Diet With An Attitude

An approach to weight control that delves into attitudes about weight, shape, appearance, and health. It requires a re-alignment of America's infatuation with food and painless dieting.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Salivation Cues

Have you ever wondered who writes restaurant menus? Usually a very savvy copywriter, I suspect.

First there are the succulent, glossy pictures designed to lead you to order one of their higher priced items. When was the last time you saw a featured photo of a side salad or a scoop of cottage cheese?

Despite the best of intentions when you sat down, leafing through pages of bright images of mushroom-sauced steaks, sliced avocados, sauce-laden pasta, and sinfully decadent desserts, lead you to rethink what you really hunger for. You read the descriptions - everything friend is "golden brown," the bread sticky are "crispy," the dressings "smooth and creamy." Your taste buds start to tap out the flamenco on your tongue.

What has happened? Your diet and your resistance have been hijacked by your power of visualization: your emotional reaction to the graphic and verbal images so slickly presented. While you spend the rest of the day percolating in your guilt and self-disgust, consider the chain of events that occurred and how you might avoid future repetitions.

Thinking about, reading about, and visualizing about, food leads to unmanaged eating. Long before you take your first bite, you need to be aware of each step that is leading towards diet disaster and STOP the sequence as early as possible.

If you must dine out, attend to your options before you make your first move. You always have some choices. You may select a restaurant with which you are very familiar. Decide what you are going to have and refuse to even look at a menu when you get there (no Virginia, there haven't been any recent changes). Make sure you order first so the selections of others don't mislead you at the last moment. If there is nowhere available where you know the faire, pick a small mom and pop place where the menu was typed on a home computer -- the spelling mistakes only point to writing errors, not an inability to cook. Looking at basic descriptions is far less likely to lead you astray without the influence of verbal and pictorial cues.

Compliance with your chosen diet is a reflection of your mental processes more than your Physiological needs. Focus your mind on your weight control goals and sticking to them is far more likely (although, I'm afraid, never really easy).


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