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Have You Deprived Yourself of Enjoyable Foods?
Have you deprived yourself of enjoyable foods?
Depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy will not help you lose weight- even if you are restricting high calorie foods. This is because the deprivation eventually leads to binges, cravings, overeating and guilt. Food deprivation, often called restrictive eating, also causes you to dislike nutritious foods. Healthier foods become synonymous with dieting and deprivation. Restricted foods also cause you to dislike nutritious foods. Healthier foods become synonymous with dieting and deprivation. Restricted foods represent reward and pleasure. Viewing foods in this way sabotages your efforts to manage your weight and eat nutritiously.
Take the Deprivation Test
Many people are not aware that they are depriving themselves. Answer the following questions with a “yes” or “no” to see if you are depriving yourself of enjoyable foods without knowing it.
1. Do you routinely overeat at restaurants, parties and other events that include food?
2. Do you feel guilty when you eat you favorite high calorie foods?
3. Do you feel “out of control” at “all you can eat” restaurants or buffets?
4. Do you always eat dessert at restaurants, even if you are full?
5. Do you crave the same type of foods on a regular basis?
6. Do you have the same meals and snacks most of the time?
7. Are you constantly “watching what you eat” or “cutting back”?
8. Are most or all of your foods low-fat, fat-free or low calorie?
9. If food is not low-fat, do you restrain from eating it?
10. Do you eat you favorite foods only if you feel that you deserve them?
11. Do you think of foods, or your eating, as “good” or “bad”?
If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of these questions, you may depriving yourself of foods you enjoy. The more “yes” answers you have, the more deprived you may be. If your deprivation is an attempt to control or lose weight, you should know that the negative effects outweigh any positive benefits.
Overcoming the Effect of Food Deprivation
The most important thing you can do to overcome the effects of deprivation is to stop depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy. Giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, no matter what the nutrient or calorie content, eventually leads to more moderate and nutritious eating habits. Even if you want to lose weight you can still enjoy the foods you love.
If your deprivation is related to a special diet due to medical problems, consider a consultation with a Registered Dietitian at our office. You can learn to trust yourself and make wise choices; you might need our help you though! cb