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.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Why Dieting Is Keeping America Fat.

There are literally hundreds of diets available to suit everyone's taste: Atkins, Zone, South Beach, low carb, low fat, liquid mixes, vegetarian, and all protein. Millions of us are on these different diets. So why are we still fat?

The key is our relationship with food. There is just so much of it available: fast food outlets clog our streets, television commercials and 24 hour cooking channels whet our appetites, super chefs tempt us to labor long hours in the kitchen to create our own culinary masterpieces.

The different diets all have one enormous component in common -they continue this infatuation with food. What can I eat? How many carbs? How many calories? What is allowed? How can it be made to taste as good as possible?

Our behaviors continue, even the self-destructive kind, because we receive some pleasant reward known in psychology as reinforcement. We continue to overeat because of the emotional satisfaction of devouring good tasting food. We will never slim down until we find satisfaction in something other than food.

Young lovers forget to eat because they are consumed with other passions. Gamblers neglect meals because the psychological thrill is in their games. Alcoholics and drug addicts almost never eat because their primary relationship is with their drug of choice. Corporate ladder climbers and entrepreneurs are slim because they are emotionally invested in their careers and their businesses and nothing else matters.

To pare off fat, we have to focus on something other than food. Focus on some aspect of your life: your family, your community, your job, sports, social welfare, sex, school, hobbies, anything important to you, and you will start to regard food as something that has to be consumed to stay alive but also as something that interferes with your life, to be avoided except when absolutely necessary.

Psychologically distance yourself from food and one day the commercials, the endless burgers and fries, and watching people eating in public will seem totally alien as if a parallel world exists with which you have no connection. It is then that you will be on the way to controlling your weight.

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