As I march through my eliminating the diet mentality week, I continue to find traps that I need to avoid. In my readings, I am finding that not being on an official diet is not the only way we (I) can fall into a diet trap. Tribole and Resch call this “pseudo-dieting”. This includes:
“Counting macros” – I’m not watching what I eat, just how many grams of carbs, fats, and proteins I take in.
Eating from the “do” list and avoiding “don’t” foods.
Letting the clock guide eating patterns – i.e., no food after 7pm – even if you are hungry.
Exercising harder because you ate a cookie or some chips. (this one is hard for me to break – still working on it)
Using liquid to give you a sense of fullness when hungry rather than eating.
Eating healthily around others and sneaking “forbidden” foods in private.
Comparing diet, body, etc. to others. (this one is also hard for me to break – still working on it)
Adopting a specific type of diet for weight loss purposes, i.e. vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten-free.
While somewhat unrelated, as I think about these things, it brings to mind an article I read (Smith, no date) entitled – “Athletes and Eating Concerns”. This article talks about a population that many of us believe to be quite healthy. After all, they exercise regularly, they are strong, and often they compete with others and win. However, there are some risk factors (and I will only name a few): need for perfection; extreme sensitivity; drastic weight changes; excessive exercise or over-training; avoiding food or serious restriction; guilt feelings after eating; comments about purging food or calories (can be through vomiting, laxatives, even exercising); comments of body dissatisfaction; depression; solving other’s problems while ignoring one’s own; preoccupation with food; obsession with dieting, calorie-counting, etc. And the list goes on. I would be remiss if I did not remind you that seeing these symptoms in yourself or others may mean there is a need for professional help. Please do not hesitate to seek the help you need.