to last me and how full do I want to feel. All of this takes getting in touch with your body's cues and learning to practice attunement and interoceptive awareness. Then we can give ourselves what we need in that moment.
Ultimately - we want to get the most satisfaction out of our food, let it fill us up in a positive way and then move on with your day. Have you ever been on a diet and told yourself "ok today, I am going to have cottage cheese, then apple, then spaghetti squash noodles" only to feel completely deprived and ending up eating the cake too. When we eat the foods that really appeal to use for the most part we don't binge on them.
Here is a summary of the satisfaction factor.
Self care (physical, emotional, spiritual), challenging the food police(learning about self talk) and coping with your emotions without using food(learning about your emotions and other ways to cope with them without using food).
We are moving on to our third topic - SELF CARE!
Firstly - I want you to know there are different forms of self care: physical, emotional, spiritual.
First, write down the answers to these basic questions:
1. Are you eating enough throughout the day?
2. Are you in touch with your hunger/fullness signals?
3. Can you differentiate when your physically hungry or emotionally triggered and thus searching for food?
4. Are you sleeping between 7-9 hours a night?
5. Do you go to your annual doctor check up?
6. Do you go to the doctor when you aren't feeling well or when something hurts?
7. Do you get regular dental checkups?
8. Do you take time off from work when you are sick?
9. Are you engaging in any type of joyful movement/exercise?
10. Are you aware of the things that motivate you/light you up - and if yes, do you engage in them regularly?
11. If I could wave a magic wand, and your self care could look perfect to you, exactly as your life would look - what would that look like?
Take an assessment of yourself - how is your self care doing?
The instigator of your war with food are the thoughts that form the voice of what we call the food police. These thoughts and food rules do not just appear out of nowhere; they become internalized. You must learn to silence these thoughts.
We are born into the world innocent, filled with instinct and emotions, and the capacity to form thoughts. The formulation of belief systems begins once a child is influenced by the environment around him. In terms of eating - the child lives in a nation and maybe even a home riddled with guilt about eating. Foods are described in moralistic terms: decadent, sinful, tempting, or bad. This way of viewing food has become a false religion. Dieting has become a ritual for removing the guilt of eating pleasurable foods.
The first line of defense is to develop non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and then cultivate retorts to the judgments and demands. The goal here is to address and re-frame the negative thoughts, so the food police can diminish and ultimately vanish.
Evaluate your belief system about food and your body:
Reflect upon the origin of your beliefs about your body or eating:
Your thoughts are formulated from the set of beliefs you hold about how the world around you works. The thoughts and rules spoken by the food police are usually cognitive distortions - very strong statements that are based on false beliefs. If not challenged, these negative thoughts can affect many of your behaviors, especially your eating.
Any exaggerated thoughts?
Challenge your food police thoughts: CBT- evaluate thoughts and re-frame them.
Observe a thought and question if it is real.
Challenge it by replacing it with a logical thought
Intuitive eating involves a neutral, appreciative way of thinking. It is filled with positive thoughts, victories and gratitude's. We focus on making changes at ones own pace. People stuck in the diet mentality often have black-and-white thinking and see life in a linear way. When life doesn't go according to “the plan,” the dieter’s rigid thinking leads to negative self talk and a sense of bewilderment for not being able to stay on course. Negative thinking impacts your mental health.
Automatic Negative thoughts:
Catastrophizing: thinking something is a disaster when its really not
2. Absolute thinking: perfectionism:
3. Thoughts I have no control over
4. Black and white thinking
5. Fantasizing: unrealistic expectations:
6. Prophesizing:assuming you know why Hashem does what he does
7. Excessive responsibility
8. Mind reading: assuming you know why people do things they do
9. Exceptionality: feeling you are the only one struggling with something or feeling a certain way
10. Excessive, non constructive guilt
Tapping: Tap on three sets on each EFT spot.
I tap to release how I feel
Say the automatic negative thought that comes up for you (I’m not enough, no one cares about me, what’s the point of living?
