Behaviors that Intensify Feelings of Deprivation

by Annie on July 20, 2008 · 3 comments

in Weight Loss & Body Image

Most diet programs are about the right food, the right amount of calories, or the right amount of carbohydrates.  Sure it leads to success if we are able to keep this up forever, but most of us will only get minimal success if we cannot control our feelings of deprivation.

Here are some behaviors that intensify feelings of deprivation when trying to eliminate our trigger food:

Allowing too much proximity to trigger foods.

Keeping trigger food around the house and on display is weight loss suicide.  Even if we do not eat it, just knowing that it is in the house creates a constant mental tug-of-war.  Or when dining out, why would we look at the dessert menu or graze on samples in a supermarket?  This kind of food curiosity is only going to make us feel even more deprive since we know it will only lead to weight gain.  The more we center our lives around our trigger food, the more vulnerable we become to it.  Availability stimulates cravings!

Forgetting that we already know what the food taste like.

We have already taste it all.  Most times when we eat, there are no more surprises.  We already know the taste and texture of virtually every food we encounter on a regular basis.  And yet we still feel deprive when we skip an ice cream sundae because we “forgot” what it taste like.  It is worth all your hard work to “remember” what ice cream taste like?  We are not missing out on anything if we skip our trigger food.  We have tasted it before!

Forgetting that eating a trigger food is not free.

A “treat” that sabotages our weight loss or control is too expensive.  Do not confuse a “great taste” with a “great life.”  The reason why we have been miserable or unhappy with our weight is because we eat too much of our trigger food.  Imagine yourself at your highest weight and ask yourself: “Do I like to eat ice cream enough to wear it?” If we are already wearing several pounds of this trigger food, do we need another “treat?”

Telling ourselves that we will feel deprived if we cannot have our favorite “treat.”

Our weight will never become “normal” if we are constantly worried about missing out.  Stop worrying about what everyone else is having and what we are not having. Concentrate on making progress instead.

Going into a food situation unprepared.

If we do not surround ourselves with healthy food, we will make unhealthy choices.  If we are at a meeting with a box of donuts in front of us, then more likely than not, we will get a donut.  If we are prepared, we can be munching on our healthy snacks instead.

Tasting trigger food that we have historically abused.

I cannot eat ice cream.  I cannot just have a taste without wanting a scoop.  I cannot have a scoop without wanting another scoop tomorrow.  I have a history with abusing ice cream.  Having a taste will cause me to obsess about it and activate my constant craving for it.  It is something that I choose to exclude from my diet.  I keep reminding myself that making poor food choices deprive me from wearing the clothes that I love and having the health to live the life I want.

Some of us have a history of abusing certain types of food.  Like an alcoholic, we cannot have a “taste” without being obsess with it.  If you have that trigger food that makes you want to finish it and have more, then having a taste will only lead to deprivation since you know you should not be eating it again tomorrow.  A trigger food is not the same as a favorite food.  We can incorporate a favorite food into our lifestyle without overeating, but a trigger food that leads to a lack of control might be something that we have eliminate.

So how can we change our feelings of deprivation?

Changing just our habits is not going to lead to long term success if our mind set does not change as well.  Our thoughts trigger our deprivation which triggers our cravings.  Change our thoughts and practice until it becomes natural, will lead to long term change in our poor eating habits and less resentment with having to make healthier food choices.

As adults we need to be able to distinguish our food choices with our life choices. We all have power over the feeling of deprivation.  We have the ability to control it, to decrease, or even to extinguish it.  It all begins and ends with what is going on inside our thoughts.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Parker July 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Great post Asithi. The first point you make is invaluable. By simply not buying tempting trigger foods as part of your weekly groceries, you seriously reduce the chances of eating them at all. For example, I find with chocolate that if I don’t buy it as part of my weekly shop I don’t really miss it. However, if I buy chocolate and have it in the house I’m constantly grazing on it without a second thought.


Katherine Landreneau January 8, 2009 at 7:22 am

Bravo–great words of advice! I so agree with what you say.
I loved the part about “forgetting” what something tastes like–so funny but so true. IF we could only consider the long term effects of what we put in our mouth, we would choose more wisely.
I am amazed at how many people don’t know ANYTHING about good nutrition. It really is sad! We are seeing a generation that has lost touch with reality–the reality of real food–(and other things, as well)
For all those who WANT to learn–let us educate!


asithi January 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

@Katherine Landreneau – Schools do not teach anything about proper nutrition anymore. If you do not acquire the skills at home when you are growing up, it requires an active interest as an adult to learn about proper nutrition. And for those adults who do not want to learn basic cooking skills and nutrition, well, food companies and restaurants are more than happy to fill in the void with fattening food. Thanks for the comment Katherine.


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