As part of the Precision Nutrition course there are some great book recommendations, my new favourite is The Beck Diet Solution (Beck, J) which basically looks at the inclusion of cognitive therapy techniques to help you learn to think differently enabling changes in eating behaviour. Beck identifies characteristics within people that can make weight loss difficult, after all some people don't struggle with weight loss, maybe they are different to you? The first chapter that caught my eye was entitled "How Thin People Think" so I delved into it and this is a summary. These are the characteristics and a brief explanation:
YOU CONFUSE HUNGER WITH THE DESIRE TO EAT
Thin thought: They can differentiate between true hunger with empty stomachs and a desire to eat. They say to themselves " I know I would Like to eat ...but I only ate a little while ago"
Non Thin Characteristic: "I have desire to eat I am hungry"
Being able to tell the difference between hunger and desire will enable better decisions about when it is appropriate to eat.
YOU HAVE A LOW TOLERANCE FOR HUNGER AND CRAVINGS
We have commented somewhere in the past that hunger is NOT an emergency.
Thin Thought: I am hungry, I have cravings, but I don't dwell on them. They withstand the hunger knowing food is coming soon.
Non Thin Characteristic: You dwell on hunger and cravings, you want to get rid of them immediately...you must eat NOW.
YOU LIKE THE FEELING OF BEING FULL
Thin Thought: I feel uncomfortable if I have eaten too much, I don't want to and have no compulsion to keep eating or empty my plate.
Non Thin Characteristic: You will feel uncomfortable if you stop eating when they do. You may be concerned about getting hungry again soon, you may feel deprived, your " normal " level of fill is intact overfill which you have developed over time. You may actually want to feel overfull at the end of a meal.
YOU FOOL YOURSELF ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU EAT
Thin Thought: I can gauge how much I eat and if I overeat can compensate later in the day. I rarely overeat.
Non Thin Characteristic= I am deluding myself, I am not eating that much and this extra cookie doesn't really matter. I can justify this it's a celebration, am eating out, I am on vacation, it's a buffet, it's free...you fool yourself...you eat one thing bad for breakfast and write the rest of the days eating off. (I will start again tomorrow.... tomorrow never comes by the way in health terms...)
YOU COMFORT YOURSELF WITH FOOD
Thin Thought: I am upset, food is not my comfort, infact I eat less.
Non Thin Characteristic: I am upset, bored, therefore I grab food, it can help with these negative feelings. Does the problem go away after eating? (not unless it's hunger) . You feel bad from straying and have even more self critical negative thoughts ... it's a spiral folks.
YOU FEEL HELPLESS AND HOPELESS WHEN YOU GAIN WEIGHT
Thin Thought: I gain weight, its no big deal, I will eat good for a week and down goes the scale. In that I am confident.
Non Thin Characteristic: Look at the scale... I can't believe that...I will never lose the weight now...You have sabotaging thoughts, you believe you will never lose the weight.
YOU FOCUS ON ISSUES OF UNFAIRNESS
Thin Thought: May eat smaller portions than they want or foods that are healthy they don't really like but they accept it and don't think about it too much.
Non Thin Characteristic: You feel it's unfair thin people can eat what they want but you can't. You feel injustice that you (alone) have to limit themselves, this thinking can lead you away from your control.
YOU STOP DIETING WHEN YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Thin Thought: I have lost weight and maintained that, I have changed the way I think about food and eating, I know If I revert back to my old ways my pounds will come back.
Non Thin Characteristic: I have lost the amount that I wanted to (often too quickly), I have done good, it's not a lifestyle thing, I have hit my goals and I can get away with reverting to my old ways.