When dieting, do you find yourself thinking more about food than you did before you started the diet? Are you anticipating what’s for dinner before you’ve even finished breakfast? Are you more tempted than usual by all your favorite foods that may not be the healthiest of food choices? Is your anxiety about weight loss results more about a means to ends or a free pass to resume your old, unhealthy eating habits? If any of this is true for you, be assured that you are not alone. These and similar thoughts, feelings and experiences are common to the majority of dieters, specifically yo-yo dieters. There’s a logical explanation for this commonly shared occurrence.
First, dieting requires you to force yourself to ignore hunger cues which triggers within the brain anxiety, cravings and over-consumption. Ironically enough these are all the symptoms of addictive behavior. So as you prepare to restrict the body from consuming those foods that it has come to associate with pleasure, the mind prepares itself for stress. This in turn causes you to respond with food anxiety and thus become obsessively preoccupied with food and show a lack of control around food. Subsequently, this results in binge eating and your then being consumed by guilt. Then the cycle begins again.
Another way to look at this phenomena is through the law of attraction. The law of attraction says that “the essence of that which is like unto itself is drawn” or in other words we attract the things that we want and also the things that we don’t want. So with regards to this topic, what you resist persists. Thus, in all your resistance towards weight gain you actually attract it and it becomes your reality. Ever notice how anxiety over weight gain leads to a thought about a negative self-image which leads to guilt about your unhealthy food choices which then leads to depression, hopelessness and ultimately anxiety followed by the recurrence of this cycle. What’s happened is that you’ve called into existence the very thing that you didn’t want by making it the primary focus of your attention.
There are ways to stop this cycle. Rather than concentrating so many of your efforts on restricting yourself from eating the foods that you enjoy, focus instead on healthful eating. Focus on portion control and eating those foods that aren’t healthful only on occasion and in moderation. Focus on a slim, healthy you rather than the overweight you. Changing your thoughts in this way will change your behavior, which will change your reality. Until you begin to refrain from focusing your intentions on the unhealthy or overweight you, you will continue to undermine your efforts in realizing the desired you.