2. I tap to accept myself:
Find a word for how I feel: angry, jealous, disappointed, regretful, anxious, ashamed, guilty, resentful, defensive, grief-stricken, disgusted, stifled, lonely, worn out, despairing, apathetic, etc.
I say “ Even if I am ___________ (emotion/negative action), I deeply and completely love, respect, and accept myself.
What I cannot accept, I cannot change.
3. I tap to pick a healthier thought choice,
I have the power to ___________________
I choose to know __________________________
I am looking forward to _______________
I refuse to fall into the fear of ____________________________
I have the humility to know _______________________
I can forgive myself.
I am curious how this will play itself out.
I choose to focus on victories
I’m choosing to focus on what I can be grateful for.
The work: Byron Katie:https://thework.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/jyn_en_mod_6feb2019_r4_form1.pdf
Self care: If self care is lacking, it is hard to accurately hear the inner cues of hunger and fullness. Under these circumstances, food can become more rewarding. Review the self care assessment and reflect.
Before we discuss emotions, it is important to note that when we are sleep deprived, our eating can seem out of whack. Let’s check in to see how we are sleeping.
SLEEP: The National Sleep Foundation’s research has shown that the optimal amount of sleep for a teenager is 8-10 hours per night and for adults it is 7-9 hours per night. If you are not consistently getting adequate sleep, it’s likely that you’re walking around feeling lethargic, with low energy.
Many people who are sleep deprived believe that their lack of energy can be corrected by eating more. It is true that digested food releases physical energy from calories to keep the body functioning, but extra food does not compensate for lack of sleep. In fact eating can actually make you feel more sluggish and drowsy.
Recommendation to increase the hours and quality of sleep you get per night:
Turn off all electronic devices early in the evening. Exposure to the light from your computer, phone, and television screens is known to stimulate the brain and keep you awake.
Set the intention to go to bed at approximately the same time each night and to get up at the same time every morning, even on weekends.
Exercise during the day to promote better sleep.
Keep your bedroom cool.
Avoid caffeine after the morning hours. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to ten hours.
Reduce alcohol intake. Although alcohol is a depressant, which initially makes you feel relaxed and sleepy, research shows that it actually disrupts your sleep and interferes with your body’s sleep regulation.
List which of these changes you could make to improve your sleep patterns:
Life Balance: Sometimes it feels like an impossible task to keep everything going in your life. Often this is a problem of abundance. You may not have time for all the aspects in your life that appeal to you or for the abundance of problems you seem to feel burdened with. Either way, make it an important goal to be realistic about how much time you can spend in any one area of your life.
Is there balance in your life? Where do you think your life may be out of balance: (Example: family, work, play, movement, rest, relationships).
Nourishment: When you eat consistently and adequately, you’ll avoid entering a state of primal hunger, which often results in overeating, when your brain senses semi-starvation. (Refer back to “honor your hunger if needed.”)
Do you eat at least three meals and two snacks a day, without going too long between eating?
Does each of your meals have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat?
Have you recently increased your amount of physical activity?
Did you start a new medication, which may have increased your hunger?
Have you changed your pattern of eating? Like lighter meals or a snack instead of a meal?
List some stressors in your life:__________________________________________________
Consider ways you may be able to manage your stress:________________________________
Emotional reasons for overeating:
Eating does not occur in a void. Much of the time, food has emotional associations. We often forget how deeply food is tied to the need for comfort and safety. This all begins at birth. Soon after a baby is born, he or she is offered milk. That first taste of milk may set the stage for associating pleasure and comfort with a stressful situation. This association deepens when food is offered to soothe aches, celebrate events and show love. This is when food becomes a comfort, a reward, and a reliable friend.
Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Emotional Eating:
It is important to acknowledge how emotional eating has served you. This is the first step towards healing the negative feelings you have about yourself in relation to eating. If you appreciate that you were actually trying to take care of yourself by using or restricting food, it will help you to mourn the loss of the behavior as you give it up. At the same time it will help you develop a sense of compassion for your struggle.
