Do you find yourself in a circle of dietary
discipline followed by a dietary crash? Theres often
a reason for this ongoing cycle of discipline/no discipline.
A recent study found that most dieters lose their focus
and go off their diets in a very small window of the day.
Dieters often budget food intake carefully for most of the
day and then suddenly snap out of it, just after theyve
consumed something not allowed on the diet in amounts not
conducive to weight loss a sort of hypnotized state
of mind where the connection to the food being eaten is
temporarily shut down.
If you "come to" with the empty
candy wrappers lying around you, there are ways to get around
the problem and keep diet momentum moving forward. The first
part of the solution is to recognize what time of day your
unconscious eating takes place that time between
4 p.m. and dinner where hunger hits while youre trying
to make it to dinner, the mid-afternoon slump at work where
the candy machine looms larger than your diet plan, the
extra mocha latte or the super-sized cola for that caffeine-sugar
fix. With just a little thought, its easy to pinpoint
the culprit(s.) Theyre the foods you regularly tend
to abuse when your window for "dietary hypnosis"
hits. The second part of the solution is to make a deal
with yourself that youll only eat food that youve
planned to eat ahead of time, when youre not in "the
window." That requires planning snacks that your diet
allows and having them available when you need them. It
also means no spur-of-the-moment snack choices.
Alcohol can reduce your dietary determination.
If you just have to have that glass of wine or a cocktail,
its best to avoid alcohol during your "window"
Finally, if you happen to slip into hypnotic
eating and fall off your diet, that doesnt mean you
should give up on the diet altogether. Simply pick up the
wrappers, recognize what you were doing when you went sideways
on your diet and plan to stay conscious next time youre
faced with a similar situation.