I’m not particularly surprised by the following findings from a study reported at the American Psychiatric Association meeting.
The study didn’t draw conclusions about the cause, in other words, which comes first:
- Is it that eating chocolate or other favorite “off-limits” foods leads to guilt > penance > more cravings > overeating > weight gain > body dissatisfaction?
- Or is it body dissatisfaction leads to dieting > restriction > deprivation > cravings > overeating > guilt?
Either way, this is what I refer to as the Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. The real questions we need to answer if we are ever going to break free from this vicious cycle are:
- Why is chocolate a “bad” food? (Please don’t say “Well, dark chocolate isn’t bad” – I mean why is any food “bad” when it provides pleasure in moderation?)
- Isn’t it obvious that making a delicious food “bad” only increases feelings of deprivation and cravings?
- When you feel guilty about eating something “off-limits,” does that cause you to stop eating it–or do you end up eating more–but just enjoy it less?
- Why do so many women feel bad about their bodies – and is this body dissatisfaction leading to improved health or obsession?
- Why is it so hard for so many “experts” to recognize that a negative, restrictive approach to eating just doesn’t work?
What other burning questions and comments do you have?