Make a list of recent times when you ate too much or too little or when you are for any reason disconnected from hunger:
List the possible ways in which emotional eating has benefited you, such as offering you comfort, distraction, or a respite from feelings.
List the ways in which emotional eating has negatively affected your life, such as isolation, physical discomfort, and numbing of positive feelings. Please approach this list with a nonjudgmental viewpoint. Sometimes food was the only good thing in our lives and we coped the only way we knew how.
Do the cons of your eating outweigh the pros?:
If your cons have outweighed your pros, you may be ready to learn to let go of your emotional eating and to find the peace and freedom that comes as you heal.
Identify Emotional Triggers: There are many emotional triggers for eating, and it’s likely that most people eat emotionally, from time to time.
Anxiety - using food to calm yourself
Boredom - eating as something to do
Bribery - finish your work and you can have a treat
Celebration - food accompanies most celebratory events
Emptiness - eating from a lack of spiritual meaning
Excitement - using food as something fun
Feeling lonely or unloved - using food as a friend
Frustration, anger, rage - eating as a release
Loosening the reins - eating as an outlet from a self-imposed militaristic or perfectionist life
Mild depression - carbohydrates can increase serotonin- the feel better neurotransmitter
Self soothing when upset - eating as a comfort or consoling activity
Procrastination - i'll do that task after I eat something
Reward - I just closed that deal - now I deserve that big piece of chocolate cake
Stress - food for relief
Rebellion - can trigger overeating
List any triggers of emotional eating for you:
Describe some examples of when and how these emotional triggers acted on you:
Use this handout when we know we are not physically hungry and we still have an urge to eat. The paper says 15 minutes but I recommend 3-5 minutes to start. Often you will get a clue or an insight into what you are truly hungry for and it isn't food. (Please make sure not to use this against you, you may actually be hungry but if you have identified you aren't, this will help you understand what you really are craving or need.)
Respect my body - not just focusing on how my body looks but what it does for me.
Joyful movement - because it feels good physically/mentally. Finding what works for you.
Gentle Nutrition - using nutrition and meal planning as a form of self care.
This past week - we spoke about challenging the food police. Noticing our automatic thoughts and learning to reframe them. We also want to reflect on where these thoughts have come from, are they helping us now, and can we choose to let them go?
Moving on to coping with our emotions without using food. The first step in learning this principle is to first check in with all that we learned and see is it really emotional eating or is it something else? Is it a lack of self care - not eating enough? not sleeping enough? Is your life balance out of whack.
Take a look at this wheel - where are you spending your time and energy and where do you want to be spending your time and energy. Intuitive Eating can spill into all areas of life, where we look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we need to change something in our lives.
We will start of with coping with your emotions without using food and continue on.
Respect your Body:
We live in a culture of body bashing and body shaming thanks to crash diet programs, social media and abusive television shows bullying people under the guise of health. It is common for a chronic dieter to have disdain for their body. It is important to remember that this body is your home for the rest of your life. It can move you from place to place, can comfort a loved one with a hug and give you pleasure. Many bodies can birth a child and carry and care for that child.
Respecting your body means treating it with dignity and kindness, as well as meeting its basic needs. In this section - we will work on:
Accepting your genetic blueprint
Having gratitude for your body
Practice respectful behaviors for your body
Stop comparing your body to others
Alter the language you use when speaking about your body
Each of us is born with a genetic blueprint that determines our potential height, weight, and health, as well as many other details from foot length to eye color. When you are attuned to your hunger and fullness signals and maintain regular movement and activity, you will be able to maintain and preserve the greater potential of your body. We know that environmental factors can influence our ability to reach this potential or can actually destroy it. For example - starvation in early childhood can permanently affect bone and tooth growth, malnutrition can damage all organs and increase the risk of infection, communicable disease and even death.
The power of culture can wreak havoc on logic. In chinese history, the cultural ideal of women having small feet caused many to allow their daughters feet to be bound at a young age in order to force the feet to develop into a deformed, but very small, shape, essentially crippling them. In that era, people believed that a woman needed to have small feet in order to have status and marry into the right family. In our modern world, we live with a culturally thin ideal. It can come from images in the media, the fashion and beauty industry, or family pressure, we see the relentless drive to lose weight, to change how the body looks, and to create an image that is impossible to attain or maintain. Combine these cultural issues with the purported health implications of obesity, and you get a perfect storm of body dissatisfaction.
