The diet between psychology and nutrition
The quarantine imposed by the coronavirus emergency forced us to stay at home, to do maybe less physical activity, or even none, and made us rediscover, in many cases, the pleasure of being in the kitchen.
All this has translated for some, but not so few, into an increase in weight. Now that the lockdown is coming to an end and the summer is beginning, losing the extra weight accumulated becomes important not so much for an aesthetic issue, although this is not to be underestimated, but also for a matter of health.
Talking about diets and dietary regimes is the job of doctors and nutritionists, but helping to find the right motivation to start a diet, and especially to continue it, is the task of the psychologist.
Very often, even if you start armed with the best of intentions and followed by a nutritionist, you cannot maintain a diet.
At this point you look for justifications, the diet is wrong, or it is too strict, the nutritionist has not hit my goal, the personal trainer does too difficult activities etc. We then begin to change the diet regime, replace the nutritionist with another, change the type of physical activity, but always without being able to be consistent and to get results. What we don’t realize is that it’s our own mental attitude, trying to blame others or circumstances, that prevents us from following a diet in a profitable way.
So, what can you do to get out of this spiral and achieve the desired result?
First of all, work on the mental attitude.
The wrong mental attitude is sabotaging, and no results can be achieved, and maintained over time, if we do not change it. It is normal during a diet to be assailed by negative thoughts; the important thing is that you are able to counterbalance them with as many positive thoughts that give you the right boost. Always remember that food goes beyond mere nutritional value, but brings with it psychological, social, and emotional values.
Find then the right personal motivation and, if the weight gain and therefore overeating was determined by an emotional component, act on it also, if necessary, with the help of a reference person such as a psychologist.
Add to this the need to acquire both a food awareness, which allows you to live with your diet in a peaceful way, and adequate strategies to cope with those moments when you would like to give up, thus increasing your resilience.
There are also small tricks that you can follow during a diet such as not doing the shopping on an empty stomach as hunger will push you to buy quickly consumable foods that will become a source of temptation once put in the fridge. Use small dishes, as once you have finished what you have in the dish you will need to get up to fill it again, so you will have a moment to reflect and not fill it.
Another thing you should never miss, especially if you are following a diet, is physical activity. To do physical activity, especially at the beginning, you need motivation and perseverance, but we will talk about this in a future article.
Dr. Patrizia Pietropaolo
Codice Fiscale: PTRPRZ66R48F205X
Partita IVA: 02218850697