Cookie = Pain
Recently I have been getting questions about a bravo television show where a health expert shows up at people’s houses and raids their fridge and pantry. Understandably clients have been upset because the foods that were being vilified were in their fridge, like yogurt. Yes, yogurt. Because according to the show, “It has 15 grams of sugar” so it is out and cottage cheese is in. What if I do not like cottage cheese, I thought? I had to find this show. I could see the hurt in my client’s eyes. What does it mean that it has 15 grams of sugar I repeated? You choose the foods you could live without, find substitutes for the ones you would never miss, and keep a few that make a difference in your day. How is the rest of the day balanced? Start there before you decide to throw out everything with sugar on the label.
Today, I went to the gym for my elliptical escape, my 30 minutes of energy boost to get me through the day while my kids play in the playroom. I flipped through some channels and came across Thintervention on Bravo. I found it! Here Jackie Warner was going through a fridge pulling out the yogurt! I had to watch. The next scene was the one that stuck with me. A man ate two cookies the night before so Jackie came to the house and made him run up and down the stairs with two cookies in his hand until he burned off the 140 calories so he would only look at cookies as pain from now on.
For me, this is not a tactic I can wrap my brain around. The idea behind the show is that these people are in their home environments, not at a weight loss camp, and therefore the success rate should be higher. Makes sense. What I strongly disagree with is instilling a fear of food. Yes, this man can go his whole life without a cookie and not develop any nutritional deficiencies but does he want to? If and when he wants a cookie again, and he will, why not teach him to gain the trust within himself that he can stop when satisfied and not eat the whole box. By implementing the cookie = pain approach, when the first bite of the forbidden cookie takes place why not eat the whole box he will likely think. I have already crossed into the red zone. Let’s look at another angle. What if the person embraces this philosophy because they fear if they second guess it they will go out of control. They preach it to others because they have anxiety and anger if they attend a family function and need to watch others enjoy sweets when they cannot. They make comments, ” You should not eat that” or “It would take 20 minutes of stair exercise to burn that off”. Do you want that person at your party? Does it sound like they are trying really hard to convince someone? Who? Themselves not you. Trust me.
Do not get me wrong, cookies should be a moderate enjoyment food and the opposite can be equally unhealthy. If you look at a cookie and think “I deserve this cookie” because you have been so “good” on your diet or you had a stressful week, it is not healthy. A food should not be associated with an emotion or as a reward. This action won’t allow you to eat until satisfied either. There are plenty of non food related ways to reward yourself.
What do you want cookies to mean to you?
C. A food you eat for enjoyment not nutrition and stop when satisfied not full.
If you choose C but think it won’t work for you, I am here to tell you I see the bigger picture. You are wrong. It can exist for you and you can still meet your health goals. My first rule with my clients who want to lose weight, there is no “Last Supper” here so do not start eating all your favorite foods to get it out of your system. They do not equal pain in my world.
Tags: , Cookie, EAT, Food, Health, Jackie Warner, Physical exercise, Weight loss