Someone can lose weight rapidly and dangerously through an eating disorder like anorexia, which, if not treated, will cause health consequences similar to those of actual starvation. One can temporarily lose weight through dieting. But as we now know, diets simply don't work. Even worse, dieting promotes weight gain beyond pre diet weight, this has been demonstrated in children, teens and adults. But diet culture is alive and well, and people continually try to fool mother nature, believing that they can achieve and keep their fantasy body.
The first step in respecting your body is to accept that your body is destined to maintain its genetic blueprint. The few who give up on dieting fairly soon after they begin this futile behavior may have a resilient body that returns to its initial blueprint. The majority of dieters, however, attempt one diet after another throughout life, risking a slowed metabolism, an increased fat-to-muscle ratio and a weight that doesn't resemble that which was originally programmed for their body. It’s common to hear people say “I just looked at a picture of myself in my teens, or maybe even twenties or even fifties, when I hated my body. I would give anything to have that body back now.”
Ok SO let's stop the madness. Stop trying to fool mother nature. Surrender to the body you were meant to have. Treat it with love, respect, self care, healthful living, and joy. The freedom you will achieve as a result will allow you to place your focus on life goals that are truly achievable and maintainable.
Pg 181- Your life without body negativity - worksheet
Unfortunately, many worthy, interesting, kind, and beautiful people hold such negative views about their bodies that they fail to see everything else about them that is positive.
What negative views do you hold about your body?
Imagine what your life would be like if you gave up negative views about your body and the notion of attempting to change it. What would the freedom from worries about your body feel like? What new changes could take place in your life?
What feelings emerge as you work toward dropping your negative body image and accepting mother nature's blueprint for your body?
Ways to show your body respect:
Even if you are not fully ready to accept your body’s genetic blueprint, and even if you don’t like your body, you can still cultivate habits that are kind and respectful towards it.
Gratitude- A study on the effects of gratitude on physical and psychological well being concluded that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits, especially positive mood. In another study, researchers found that gratitude protected people from stress and depression.
What can your body accomplish? Do you feel gratitude for these abilities?pg 182 for examples
How do you use self care to respect your body?pg 182_________________________________
How do you dress to feel comfortable and show respect towards your body?
Getting rid of the scale pg 183
Stop body checking -pg 185
Throw out old clothes pg 185
Wear comfortable clothes
Buying new clothes
The “and” practice -pg 189 - taking the focus off body identification
Negative body talk
Exercise -Feel the Difference:
Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise.
Start by simply sitting less in your daily living -
Today - the average person spends more time sitting than sleeping. When the body sits for a long period of time-an hour or more - your metabolic health comes to a standstill. Studies show that many people who exercise regularly still sit too much and are actually considered to be sedentary. This is not about getting up and doing some jumping jacks - this is about getting up and breaking the stillness of sitting.
Pg 203-204 general tips of how to sit less
A growing body of research shows that deriving pleasure from physical activities may be one of the most important factors for sustaining consistent exercise rather than focusing on the classic fitness prescriptions of frequency, intensity and duration. This concept of engaging in activities that you enjoy or that give you increased energy or an improved mood is based on the Hedonic Theory of Motivation. This theory basically says that people will repeat activities that feel good. Conversely, activities that cause pain or discomfort will wane or be avoided. This is welcome research, refuting the popular notion that people need to be bullied into physical activity in the name of health.
All too often, people have been convinced to disregard the cautionary messages of the body with adages such as “suck it up” or “no pain,no gain.” This can lead to a big disconnect, because it encourages pain and minimizes the messages you are receiving from your body. Just as dieting teaches you to ignore what your body wants and needs, these old patterns of exercise only separate you from the wisdom of your body. Remember, only you can possibly know how your body feels.
