So you decided to start a new weight loss diet on Monday. The decision brings up thoughts of discipline around food: "I will not eat any of the forbidden foods". You promise to yourself "you'll be good"... this mentality drives you towards one final overeating session, before the diet starts on Monday...
Have you ever said to yourself, "No more chocolate from tomorrow! I know it's bad for me and I know I shouldn't have it." This is one of the mindsets, that can cause what can be described as "Last Supper" overeating and overwhelming guilt around food.
Dieting disconnects us from our body cues
When you feel deprived of something you want or need, you begin to long for it or crave it. For example, if you have been camping and not sleeping the best, your body craves rest and sleep, or you crave a refreshing shower after a hot days work.
Similarly, in an attempt to tightly control eating when on a diet, (especially in the case of chronic dieting) we abide by rules that dictate what, when and how much we are allowed to eat. As a result, we become disconnected from our body experience of hunger, fullness and satisfaction and instead live "in our head", second guessing our body needs.
It's all fine being under the strict rules of a diet; however when an emotion, event, thought or simply hunger triggers us to eat, we feel that we have failed the "diet rule", and we often go down the path of all or nothing thinking. which says: "Now I've blown it! I am such a failure! I may as well eat the whole packet and I'll be good again tomorrow." As you can see this mindset leads us to overeat, usually quickly (or even secretly) and with a lot of guilt and shame. Stepping out of this cycle of diet-binge-guilt-diet is a critical step to lasting lifestyle change and authentic health. Join us in The Mindful Eating Program and you will learn how to reconnect to your body cues and feel in charge instead of feeling guilty.
Anticipation of another diet causes overeating
Yep... you read that right! Even thinking about not having a certain food can spiral us into deprivation and the all or nothing mentality which appears as "Last Supper" overeating . The thought that we need to be restricting, forbidding or be punished for food lead to deprivation and disconnection.Instead we need to have a mentality of freedom and choice around food.
Give yourself permission to eat
Making peace with food and having freedom around what to eat is a critical component to becoming instinctive in your eating. It means that you are not "good" or "bad" based on what you eat - food has no moral value. As a result you can truly tune in to how food makes you feel - known as your body wisdom.
Take way mantras
I give myself permission to eat all foods
My body I am here an listening to your cues
During a meal: "Do I like the taste of this meal?"
After a meal: " Would I choose to feel this way again after eating this meal or snack?", "Would I choose to eat in this manner again?", "How do I feel physically, when all the emotions and thoughts quieten down?"
I am not a bad or good person by eating this food.
This process can be challenging, although it seems simple. If you are ready to reconnect to your needs more effectively and heal your relationship with food join us in the upcoming Mindful Eating Program. It's an 8 week program with live weekly and one-on-one sessions, plus the tools and community to help you create meaningful personal shifts towards becoming more intuitive.
NOTE: If you have an active eating disorder you may not be able to gauge your hunger correctly - and this advice may not be appropriate - please reach out to a non-diet dietitian that specialises in eating disorders.