Why We Sabotage Our Diets

3 Aug 2014 0 Comments

Last night I blew it again. After going out to dinner with friends (still handling the no carb diet) I stayed up all night watching Band of Brothers and ended up eating most of the almonds and all of the dried cranberries I had bought just the day before. What was that all about?

So today I did a little research.

Everyday Health has a page on 14 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Diet.

  • Eating too few calories–this has frequently been a problem for me, but because I already know about it, it doesn’t sabotaging me now. When I’ve dieted in recent years, I’ve always carefully recorded calories in my tracker of choice, Loseit.com. Since my current long term play is not a diet, per se, but merely an attempt to eat without binging, I don’t count calories. However, periodically I will record a day’s food just to ensure I’m getting enough calories.
  • Forbidding foods–this has also been a problem for me. It’s way easier for me to forbid sweets then to see if I can stop at one. It’s almost impossible for me to turn away from sweets, but it is possible for me to forbid them. So for me, I cannot foresee a time when I can keep ice cream, candy, cookies, cake, etc. in my house, period. Clearly this is an area to pursue further.
  • Skipping breakfast–this has never been a problem for me.
  • Guesstimating portions and thus overeating–this has never been a problem for me. As a matter of fact, when I’m counting calories, I weigh and measure everything!
  • Sleeping too short or too long–this has frequently been a problem for me. I think it might be related to overdoing exercise. Anyway, sleep is an issue.
  • Miscalculating workout calories–calculating the number of calories in exercise is difficult/tricky. Personally, I don’t think it has caused me much of a difference in the past.
All the other items in the article don’t make much sense if one is counting calories. Maybe these will become a problem for me now, since I’m not. We’ll see. I’ll try to watch myself.
  • Binging on weekends
  • Grazing
  • Overeating after workouts
  • Ignoring liquid calories like booze
  • Getting apathetic
  • Exercising less effectively
  • Eating extra food late in the evening
  • Yo-yo-ing and binging–duh?

Sirena Bernal’s blog has a fascinating page on  hidden reasons why you sabotage your weight loss goals: familial ties to food, physical or sexual abuse in childhood, and an unsupportive spouse. Familial ties to food is a problem for me at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess it’s also a problem when my grand nieces make their weekly visit. But of real interest to me was one sentence in this blog post: “Food has become a coping method to deal with negative emotions.” It’s a joke that women eat a pint of ice cream if their boy friend breaks up with them. Anyway, I want to return to the psychology of binging at another time.

Anyway, the Life Center of CT has a blog entry dealing with how emotional eating can sabotaging weight loss. The entry has a lonnnnng list of coping strategies. Unfortunately, strategies such as taking a bath, getting a massage, and listening to music have never done it for me.

So what’s with the almonds and Band of Brothers? I have a couple of conclusions. For one, I’m pretty sure I ended the week tired. Possibly the no carb diet is exacerbating that problem. Maybe staying up all night was my subconscious way to guarantee I would take the weekend off? Secondly, I wonder what would have happened if I had a bag of sliced almonds instead of whole almonds? For sure that’s what I’m buying next time because I can’t see myself eating sliced almonds by the handful. And lastly, I’m glad I was full of healthy food when I started my Band of Brothers marathon because I didn’t, after all, eat the entire bag of almonds!

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