Let Your Body Guide: Mindful Exercise
Paying attention to how your body feels during and after movement is an important way to discover enjoyable activities. Mindful exercise places value on paying attention to how your body feels-without judgement, comparison, or competition. It is an activity that fosters attunement, which includes four components:
It rejuvenates, rather than exhausts or depletes
It enhances the mind-body connection
It alleviates stress, rather than amplifies stress
It provides genuine enjoyment and pleasure
Question: How would pursuing physical activity for pleasure and enjoyment affect your desire to be active? Your selection of type of activity? Selection of environment or atmosphere?
What are your barriers to exercise?What do you need in order to make physical activity a nonnegotiable priority in your life? Consider how you are going in self care and setting boundaries.
Discovering physical activities you enjoy:
What are your preferences? __Exercise alone __with a group of people
__Exercise indoors versus __outdoors
2. What is your current fitness level?_________________________________________
3. What would be the most pleasurable type of activity to explore?__________________
4. How do you want to feel after physical activity? Calm? Energized?________________
Pg 213- 217 exercise worksheet
Pg 219 - example of a weeks worth of exercise
Pg 221 (homework)
What did you learn from your new exercise routine? How do you feel?
Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress, not perfection is what counts.
Body- Food Choice Congruence
This piece of Intuitive Eating emerges after someone embraces the first nine principles of Intuitive Eating. This is also a form of interoceptive awareness. This represents how food feels in your body - how eating a particular food or meal makes you feel. This internal awareness causes a shift in how you decide what to eat, going beyond what your taste buds may crave. It means that the tongue is not the only part of the body that we honor when making food choices.
This sets the stage for increased self-care through nutrition, which gentle nutrition offers.It is about making food choices based on health and body functioning as well as pleasure. This includes making food choices in order to feel better and to increase energy and body performance. This is not about ignoring the taste buds. Satisfaction is always the engine that leads the Intuitive Eating train. Satisfaction and pleasure in eating can arrive at the station only when you choose foods that tickle your palate and give you joy. When you feel good, you get even more satisfaction from eating. It doesn't matter how good a food tastes if you feel lousy after eating it, your entire experience is tainted, and you have diminished satisfaction.
This can be reflected in comments like:
I’d like more energy and stamina,
I want to get pregnant and want to make sure I am feeding my baby everything it needs to grow properly and be healthy.
I sometimes get hungry too soon. I might last longer if I alter my food choice a bit.
I don’t think I am taking in enough nutritious foods.
I haven't had a salad for ages, and now I'm really craving one,
I’d really like to feel better.
Do this practice when you are mildly hungry and are thinking about what you would like to eat. As you consider each food option that is appealing to you, work through the following questions:
In the past, how has this food made my body feel while I was eating it? Do I like this feeling?
How did I feel after I ate? Would I choose to feel that way again? Did this food or meal give me lasting sustainable energy?
The messages from your body: Listen to how you feel physically after eating the foods you choose. Your body will tell you what works for you and what doesn’t. Something might look great but makes you sleepy or hurt your stomach or cause your blood sugar to drop quickly. It’s important to weigh all of these things and not just go simply for the needs of your taste buds.
The messages from your body:
After you’ve eaten, consider the following questions:
How did my body feel after eating this food or meal? Did I like this feeling?
Were there any ill effects from my meal - for example, excessive gas or bloating, stomachache, headache, or tiredness? Do I want to repeat this distress?
Did I feel sufficient satiety from my meal? Did my meal or snack hold me long enough, or did I get hungry too quickly?
In general, are my eating patterns working well for me, or are there some adjustments I need to make?
Play food versus nutritious food:pg 229
Are you ready to consider nutrition in your food choices? Pg 230-232
What motivates your food choices?
The five overarching 2015-2020 guidelines:
Eat not too much - and not too little
Issues of eating too little
Nutrition and satisfaction
Variety of vitamins and minerals
Girls! This week is our last week! Please pick a food that you have the most fear around and please bring it to our class! Please use this handout make peace with food systematically. The 2nd handout explains if you are ready for this, I think you all are! And the third may just help you figure out which food you want to habituate to first.
