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Deprivation: How do you deal with it?

I get all caught up on the idea / emotion of feeling deprived.

I've dieted for a loooong time and I think this is what's at the heart of my roller coaster of good days vs. bad days. Always enough bad days to keep me from suceeding and so I feel constantly deprived.

I've just received a new eating plan from a nationally recognized trainer and coach and my carb intake has been SERIOUSLY cut back. What's funny is that I don't really eat very many carbs - a slice of bread in the morning on some days, a couple of pieces of fruit, black beans or baked potatoes here and there. Yet somehow I feel in a PANIC over not being able to eat these things more often, even though under normal circumstances I wouldn't. It makes me feel seriously crazy!!!

Can anyone relate? If so, are you working on it? Have you overcome the emotional aspect of deprivation/dieting? I would certainly welcome some tips...I think this is my biggest emotional roadblock to weight loss and I need to find a way to change my thinking to seeing self-nurturing instead of 'life's not fair' deprivation.

Tue. Jun 6, 1:05pm

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This may not be helpful, but my strategy has always been to make my OWN plan. A trainer who doesn't know you personally is likely to give you an idealized plan, which is totally useless if you can't follow it.

As a vegetarian, I'm not particularly patient with the idea of beans as "carbs," for instance -- they're protein to me! And what works for me is to not deprive myself. Sure, I might substitute fruit for a cookie for dessert, in fact I'm having an orange with lunch right now. And my plan is working for me!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 1:15 PM

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I can relate in a different context. It reminds me of breaking up with my first serious BF, and I couldn't believe how suddenly attractive he was and how devastating the idea of living without him suddenly became when a mere day before he could have crawled through broken glass to beg for me back and I would have turned him down. I realized I would still turn him down and that all the good times we 'had' were not going to be nearly as good as the times to come.

To this day i use that reasoning when I know I am being a little too emotional about something that may not be good for me (even if it's not overtly bad for me). I realize the feelings are not about giving up food or quitting an old job for a new one, but are about fear and insecurity and moving into the unfamiliar. I tend to want things to stay the way they are even if what I'm doing isn't really working and a bit of change could be a really positive thing. I often tell myself that if this really isn't working in 2 weeks that I can go back or try something else, and sure enough in 2 weeks I can't believe I was ever conflicted. However for those 2 weeks I am 100% committed to change so that I can really tell if it's working or if I should re-group and try something else. I really only need to do this for big changes. Breaking it down like that makes it seem more manageable and I don't make too many changes at once.

Best wishes with your new eating plan!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 1:24 PM

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Trainers' ideas about a good eating plan can be seriously distorted. This person may be a nationally recognized trainer, but find out, seriously: are they a NUTRIONIST?? If not, they are NOT qualified to give diet advice. No matter how many other clients they may have put through the same torture.
I say the way you were eating sounds right on. Yes your trainer to death if necessary and keep doing what you're doing.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 2:13 PM

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Okay, ENOUGH about the "trainer" comments...back to the original question please

OP here. I guess I should have given you some background to keep the totally unrelated questions at bay:

I have lost and MAINTAINED a near 80# loss for 3 years.
I have done WW and South Beach and know more about nutrition than most people.
I work out like a freaking ROCK STAR weight training 4x per week, plus spinning, endurance cycling, boxing and yoga.

I have hired a professional "trainer" in the OLYMPIC WEIGHT TRAINING sense of the word and who has experience developing fat-loss eating plans for athletes. I am not hiring some just off the street personal trainer for nutrition advice, trust me. What I have found over the years is that the nutritionists I've met with don't know shit about advising people who are overweight and incredibly fit and very athletic. They take one look at me and assume I'm secretly eating cake all day. They tell me 'don't snack' and cannot possible understand how I can often burn 1000-3000 calories exercising in one day. This guy GETS IT.

Now, please please please, I'm sorry to shred here a bit, but can we PLEASE talk about the original topic?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 2:25 PM

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It sounds like the problem is psychological. Maybe try talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist?

Otherwise, maybe you can make up a "game" for yourself - tell yourself that you get a treat (a haircut, nails done, a new gym outfit, a trip somewhere, whatever works for you that isn't food) if you can manage to avoid food X for a certain period of time. Make the rewards get better as the time gets longer. If you mess up, then back to square one. Or maybe not. Maybe you need 100 days of sticking to your diet before you get to do X, and the more days in a row, the sooner it'll come, but if you mess up, you still just count your good days, so every day that you mess up is a day longer until you can do the reward. Who knows, but it might work. Then, you'll be used to doing things this new way, and going back to the old way will seem weird.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 2:32 PM

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I have found that for myself the deprivation feeling comes from two things:
-working out hard and feeling like I'm "entitled" to treat myself;
-making sweeping changes too quickly. Maybe you can really reduce your carbs for breakfast for 4-6 weeks, then do it for breakfast and lunch, do that for 4-6 weeks, etc.
Maybe you can also allow yourself a little treat every once in while to keep yourself from going nuts- but a serving size, not the whole bag or container, etc.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 3:00 PM

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I recommend this book to all my groups: Intuitive Eating. Learn how to feed your hunger, physically and emotionally. Listen to your body. Listen to your hunger and fullness. You can learn how to ditch a dieting mentality forever, and eat intuitively.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 5:02 PM

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simply don't look at it as deprivation. Focus on all the things you can have- cuz odds are there's a lot you CAN have, but never have tried. I mean, have you tried all the various beans and veggies and fruits out there?

Most of what you shouldn't have, you shouldn't have for a reason. And it's not because it can make you fat. It's because it's not an adequate food source. You have to quit seeking enjoyment from food. Not that you can't enjoy the food or flavour, but think about not how it tastes, but what you KNOW it's doing for your body. When instead of thinking about how good the donut will taste, think about what the hydrogenated fats and preservatives in it will do to your liver, your kidneys, arteries, etc. How you view food has to change.

check out world's healthiest foods for possible new recipe ideas. Rather than thinking of what you're not going to eat, try all kinds of new things to enjoy!!!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 5:40 PM

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when i get really hungry and panicky about wanting to eat and not liking the feeling of my empty, cold tummy, i try to reset my brain thinking with chewing gum or big cup of herbal tea. the tea makes me feel warm and comforted, and fills my empty tummy with warmth. the gum lets me take out anxiety motivated desires to chew away at something. i guess i'm just substituting some other activity for the deprivation, but it works for me, mostly...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 4:41 PM

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I can totally relate to the OP. I have tried all the intuitive, till full and no-deprivation crap and it didn't work. Summer is already here and I'm still 25 lbs overweight, so I just made a pact with myself to stick strictly to 1000 calories per day deficit (via diet and exercise). In the begining, 1200 cal per day of food seemed so little and now I can't even get enough calories in intake!

I don't know if this was a part of it, but the funniest thing is I just made peace with myself and accepted the fact that I will be eating this way (low fat, low cal, less meat - I'm a huge carnivore) for good, and my cravings just stopped. As opposed to 'As soon as I reach my goal I'll eat this and that' - having that carrot in front of you all the time really made me deprived and I'd keep snacking etc. Also, if you really can stick to the strict plan for a day and two (no cheating), it gets much easier. Hope it helps.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 5:12 PM

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