Self-control alone and weight management = Big fail


Hello 🙂

Wow.  Even in the lead-up to the holidays this columnist doesn’t take a holiday from her interesting point of view….

While I completely agree that we need to be careful to not overdo it consumption-wise over the festive season, we are all far better served by tuning into our hunger and fullness.  In short, we all need to work on becoming mindful around our appetite and overeating, not mindless.  To tell people to be self-controlled, restrict and deprive themselves at any time of the year is ridiculously simplistic and wrong.   Simplistic because suggesting self-control to a person who endures food cravings, consistent overeating or binge eating, is akin to offering a Band-Aid to a gun shot victim.  Yes self-control can help, but on its own and with the absence of mindfulness, can also lead to myriad other issues namely eating disorders.  And wrong because of the mountain of medical and scientific evidence that proves beyond any doubt that food restriction and deprivation leads to binge eating and weight gain – NOT weight loss.

But for my money,  the really concerning elements of this article are her suggestions of compensating when you have overdone it, and watching the scales.  She is in fact promoting very disordered behaviours to people.  Behaviours that I see every day in my eating disorder private practice.

How about instead that we tune in and ask ourselves whether we are hungry, what we want to eat and re-check in around fullness?  How about we learn to slow down our eating and really learn to taste and enjoy it and savour it?  That’s how we become mindful.  Being hyper-conscious about what we cannot eat, usually results in us becoming very focused on those foods and we can often end up bingeing on those very foods.  And that results in mindlessness.

It bothers me enormously that this message continues to be perpetuated to the public by an ‘expert’ via a major newspaper and syndicated across the nation.  We actually need more voices speaking reason and the truth about the effects of restriction, deprivation and dieting.

What are your thoughts about this?

Have an awesome day.  Bye for now, Paula 🙂