Focusing on What You Can Eat on the Glycemic Index Diet
Research has shown that when a person is told not to eat something she tends to fixate on it, have more cravings, and wind up binging on that food item. Focusing on what you can eat rather than what you can’t eat is an important strategy in successfully making lifestyle changes. It’s part of the mental game you need to play to stay on track.
When you hear the word diet, what comes to mind for you? Maybe you think of following a strict plan or of all the foods you aren’t able to eat. So many weight-loss and health goals center on what you can’t have. Limit fat, avoid trans fat, steer clear of high-glycemic foods . . . the list goes on.
If you have a lot of dieting in your past, your mind probably automatically focuses on what you can’t eat rather than what you can. This mindset sets you up for a feeling of deprivation before you’ve even started. Deprivation can set off a pattern of being out of control with the foods you’re supposed to limit.
You may say to yourself, “Well, I was already bad today so I may as well eat all high-glycemic, high-calorie foods and get back on track next week.” This all-or-nothing attitude is all too common, but you can defeat it by turning your thought process around.
Why not try telling yourself that no foods are off-limits? How freeing is that? When you shift your thoughts from strict dieting to balancing your choices, you realize that you can have high-glycemic foods. The difference is how often you eat them.
Another great mental shift is to look at all the low-glycemic foods that you love and focus on them. Thinking to yourself “I can eat all the whole-wheat bread, cantaloupe, watermelon, and nuts I want” is more productive than thinking “Well, if I can’t eat white rice, white pasta, or sugary cereal, what in the world am I going to eat?!”
Focusing on foods that you not only enjoy but can also have regularly helps you forget about any feelings of deprivation.