Thinking about starting a new diet as a New Years resolution? Think again, after years of research Dr Charlotte N. Markey, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at Rutgers University at Camden has found that diets are a fruitless exercise.
In her book Smart people don’t diet, she explains the psychology behind dieting and why they inherently fail. You will not only be convinced that you never have to diet again but get some really handy hints on how to start improving your health and getting your weight in check in a more sustainable manner. Lose weight and never diet again! I say thats a win win!
Her new book launches on the 5th Jan 2015 in Australia and the neat thing is that a large portion of the proceeds from sale of her new book Smart People Don’t Diet will be donated to The Food Trust It will aid to fund programs that facilitate education about healthy eating for children.
Smart people don’t diet
With Dr Charlotte Markey
- Some of the proceeds from the book go to the Food Trust, which goes towards education on healthy eating for children.
- Dr Charlotte is a professor of psychology in Camden. Published over 50 book chapters and journal articles in peer-reviewed journals.
- Non-dieting approach to weight loss.
- She found a disconnect between what people in the general public think will be effective for weight loss and what health professional know will be effective. Thats when she decided that writing a book Smart people don’t diet, would be the best way to communicate these findings.
- Freeing to know that doing the restrictive and oppressing things don’t work for weight loss. There’s an easier way and even though you have to do it long-term it doesn’t have to be miserable- you just have to be more patient.
- Reciprocal relationship between how we feel about our bodies and what we do to look after ourselves. People go on diets because they think that if they do this then I’ll like myself more and feel better about myself but it works the other way; when I feel better about myself and accept who I am it’s easier to adopt an easier and more adaptable approach to weight maintenance and it’s easier to moderate food intake as well as exercise.
- Be more moderate- don’t have to follow food or exercise extremes.
- Kids: Growing child obesity problem. Parents naturally restrict food as a result but it sets kids up to want restricted foods even more. The whole families habits have to change not just the one child. Being restricted feels punishing. Don’t yell or scream at meal times! You can’t force them to eat things- can only try your best to encourage.
- Parents behaviour around eating and the media have a very significant role in shaping kids and adolescents body image; a lot of these messages are negative, especially in the media who promote the relationship between thinness and happiness/being perfect. Makes it hard to convince young girls otherwise. Peer influence is also important and can be negative. Social media, which show ripped, and bikini bodies leads to a poor body image after viewing these images.
- Can’t ban things like social media or television- it won’t work. Model good behaviour and positive body image to children. Tell kids that these pictures of celebrities/models are paid to look like that- it’s their life and it’s all they do with their time. For the rest of us who have many other commitments- we don’t have that much time to spend on ourselves to look like that. It may be more rewarding to spend time with family and friends opposed to spending that much time in the gym.
- Food rules: makes food feel less fun. Food becomes a homework assignment- something you have to deal with and it’s not enjoyable. Elevates forbidden foods in to highly desired foods; if you can’t have it you just want it more! You’ll give up and just eat whatever you want. The moderate approach is key.
- Young people on diets/restrictive eating can lead to eating disorders or disordered eating (the percentage of the latter is really high!). Psychologically impairing.
- Better off if we talked about diets a lot less! Talking about it so much manifests worry- we want to enjoy food not talk about restricting it so much. Known as ‘fat talk’ and it’s destructive. It’s ok to talk about these issues in a different way apart from how much weight we’re losing or how much we weigh.
- There are some foods that she doesn’t keep in the house because she knows she’ll eat too much of it but she knows if she’s going out to dinner or a special occasion then she will have those foods. Its not that you never have them but if they’re around in your house you will eat more of it.
- You can change what you’re craving- if you get use to not eating a certain thing you’re likely to stop wanting it. E.g. drinking a lot of soda, if you stop buying it, it will become a treat when you stop buying it and the taste of it may even change. Might leave a treat at work that you can have for a pick-me-up treat but don’t leave bags of it at home.
- Want to get junk food out of the house but your partner/roommate wants it in the house: healthy regular communication is important and framing it as a health issue is useful; they won’t want to sabotage your health (e.g. they wouldn’t hide your blood pressure medications!). Weight is related to health issues. There may be deeper issues if partner is not supportive that need to be explored- couples counselling may be useful.
- Easier when you have other people helping you: tell you mum or friend or someone who can check in with you to create accountability. Choose someone who will be supportive not nagging- their support is free. Accountability makes a difference- don’t want to disappoint people. Online forums/social media if don’t have people close by to check in with. People want to be part of the support network for other people because we want the support reciprocated.
- Don’t need restrictive diet plans but you do need support from people.
- If you do have kids remember the way you feel about yourself and your eating behaviours/food practices- all influences the way kids view themselves and view food. They end up with food fears and misconceptions if parents constantly dieting. Don’t impart dieting talk or behaviour around the kids. Instead of saying you’re not going to eat rice at dinner, say you’re not feeling hungry tonight I’ll leave it to the side and eat it later. Don’t say I look fat in front of them- get clothes that do fit you well so you don’t feel like this and you wont say it. Teach your kids that smart people don’t diet.
- Don’t need to diet, smart people don’t diet so don’t do it! Results from diets only last 1-2 years. 80% of people who diet put on the weight lose plus more. Bad odds! Read the book and do a step-by-step process. Look at your food behaviours now and start to make small changes.
- Watch and question what you see in the media. Photoshop is rampant in magazines and on social media. They’re paid to look like that. They have good photographers and the pictures are edited. When you feel bad about yourself you tend to eat badly due to these negative feelings and this isn’t helpful. Keep self-talk positive!