Does a strict eating pattern bring the desired results? Let’s see it in this article. Patients often ask for rigid schemes to reach the ideal weight, but this is not always the right way to achieve the desired goal; in fact, prolonged deprivation could provoke a state of frustration that can lead to frustrating all efforts, returning to the starting point. To avoid this, it is essential to learn to listen to your body, recognize your emotions and accept them: only in this way can you reach full awareness that will allow you to have a better relationship with yourself and food.
Not all days are the same; sometimes, the tiredness, sadness, boredom, and stress caused by the daily routine take over. When they make themselves feel they should not be underestimated because these could be the very elements at the basis of an unbalanced and disordered diet.
There should be no “sneaky” or “free meal” in a diet, but emotions should come to the fore. If you cannot recognize them and deepen them, the advice is to start a path with qualified professionals who help to clarify. Emotional hunger – the need to eat to soothe emotions – is a significant risk factor for eating disorders and obesity.
Eating behavior is usually regulated by the physiological mechanisms of hunger and satiety that guarantee a balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure. However, these are not the only mechanisms that impact our bodies. Other factors of a social and, as we have already seen, psychological nature are equally influential. The combination of thinness and beauty is a stereotype that tends to make its way, especially among young people, even more so if they are subject to emotional fragility.
The insecurities they provoke, if immersed in social contexts – be they represented by friends or relatives – which they take as examples of incorrect models, quickly degenerate into the adoption of extreme methods to reach an ideal. The achievement of an ideal goal will become an essential tool for social integration, and the blinding desire to succeed will not allow us to understand which is the correct method. The result is an actual “race” to reach the ideal weight, which often leads to inadequate nutritional behaviors following a diet characterized by alternating restrictions and binges.
Due to too rigid schemes and the frustration, the effort, deriving from the inevitable moments of failure, will have been in vain to obtain effective results. It is necessary to abandon the concept of ideal weight and understand that the goal cannot be a number written on a scale, but it is to be found in a state of psycho-physical well-being. A more flexible nutritional approach foresees weightless schemes, not daily but with substitutions, which contain all the foods in the right frequency, without categorical deprivation. This type of approach has proven to be the most effective.
Often my patients, at the end of a nutritional education course, thank me because they are satisfied with the goal achieved and because they feel better. To achieve psycho-physical well-being, a synergy must be established between the patient and the nutritionist. For this reason, my response to their thanks is: “I don’t have a magic wand! If you feel good now, the credit is above all yours “.
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