There are two psychological willpower busters that you need to be aware of when you are trying to diet.
The first is what is called, the Halo Effect. The Halo Effect is when something good is used to balance out something bad. For example, I walked today so I can have a piece of pie. Do you use this logic? You did something good, walked, which is supposed to make up for the something bad, the piece of pie. The halo effect is usually a problem when the impact of the bad outweighs the good by a significant degree. For example, research has shown that dieters significantly underestimate the calories in a food if it is labeled as healthy or organic. If it’s healthy or organic, it should be good to eat right? Unfortunately, that’s not always true. Read the label to be sure.
The second is the guilt factor. People automatically associate guilt with pleasure. If you believe that you will feel guilty about a specific food, say a chocolate cheesecake, you automatically start to fantasize about how good it will make you feel. It’s no surprise that many Brand names include “guilty pleasures” in them.
The key is being mindful if you want to avoid these traps.
First, always read the label. Don’t be duped by slick marketing or fancy packaging. When it comes to guilt, it’s not helpful. If you’re going to do something, make sure you’re ready for the consequences. Eating something shouldn’t make you feel good right now only to regret it later. If you want the cake, have it, but find a way to cut the calories from something else. Drop the guilt. You’re the one in control.
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