Watch videos with subtitles in your language, upload your videos, create your own subtitles! Click here to learn more on "how to Dotsub"

Ditch the Diet Psychology

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes)
>> Hello and welcome back. Let's continue our discussion about the value in helping clients ditch the diet approach to eating. Today, we're focusing on psychological mechanisms that work against dieting efforts. None of them will come as a surprise, but it's a helpful review. And the more you review, the more confident you'll feel supporting clients around these issues. The same scope of practice considerations hold true here. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, it's not your job to judge clients on their current eating mindsets and habits. For one, if they've ever dieted, they're probably judging themselves already as I'll touch on soon. Your job is to listen, provide alternative perspectives, and help clients build a nourishing relationship with food that promotes health and satisfaction, whatever that means for them. Still, pointing out some potential factors that help explain their frustration when diets don't work in the way they had hoped can be very helpful. After all, dieting has many things in common with emotional eating. It can lead to disconnection from the body, intuition, personal values, personal power, and other people. It's also about using food for control. Can you see how that might be the case? What else does dieting have in common with emotional eating? Let's try an exercise. Grab your journal, and draw a Venn diagram, two circles side by side with an overlap in the middle. In one circle, brainstorm emotions, mindsets, and behaviors that you associate with dieting. In the other circle, brainstorm emotions, mindsets, and behaviors that you associate with emotional eating. Now look at your two circles and write any overlap you see in the middle. Pause the video now and give it a try. What do you think about the relationship between dieting and emotional eating? It can actually be one big habit loop. Emotional eating can feel out of control, so clients might turn to diets as a way of feeling in control, which doesn't work, so they eat to cope with the frustration. Here are a few psychological similarities that can inform your coaching. Number one, dieting and emotional eating can increase stress. Dieting is stressful not only physically but emotionally. Fear isn't a sustainable motivator, and dieting is often motivated by fear. It's all about what you can't have and what you must do. It's about controlling your food intake with rules, and it's about exerting a great deal of mental energy, planning, and calculating, and deciding whether or not, and how to stay within the confines of the shoulds that the particular diet entails. There are many studies on the connection between dieting, preoccupation with food, and cravings. In short, when dieting, thinking about food can consume a great deal of mental space. We think about it, we talk about it, and we even dream about it. Why? At least in part because we feel deprived and because we're hungry. We might even think about forbidden foods that we don't even want to eat simply because we aren't allowed to eat them. This can increase not only stress, but also isolation. Dieting can motivate us to avoid potentially triggering situations, including social gatherings that might threaten that diet. On the other hand, many people who struggle with emotional overeating sight social isolation as a major trigger. Meanwhile, the cravings continue, the stress builds, and we give up because it's just too hard and too unpleasant. We become Sisyphus pushing the boulder uphill over and over and over again fighting against ourselves in more ways than one. This is because, number two, dieting and emotional eating don't address the emotional roots. Dieting works like a band-aid, a quick fix solution to an underlying issue that doesn't get addressed. Many people who tried dieting don't try it just once, they try it many times. But it's not sustainable and it misses the point by excluding the roots, which are the psychological and emotional needs. As Geneen Roth says in her book "Breaking Free from Emotional Eating," there will always be a want. Food rules don't get rid of urges. Have you ever tried to suppress a sneeze or cough? That tickle in your throat continues to grow until the sneeze or cough explodes out with gusto. Physical hunger is primal and emotional hunger means not feeling fulfilled in some area or areas of life. Dieting ignores both types of hunger, which is why it never really creates either holistic or sustainable health or satisfaction. Number three, dieting and emotional eating can increase self-judgment. As Joshua says, food is not religion. However, many diets are rather dogmatic. Food can become holy and habits become righteous. Do you know anyone who has approached food that way or have you ever fallen into that mindset yourself? When we can't follow diets to a tee, when we cheat or fall off the wagon or give in, we can feel guilty and judge ourselves. Lack of guilt opens the door to common sense or more intuitive-based eating. Can you see how this might be true? Grab your journal and make two columns. One will say dieting and the other column will be for intuitive eating. Pause the video and spend a few minutes brainstorming emotions and habits related to both. How do your two columns compare? Guilt often arises when we feel like we acted against some sort of ethical or moral code or when we did something wrong, either based on our own personal beliefs or on external rules. Dieting can go hand-in-hand with moral eating because it's based in "should." As Eve Schaub writes in her book, My Year without Sugar, "Some people treat religion like their food, and some people treat their food like a religion." The two are bound to meet. In his famous book "Walden," Henry David Thoreau writes about the morality of food and his instinctual repugnance to eating animals. He writes, "The fruits eaten temperately need not make us ashamed of our appetites, nor interrupt the worthiest pursuits. But put an extra condiment into your dish, and it will poison you." Yet he also writes this, "Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something." We're not advising against eating practices that feel meaningful. For many clients, eating spiritually will help them find greater nourishment and satisfaction from food. As with all aspects of eating, it's important to look at the big picture, and whether or not a client's food relationship is helpful or harmful overall. Number four, dieting and emotional eating are based on one-size-fits-all approaches. Again, there's no one perfect diet. Healthy eating is a bio-individual one-size-fits-none experience, and it's an ongoing journey of discovery and adjustment. On a psychological level, like emotional eating, diets require you to give up your voice, that voice which helps you practice eating with intention and attention, and that voice which empowers you to find what works for you when you learn how to trust it. This is an important part of coaching habit change. A few examples, some clients might benefit from going cold turkey and giving up sugar all at once, while others might benefit from taking baby steps or making just a few small changes all together. Some clients might prefer a more systems based approach, such as keeping an accountability chart, while others might find a more intuitive mindful approach, a helpful place to start. To recap, the four psychological pitfalls of dieting, it can increase stress, it doesn't address the emotional roots, it can increase self-judgment, and it's a one-size-fits-all approach. Dieting and emotional eating have many commonalities. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you'll work with many clients who have tried dieting in the past or who are currently dieting who are looking for the perfect fit. But where are they looking? Are they looking within for answers or are they seeking out what they think they should do? As a coach, you can help clients continually reevaluate what's working and what's not. After all, as Joshua puts it, life is a long time. Some helpful high-mileage questions to start with are, "Does your way of eating match up with where you want to be going in your life? Do your eating mindsets and habits line up with your big picture values? Do your food habits benefit you in body and mind? And is your relationship with food both sustainable and enjoyable?" Again, letting go of the diet mentality can be very challenging. It's often ingrained and it's often a kind of scapegoat or distraction from other challenges in both secondary and primary food. Helping clients let go of dieting includes understanding the reasons that clients continue to cling to it. Like emotional eating, dieting often uses food for a purpose. Some high-mileage questions might be, "Why are you clinging to this diet? What purpose has dieting served for you both physically and mentally? Are there any positive emotions that you associate with dieting? And how has dieting helped you?" Does that make sense? Now how do you help clients value healthful eating as a vehicle rather than a destination? Stay tuned for that. That's all for today. In the meantime, check out the handout in your Learning Center called Finding Your Middle Ground. This is a great resource to brainstorm possible coaching strategies. We also included a done-for-you version to use with clients. And as usual, practice this material with the case study and with your accountability coaching partner and feel free to connect with us in the Facebook group. I'll see you again soon.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Ditch the Diet Psychology

Caption and Translate

    Sign In/Register for Dotsub to translate this video.