You've been dieting for what seems like an eternity, you're constantly obsessing over what you should eat, and all you ever think about is being thin! But,you're not losing weight, at all! What are you doing wrong? Here's a reason that may shock you, coming from the results of a study conducted in Holland: Dieters eat the same amount of calories as non-dieters, but just feel more guilty! Gasp! How could this be true, you may think – this certainly doesn't apply to me!
The researchers conducted three separate studies to get their information. 148 participants were asked to sample food for a supermarket opening, while the researchers observed their behavior. Participants ate a variety of high and low-calorie foods, such as chips, chocolate covered peanuts, crackers and apple slices. They were then asked about their feelings and attitudes towards food, how often they diet and how much they fret about their diet. And, surprise, surprise, it was found that the participants who dieted often and experienced regular fluctuations in weight, ate the same amount of high-calorie foods as the women who didn't diet.
The dieters also reported more feelings of guilt about what they ate. "Guilt was explicitly related to food intake," the authors wrote in the journal Psychology & Health. "Despite their good intentions, restraint eaters seem to gain nothing and lose twice. Results indicated that restraint was not associated with food intake, but instead was associated with increased levels of guilt after eating." One theory resulting from this study is that people who put pressure on themselves to be perfect often feel guilt and shame which leads to stress. If you are stressed, your stress hormones make you feel hungry.
This leads to a strong desire for high calorie foods like junk food. As someone who is constantly fighting the battle of the bulge, I am in denial! I refuse to even acknowledge the idea that I may be eating the same amount as everyone else! Upon reflection, I suppose this is why it's so important to keep a written record of everything you eat if you're really serious about losing! Oh well - food for thought, anyway!