Committing a dietary transgression and then proceeding to go on an eating bender in which you ingest everything but the kitchen sink is called “counterregulatory eating” in the scientific literature. It’s more commonly known as the “what the hell effect” — as in, “ah, what the hell, I may as well finish this off and start fresh tomorrow/next Monday/next month/next year”! How many of you have done this before? I know I have back in the day. •
This may seem backwards, but a lot of times, the stricter you are with your diet and the more you see foods in black-and-white, good-and-bad, the more likely you are to self-sabotage. Adopting a flexible mindset toward your nutrition can help tremendously with feelings of guilt or remorse and moderating portion control. After all, one 150 Calorie cookie is far, far preferable to several thousands of Calories’ worth of extra food, is it not? •
Finally, make sure that your nutrition program is realistic and sustainable. Do you enjoy it? Do you allow for the occasional indulgence? If you don’t like and if it doesn’t make you feel good, then you’re not going to adhere to it for long, after all. •
And remember: nobody ever got fat from ONE cookie! Enjoy the hell out of your treat and move on.
Herman, C. P., & Mack, D. (1975). Restrained and unrestrained eating. Journal of personality, 43(4), 647-660.
Klesges, Robert C.; Isbell, Terry R.; Klesges, Lisa M. (1992). Relationship between dietary restraint, energy intake, physical activity, and body weight: A prospective analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 101(4): 668-674
Marcus, M. D., Wing, R. R., & Lamparski, D. M. (1985). Binge eating and dietary restraint in obese patients. Addictive behaviors, 10(2), 163-168.
McCann, K. L., Perri, M. G., Nezu, A. M., Lowe, M. R. (1992). An investigation of counterregulatory eating in obese clinic attenders. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 10:461-71.
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