So what do you think about the rules and regulations of a calorie restriction diet?
Sure rules and regulations have their place in certain contexts. They certainly help keep us safe on the roads and in our communities. When applied with logical reasoning in line with nature and the best interests of all involved, they come in pretty handy.
What about when rules and regulations are applied against nature and the best interests of all?
Then… we can expect a bit of a rebellion.
How Calorie Restriction Diet Rules and Regulations Create Havoc
1. Dieting can create nutritional deficiencies.
Inadequate nutrients compromise the bodies ability to take optimal care of us. You might feel tired, irritable, depressed, have a reduced ability to concentrate, have strong food cravings, reduced fertility… just to name a few.
In response to this lack, the body wisely mounts a revolt. Binge eating and uncontrollable urges to eat seem to makes sense in light of this, doesn’t it?
2. We can become a little obsessive about food and our weight when we’re telling ourselves what we can’t eat, and focusing on weight loss.
Research at University of Toronto confirms merely planning to go on a calorie restriction diet can trigger overeating in people who have rules about restricting food.1
So how is it that our minds can do these funny things?….
The human nervous system is goal-seeking. It will move towards whatever goals you put into it. So, consider if you’re using a goal such as “I want to ban sweets and I want to lose weight”.
A goal such as this presents several problems:
- You’re saying what you don’t want (sweets and weight) instead of what you do want.
That’s like saying “Don’t imagine a pink elephant.”. You have to imagine the pink elephant to understand what I’ve said.
By setting a goal of not eating certain foods and of losing weight, you’re having to picture the foods you don’t want to eat, and the extra weight you want to lose.
With a calorie restriction diet it’s common to state your goals in this way. Therefore, you’re more likely to keep getting what you don’t want (i.e. your mental image of the foods you’ve banned, and being the shape you already are).
- People don’t like to be told to lose things, nor that they are not allowed to do something!
We’ve been conditioned since we were children not to lose things, and if we do, to find them again.
Plus, one of the perks of growing up is doing what we want rather than being told what not to do!
Subconsciously you may be fighting these restrictive rules imposed on yourself.
3. Being told what we can and cannot eat removes our own power of discernment from the process.
This is so important!
Living by food rules common to a calorie restriction diet disconnects our senses from what’s going into our mouth. We stop listening to what our bodies need and want in order to nourish us.
Therefore, eating becomes related to irrational or emotional concerns with calories or weight rather than having any relation to internal body signals or sensations.
The more we restrict and restrain our eating, the more out of touch we become with natural intuitive eating.
Stepping Toward Healthy Eating
Leaving restrictive rules and regulations behind is an important step toward healthy eating, yet it may cause you concerns.
It’s likely the main reason you’re following a calorie controlled diet is to lose weight. Therefore, by giving up dieting you may feel concerned about gaining weight.
Let me assure you that with a healthy diet your body has the best chance to look, and to feel, it’s very best.
I left restricted eating behind over 20 years ago. Within a year my weight settled into the fabulous range I’ve been ever since. And it wasn’t because I was avoiding all sweets or fats or any other food group. For a year or more I even ate a fruit and nut chocolate bar every day… just because I enjoyed it!
By taking one step at a time in the direction of health you’ll work through any fear or anxiety you might feel about your weight management.
Normalisation of your weight will follow, and you’ll wish you’d found this delicious way of living far sooner.