Diet Etiquette — Part 1 — Introduction

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Diet Etiquette…or…How To Do Low-Carb Without Becoming a Social Outcast

etiquettenoun.  The rules governing socially acceptable behavior.

What, pray tell, is Diet Etiquette? I like to say it is “the rules governing socially acceptable behavior, in spite of the fact that you are dieting.”  It is a subject that doesn’t get very much ink or airtime, so I decided I needed to give it a shot here at Life Without Donuts.

Ever been to a dinner or luncheon where someone who is dieting has the woe-is-me attitude because there is not a single thing there that they can eat, therefore they feel compelled to infect everyone around  them with their own brand of doom, gloom, despair and agony?  Or, they are constantly going over their list of taboo foods, like anyone else at the table really gives a rip about their self-inflicted state of misery.

And then there is the know-it-all-diet-expert, who attempts to impose their ‘Perfect Diet’ upon everyone else, just because they read Dr. Somebody’s Magic Diet book and suddenly begin to speak as as expert on the subject of health and nutrition.  Little do they realize that an expert is in all reality nothing more than a former spurt!  They could have spoken with much greater authority and appeal had they only stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Oh, and a favorite of everyone are the Naysayers, Pushers and Enablers.  You know who they are, and if you can’t think of one…you just might be one!  These are the folks who insist that you have ‘just one bite’ or ‘a little bit of anything won’t hurt you’.  These are usually family members who have never been on a successful diet in their life, so they feel obligated to ruin everyone else’s chance of losing a few pounds.

If you’ve never had the tortuous pleasure of enjoying an extended evening of joy and mirth with one of these Diet-Dictocrats…then you, my friend, are without a doubt an alien from another planet!

I absolutely love the low-carb lifestyle.  As far as I’m concerned it is the easiest, healthiest, most effective nutritional lifestyle and approach to permanent weight loss and maintenance on the planet today.  Low-carb just works for me!  But let’s face it…it may not work for EVERYONE!  And even if it did work for everyone…EVERYONE doesn’t necessarily want to hear about it!  That’s where ‘Diet Etiquette’ comes into play.  We must use diet etiquette in social settings if we want to keep our present friends and ever hope to make new friends.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but over the next few posts I’ll be sharing with you some of my very own home-spun tips that should keep us all civil and hospitable at any event…and possibly even get us invited back again.

Diet Etiquette — Part 2 — I’m Hearing Voices, and I Think It’s My Food!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

 

What Can We Learn From Oprah’s Battle of the Bulge?

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According to the media the January issue of the wildly popular ‘O’ magazine will supposedly give us all the gory details of how Oprah has once again hit the 200 pound mark.  Yes, no matter how much money, fortune or fame one has, fighting extra pounds is still a part of life.  So, why has Oprah with all her unlimited resources and many diet and exercise programs managed to fall off the wagon once more?  In my opinion, and in the opinion of dietary experts it’s because she’s been on the wrong diets all these years.

What can we learn from Oprah’s ‘Battle of the Bulge’?  Plenty!  And there is no one better qualified to give us the details than Dr. Michael Eades, author of the award winning Protein Power Lifeplan.  He’s just blogged a post entitled Oprah’s Plight that will fill you in on the cause and cure of the popular daytime TV star.  There’s a lot to learn here, not just about Oprah, but about how we can learn from her mistakes.  This was a very enlightening post for me and I wanted to be sure all my readers were able to glean the wisdom that Dr. Eades can bring to light.  So, please check it out right here…you’ll be glad you did!

Overcoming The Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

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LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When It Comes to Food….Thinking Like a Child WILL Destroy You!

One of the core messages of The Thin Commandments Diet is the need to abandon childhood food thinking.

“Adult behavior is about making choices.  Only children think they can have it all.  And if they don’t, they are therefore deprived.”  ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

As a child I was raised to have pretty much anything I wanted to eat, anytime I wanted it, and in any amount I wanted.  My mother was an excellent cook and even a better baker!  It wasn’t the fried chicken, meatloaf and green beans that me me fat.  It was the unrestricted access to the homemade cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and cornbread that piled on the pounds.  My life as a child did not include any boundaries or limits when it came to food, so when I grew into an adult, I still had childish thinking concerning food.  I not only wanted it ALL, I expected it ALL, and I got it ALL!

