Friday, October 3, 2014

Diet Psychology: Are You a Permitter or a Restrictor?

I belong to a Facebook study group for Geneen Roth's Women, Food and God book, and the weight release coach who runs the group -- Joy Bufalini -- recently posted the question:
Permitters use food as an escape

Are you a permitter or a restrictor? 

If you're a restrictor:

You like to be in control
Things need to be fixed "now"
You yo-yo diet and have tried every diet you can think of
You like to have a rules and lists to follow
You feel more comfortable with measuring, weighing, or counting
You have a hard time listening to what your body truly needs

If you're a permitter:
You rebel against diets and haven't been very successful
You numb out feelings
You deny that there is a problem
You use food to leave your body
You follow the impulse of the moment
You avoid feeling a lack of anything
Are you more soldier or
flower child?

Or maybe you could just ask yourself, in the 60s were you more likely to be a soldier or flower child?

Based on the name of my blog, I am obviously a permitter. I have always rebelled against diets, even though they worked for me in the past. I am great at denying anything is wrong (Da Nile is just a river in Egypt, right?). I stayed in a marriage several years after I knew it was over. I allowed myself to gain 35 pounds without taking action.

And if I'm stressed, overwhelmed or just consumed with ennui, my first instinct is to eat something. Or was.

Almost exactly one year ago today I started Medifast and went into restriction mode. I liked having lists of foods and rules to follow. I felt like I was in control -- though I must admit I still rebelled a bit, as do all self-respecting permitters, and pushed the envelope as much as I could. Yet I still lost 35 pounds in less than four months.

If you enjoy counting calories,
chances are you a restrictor.
Now that I have shed my excess pounds and no longer have an externally imposed diet, I've had to transcend the limitations of both restriction and permission. I've had to find a middle ground that doesn't use food as a coping mechanism or happiness pill. I've had to find foods that nourish me and become hypersensitive to the ultimately unsatisfying feeling of eating food to fill emotional holes and ultimately feeling emptier.

Whether you're a permitter or a restrictor -- or someone who vacillates between the two -- the labels can be helpful in understanding what drives your behavior around food. And if you're on the Medifast Take Shape for Life Program, it is important to choose a health coach who understands your psyche and can motivate you to be successful.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Custom Order - You Choose ANY 10 Boxes

More from Diet Skeptic:

Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life

Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

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