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3 Tactics to Prevent Overeating continued...

Here's what some of the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" believers had to say:

  • Her experiences during 13 years of working with severely overweight people have convinced her that forbidding favorite foods increases cravings for them, says Chantal Gariepy, RD, CDE, a dietitian and diabetes educator with the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, Calif. Avoiding favorite foods as opposed to simply tasty or pleasurable foods – is in a way, avoiding responsibility. "It is a juvenile (vs. mature) approach to eating." She says the mature approach to eating requires developing food skills such as mindful eating, hunger and fullness recognition, portion size evaluation, and the ability to calm yourself.
  • The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) acknowledges that favorite foods can be the most challenging foods to eat mindfully because these foods "call" to us whether they're in front of us or not. According to TCME, learning to eat mindfully, to fully savor each bite without eating past a comfortable level of fullness, provides a deeper sense of control. "A mindful eater would also be aware, in a neutral way, of the frequency and craving for a 'favorite' food, as well as reflect on the health consequences of that particular food, and in doing so, would balance their choice of these foods with their nutritional needs," TCME says in a statement. The center does affirm, however, that the chronic availability of high-calorie foods has contributed to weight gain -- and says that's something we need to take into consideration as well.
  • Ellyn Satter, MS, RD, LCSW, says that the answer to how to approach favorite foods is more complicated in adults because we carry within us both the "child" who wants to eat them and the restrictive "parent." "To allow the two to come together, we have to give ourselves permission to have regular access to foods we enjoy and to eat as much as we want," explains Satter, a national lecturer and author of Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. But in order to get enough of those favorite foods without feeling out of control and ashamed of ourselves, we also have to have discipline, adds Satter: "We need to incorporate those foods in regular, structured meals and snacks and we have to pay attention when we eat them."

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