I want to use this also to explain gentle nutrition - body food congruence - how does this food make you feel - so it may really tempt you palette but once it feels bad in your body, it diminishes the satisfaction by a lot. Have a great week and I am sad that it will be a our last class. Its been amazing working with you guys!!!
I would ask you all to please, if you enjoyed the class, and you would recommend it, I'd love to get a testimonial for my website. It can say your name or be anonymous.
Have a great week!
-Gila Glassberg, MS, RDN, CDN, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor
Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
The more you restrict a loved food, the more you will crave it. Not only that, chronic dieters engage in “ last supper eating” whenever they are about to embark on a new diet journey. Therefore, they may be bingeing on a consistent basis. This may reinforce that you can't be trusted around food which makes you feel mistrust for your body even more. And even more so, when someone does have there “forbidden food” they will likely think “I already messed up, might as well eat the whole box of cookies,” not focusing at all on hunger/fullness/satiety cues.
PG 63 - 64 THE RESEARCH -Dietary Restraint Theory - This theory described what happens when fastidious dieters go off their diet or break their food rules.
The What the Hell Effect- Dieters tend to evaluate their successes or failures of eating in terms of the current day. Success requires getting through the day with no violations of the diet. Even just thinking that you have blown your diet is enough to trigger the consumption of more food, regardless of hunger/fullness levels.
Perception - Restrained eaters are likely to overeat even if they only perceived that they violated one of their food rules. Many dieters have rules about not eating high calorie foods, so the researchers set up a sneaky taste testing study. Dieters were told they would be sampling a high-calorie food (but it actually was not). The mere perception of blowing their diet was enough to trigger overeating.
Anticipation of Food Restriction - A study of chocolate lovers found that when a chocolate restriction was imposed for three weeks, it triggered an increase in their chocolate consumption before and after the restriction period. For many dieters, just the anticipation of starting a new diet is enough to trigger overeating. Consequently - restrained eaters do not really end up eating less food overall. Researchers suggest that a high degree of restrained eating seems to more accurately reflect eating-related guilt rather than actual food consumed.
The irony of thought suppression - a large body of research indicates that thought suppression is ineffective. When you try not to think about something, that's all you can think about - don’t think about the white bear! Similarly, trying to suppress food related thoughts only increases thinking about food but may also increase eating behaviors.
The Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon - A body of research on children has shown that the more a parent restricts his or her child’s eating, the more it creates a rebound effect, causing the child to eat more of the forbidden food and to become more disconnected from his or her body. This leads to eating in the absence of hunger and overeating. That child is more likely yo grow up with an increased risk of emotional eating and higher BMI, especially for women.
Habituation - Forbidden foods remain exciting and novel for dieters, because those foods are not subject to the habituation effect. This is when you are repeatedly explored to the same stimulus - it can be a car, relationship or food. The novelty begins to wear off. The problem for chronic dieters is that forbidden food rules prevent the habituation response. Instead, a vicious cycle ensues with each diet: the diet begins with food restriction, followed by broken restraint and the consumption of forbidden foods, which triggers feelings of guilt and a lack of control over eating those foods. That guilt and uncontrolled eating provides false evidence that more rules are needed to constrain eating. Back to another diet. This creates the conditions for a perfect storm of overeating forbidden foods. This is one of the reasons the more someone diets, the more likely they are to binge eat.
Do any of these studies resonate with you? If so, which one(s)? Please describe how:
What foods do you forbid or restrict?
Habituation: Familiarity and Exposure breeds ordinariness pg 66-72
Systematic Habituation: Make Peace with Food
Fears That Hold you Back: pg 69
1. Once I start eating a forbidden food, I won’t stop:
2. I’ve tried it before, but it didn’t work:
3. I won’t eat healthfully:
4. I think that I am addicted to my forbidden foods:
5. I don’t trust myself around food:
6. My friends or family will criticize my food choices:
7. I don’t deserve to eat these foods until I lose weight: