I'm someone who would never do well with an extremely low-calorie diet, because I can't stand to be hungry. My friends and family know that if I'm irritable, it's usually because I need to eat. I eat every few hours like clockwork. I'm starving when I wake up in the morning, and always eat breakfast right away.
Over the years I've learned how to eat a healthy diet but still enjoy the foods I love. If you told me that I'd never be able to eat my favorite dessert or snack again because it wasn't considered "healthy", I wouldn't be happy. These are just a few reasons why traditional diets wouldn't work for me and don't work for many others. Feeling hungry all the time or thinking you'll never enjoy food again would make anyone cranky. New research shows that dieting makes people more likely to be irritable and angry.
The study compared the attitudes of those on a diet with those who ate whatever they wanted. According to the researchers, "people who exerted self-control were more likely to prefer anger-themed movies, were more interested in looking at angry facial expressions, were more persuaded by angry arguments, and expressed more irritation at a message that used controlling language to convince them to change their exercise habits."
In one of the study's experiments (published in the Journal of Consumer Research), people who chose to eat an apple instead of a chocolate bar were also more likely to choose movies with themes of anger and revenge. In another experiment, participants who chose a healthier (and less tasty) snack over a better tasting but less-healthy one. Those who chose healthier were more likely to be irritated by the marketers message, which used phrases like "you should" or "you ought to".
It's not easy to change your eating habits, especially if you've eaten a certain way for a long time. I think the key is finding balance: try not to change too many things at once, since small changes can add up over time. Remember that eating healthy doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy- any food can be incorporated into your diet in moderation. Focus on how eating healthy makes you feel. I enjoy a bowl of Cheetos as much as anyone else, but I usually feel sluggish after I eat something like that, so I try to remember that it's not a good thing to do every day.
Do You Suffer from Diet Rage? Learn how to Stop Dieting and Start Living.
What do you think?
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