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Diets, Motivation, Nutrition, Exercise, Knowledge

The Fat of the Matter and Other Diet Myths

by DrNikkiG Goldman Ph.D.

The Fat of the Matter and other Diet Myths By Dr. Nikki Goldman Ph.D. Caryn had spent most of the previous ten years on a diet. As a result, she was two sizes larger than when she first began. A binge followed each period of restriction. Her self-esteem was lower than ever. She hated herself for not having self-control.

It turned out, most of the time Caryn was starving herself. She had chosen a well thought-out and balanced diet, yet she spent many nights going to sleep feeling hungry. About an hour after breakfast she felt hungry again. It seemed that hunger was a constant companion. "It couldn't be anything wrong with the diet," she thought. "I’m using a nationally recognized diet accepted by most nutritionists as a sound plan. Something must be wrong with me."

The only thing wrong with her was that she didn't listen to her body's signals. Caryn needed more food and her body told her so. I helped her integrate foods with more bulk. She ate more whole grains and beans. She finally felt that her body was getting enough nutrition. She felt satisfied. Her calorie intake was two to three times what it had been, yet she lost inches everywhere. Within several months she was wearing a smaller size. Once she learned the "Success for the Diet Dropout" method, she was careful not to restrict any type of food. Food deprivation triggers desire for excessive amounts of food.

Food restriction plays havoc with the natural cycle of nerve chemicals, says Sarah Leibowitz Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Rockefeller University in New York City. Research with laboratory rats supports this claim. These animals were forced to eat a restrictive diet. Once the restriction was removed, their appetites were insatiable. They gorged and increased their consumption of fat from a typical 35 percent of calories to as much as 60 percent of calories.

Yet some people persist in opposing the natural order of things by dieting. When they cannot maintain this level of deprivation, they feel shamed. It is as though they have done something immoral. It feels bad when the drive to eat overrides the desire to sustain a diet. With the failure, depression often results, further fueling the need to eat. Jonathan came to me, upset with himself that he couldn't go 24 hours without eating. He used this unrealistic expectation to berate himself. He viewed himself as weak-willed and hated himself for this. I wonder if he would have been as critical if he couldn't hold his breath for 15 minutes. Working against one's own natural instincts is quite obvious in this example. However, those who want to diet don't realize that the restriction of a forced eating plan taps into the same mechanism: opposition to nature.

Stomach Owners' Instruction Manual: When Hungry, Eat; When Not Hungry, Don't Eat

Janie was in the process of re-learning how to read her body's need for food. She had difficulty with eating at night. In the first week, she noticed a change in her night binge eating. She had a spoonful of ice cream instead of the typical bowl. But she still had difficulty allowing herself to eat when she was hungry. She was upset with herself for eating a half of a turkey sandwich one evening about 7:00 p.m. The conversation went like this:

Dr. G. Were you hungry? J. Yes, but I still could have tried to not eat. Dr. G. What would have been the point of that? J. Then I would have been exercising some sense of control. Dr. G. It is one thing to control the compulsion to eat when you are not hungry. It is quite an other to try and control hunger.

I then proceeded to tell her the story about the young man who wanted to abstain from eating for 24 hours. She could see the absurdity in this need. She said his expectations were unrealistic. Yet she couldn't quite see that her own demand was just as impractical.

If your body is hungry, eat. If it's not hungry, don't eat. The urge to eat is a force as strong as the current of the river. Accept this fact, and you will stop resisting this natural need and find an alternative to dieting.

For more on this subject go to SuccessForTheDietDropout.com

Success for the Diet Dropout:Proven Strategies for Women who Want to Stop Hating Their Bodies. If diets don’t work what does? People need successful strategies. These empowering and practical techniques will rid the diet mentality and improve eating habits, overall fitness & let the body find it’s own natural size.

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