Time and money gets wasted on ridiculous research. One of the more ridiculous research projects undertaken more than once was studying what makes people choose the foods they eat.
Got an idea what the findings of those studies might be?
Yes, if given a choice, people consistently choose what they think tastes good and reject what doesn’t. Isn’t that an unexpected result!? Certainly it was so hard to come to that conclusion by simple observation that it was worth spending millions to know for sure through formal research.
So now, thanks to science, we understand what drives our food choices. That explains why some diets don’t work. If your diet directs you to food that doesn’t taste good and prevents you from eating what does taste good, it’s not going to last. It’s in direct conflict with human nature.
Meanwhile, the desire to be thin is a desire driven not by instinct, but by conditioning. Very few people can effectively suppress the desire to eat what tastes good, but people can learn how to eat what tastes good and support weight-related goals at the same time.
The concept scares a lot of dieters. The thought is, “if I can’t reduce how much I eat by eating food that doesn’t taste good, how can I manage to control how much I eat if I eat what I love?” The reality is the more we don’t eat what we like, the more we crave it. If we give into our cravings we’re more prone to a binge than to eat a sensible portion.
It’s possible to take back your favorite foods and manage your weight at the same time. One need not preclude the other. It’s a matter of changing your mindset.
Old mindset: “I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet.”
New mindset: “I can eat whatever I want on my diet. I just need to do it when the time is right.”
How to eat what you love and weigh less
1. Stay satisfied on lower calorie foods you enjoy (vegetables are good for this if you like vegetables. It’s worth trying a variety of vegetables both raw and cooked to develop a fondness for them.)
2. Eat good-tasting food. Pay attention to nutrition and calories and reject anything that isn’t worth its calories.
3. Give yourself guidance with supportive messages. (e.g. “I can eat what I want and I’ll plan for the right time.}
Example of how your mindset affects your behavior
OMG, Krispy Kreme raspberry-filled, glazed doughnuts. I can’t walk past the store without eating one. Yes, I’m full but those doughnuts smell so good and I’m going to get one. Maybe two. I’ve got to have a raspberry filled one and one of those kreme-filled, chocolate covered doughnuts too.”
Then I would go in, buy the doughnuts, eat them so fast I barely enjoyed them and walked away feeling overstuffed with doughnuts and regret. To console myself, I’d blame overeating on the doughnut store rather than my hasty decision and regrettable actions.
I just finished a satisfying, very good meal. I walked by a Krispy Kreme doughnut store and the doughnuts were fresh and the smell of them cooking was in the air. I don’t live near a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop and it’s rare that I am lucky enough to be in close vicinity to one.
The doughnuts were on display in the window. The tray with the glazed, raspberry-filled doughnuts was front and center. I thought about going in to buy one (or more.) I reminded myself that I was full. I could have a doughnut, but I wanted to wait until another time when I planned for it. I would eat one when I would really be able to savor and enjoy my favorite doughnut.
The best thing about a new mindset besides the power it gives you is the sense of satisfaction rather than deprivation. There is no food you should never eat on a diet and by changing your mindset you can eat what you want, and more importantly, when you want it. The key to your food choices isn’t just what, it’s when.
The food you should never eat when you’re on a diet is the food you don’t like and that’s the only food you should never eat.