3 Tactics to Prevent Overeating
What's the best way to keep from binging?
3 Tactics to Prevent Overeating continued...
And here are some comments from experts who fall somewhere in the middle of
the other two camps:
- Several experts said that there's no single approach that works best for
everyone. "It is true that the easy-to-access presence of something
desirable makes it hard to resist," Paul Rozin, PhD, professor of
psychology at University of Pennsylvania, tells WebMD. "But if you have
some, that can be either satisfying or produce more ingestion."
Roberts stressed the importance of being aware of your own strengths and
- Christina Baker, PhD, with the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research
Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, believes the decision to eat is
influenced by different factors, including genetics and the environment.
Baker’s experience has been that it's very difficult for some people to
incorporate moderate amounts of certain foods (usually sweets) into their diets
because once they have a little, they just can’t stop. "For these
individuals, perhaps avoidance is a reasonable long-term strategy," Baker
tells WebMD. On the other hand, Baker has many patients who experienced
restricted eating in their childhoods, but are able to eventually integrate
favorite foods into their diets in a way that doesn’t lead to overeating.
The Bottom Line
Not only can you find researchers on both sides of the "out of
sight" and the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" approaches,
there is also some research to support both views. There's no simple answer to
most questions about eating behavior, and this is no exception.
But perhaps the people who use the "out of sight, out of mind"
approach are stopping short of doing some of the hardest, most essential work.
Developing eating competency skills, like portion control and hunger
recognition, may take some time. And understanding what is going on when you
feel out of control around certain foods isn't easy. But being able to enjoy
your favorite foods, in a positive, peaceful way, as part of a complete healthy
lifestyle -- I'd say that's well worth the work.