I now realize just how childish it is to think that I can have unlimited access to ANY and ALL foods without destructive consequences.  I now look at foods that “don’t work for me” in a whole new light.  I still think about the five minutes of pleasure that a donut or other sugary, carb-laden treat can bring, but I also think about the years of problems that those five minutes can create!  Realizing the long-term consequences causes me to win out over the temporary pleasure almost every single time!

The fact is, almost all of those foods that “don’t work for me” are “trigger foods”.  Foods that start the craving cycle all over again.  They are the sugary, carb-laden treats that taste absolutely wonderful, but are essentially a non-nutrient.  As Dr. Atkins said, “The ‘just this one taste’ rationalization is indeed the ‘kiss of death’ to the success of this journey to healthy living!” So right there is reason number one to leave the stuff alone.  I, for one, remember the power of sugar-induced cravings and I ain’t going back there!  It’s easier for me to “Just Say NO” than to just have a taste!

Denial is NOT the cause of binging, in my opinion; it is rather the continual and repeated ‘tasting’ of trigger foods that is the cause of binging!  So the next time I pass up a donut, don’t try to convince me that I’m deprived, ’cause I’m gonna’ have to ask you, “deprived of what…uncontrollable cravings?” “I don’t think so!” After 50+ years, I think my adult brain is finally kicking in.

Cravings make us “Food Hostages”…then convince you that you are deprived without that food!  Refuse to be “hostages to a piece of food, taking orders from cravings and suffering froom a gnawing feeling that we’re missing out on something,” states Dr. Gullo.

Learn How to Talk Back to Yourself!

So, tell me again how a donut is a treat!  If it consistently triggers overeating and endless uncontrollable cravings, then it’s NOT a treat….it’s an enemy!  That’s when I begin to tell myself things like, “I don’t like it well enough to wear it…All they’ve ever done for me is made me fat…refuse to be held hostage by a Donut!” I am sooooo done with the deprivation mindset!  It has nearly killed me!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who talks to themselves.  Sometimes that’s the only way to have an intelligent conversation, so they say.  For real, you don’t have to do it out loud, but next time you find yourself faced with some forbidden food that’s screaming your name, think about the consequences, not the momentary pleasures…then tell yourself off!  Instead of telling yourself all the reasons you should eat it…tell yourself all the reasons you WON’T eat it!  Talk Back to Yourself!!!

Here’s a couple of examples.  “I’m missing out on the fun…What fun?  You had that junk for years and it didn’t make you happy, it only made you fat!”  “Everybody’s eating it…True or not, you’ve already had enough for three lifetimes, now Shut-Up!”  “What’s wrong with just one taste…It’s like an ex-smoker lighting up a cigarette, and besides, it’s the Kiss of Death to your success!”  “I’ve just gotta’ have it…Do you gotta’ have it bad enough to wear it?”  “It’s soooo hard resisting this stuff…Yeah, but being fat is harder!”

It may seem silly at first, but the more you say it, the more it will become a conditioned response, and the more convincing you will be to yourself.  Remember, you learned the deprivation mindset, now let’s learn the Winning Mindset!  Dr. Gullo even recommends making and listening to a tape or CD with positive messages that reinforce your successful weight control strategies.  You can also write some of these messages and strategies on Post-It-Notes and post them where you will see them often.

Why Should Anyone on Low-Carb Feel Deprived?

The low-carb nutritional lifestyle is just the best if you ask me!  It’s loaded with foods that are rich in flavor, extremely filling and very healthy.  It’s hard for me to feel deprived when I eat foods like steak, chicken, pork roast, pork chops, ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, Caesar salad, cheese, butter, real mayonnaise, heavy cream and fruit, just to name a few.  With food choices like that, I feel like those poor souls who are eating all that “carb-age” are the ones who are deprived!

I just can’t feel sorry for myself eating low-carb.  But I still know that I could end up in a tempting situation, so I’m trying my very best to prepare myself to be vigilant and always prepared to respond in a winning way.

I encourage all my fellow low-carb friends to, first of all, do everything you can to reinforce the positive benefits of low-carb in your own mind.  Secondly, stop thinking like a child when it comes to food!  And start making smart food choices like an adult — thinking about consequences and not just about a moment of pleasure.

By the way, this is the last in this series!  Aren’t you glad?

I Am Soooo Done With The Deprivation Mindset!  And I Hope You Are Too!

LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie