Dieting makes us more interested in food
Well, I think that most of us know this. When we are on diets, we keep thinking about what we are allowed to eat, what we can't eat and when we are next going to eat. We become intensely focused on food, when what we really want is to be less concerned about it. Dieting makes us do the exact opposite of what we are really looking for. Which is to eat the things that will keep us healthy, in the quantities that stop us putting on weight, without having to think about it.
When we are dieting, we are actively restraining ourselves from eating. Some of us don't eat during the day, because we want to go out with friends in the evening and want to save up the calories. Some of us are eating things we don't particularly like, in order to avoid the things we do like which are maybe too full of fat or sugar, or maybe we like them so much we eat big portions.
Research shows that dieting, actively restraining our eating, leads to more interest in food. We become more alert to things that make us think of eating, such as advertisements, cakes on display in a shop, the smell of cooking. And the more we think about food, the more likely we are to overeat. If in addition, you are someone who already has a tendency to want to eat when you see food, then this attentional bias is increased. Maybe this is one of the reasons why people on diets lose weight at the beginning, and then put it all back on again, usually with a bit more besides.
It may surprise you to realise that dieting is not the only way to manage your weight. It seems to be the first port of call when we decide that we are putting too much weight on. Hypnotherapy can help you to develop healthier eating habits and stop obsessing. Give me a call.
What is your experience of managing your weight?