Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

After the first “freedom” phase of Thin Within–the phase where we have tossed aside our former dieting mentality and all the “Good Food/Bad Food” lists that restricted us in our dieting days–we move on to the second phase–the discernment phase. This is when many people begin to notice that they actually enjoy foods that they had to eat when they were on diets. So sitting down to a wonderfully, nutrient-rich salad may end up being a “whole body pleaser” experience for you. Not only is that ok, but it is desirable!

That is…UNLESS you allow certain thinking (and acting) to kick in!

There are some potential pit-falls to be aware of as you head into the discernment phase and begin to select more nutrient-dense foods.

Pitfall Number 1: Many of us come from dieting pasts when fresh fruits and vegetables were considered “freebies.” We didn’t have to “count” them so we could have them as often as we liked. If we bring this thinking into our Thin Within program, it will mean that we will justify eating those foods even if we aren’t yet at a 0.  Remember that no matter what form your fuel comes in–a candy bar OR a salad–if your body doesn’t need the fuel (as indicated by clear hunger signals) it will be stored on your body…as…well, you guessed it: Fat! So whatever you select as the food you will eat at any time, you want to do so only when you are at a clear “0”–physically hungry.

Pitfall Number 2: There is a tendency to think that because it is nutrient rich, it is a carte blanche for eating MORE of it. So, as we sit down to eat a salad (or celery or carrot sticks–or even fresh salsa!) it isn’t uncommon to do some “justification eating.” To justify having a larger portion than we need because it is, after all, a “healthy” food. Again, no matter what form the fuel comes in, if it is more than our bodies need, we will store it as fat.

 Pitfall Number 3: When we eat more of a food–even a food like salad, carrot sticks, etc,  we get used to quantity. We can overeat even salad. We begin to get desensitized to the feeling in our stomach that sends us the signal that we don’t need to eat that much. We then take this desensitization into eating other foods which means “energy dense” foods (or what we called “high calorie” foods in our dieting days) are then consumed in greater amounts as well, without our feeling quite so bothered by the feeling in our stomach that, had we been faithful to 0 to 5, would be uncomfortable for us.

The solution to avoiding all three of these pitfalls is to keep in mind that no matter what foods you select, you want to do so according to physical hunger–a true need for fuel–and physical satisfaction.

When you select a beneficial food like a fresh garden salad be aware of the potential to justify eating outside of your primary boundaries and the impact this can have on you the rest of the time!

How About You?

Do you see this thinking at work in you? Do you tend to think of salad and other similar foods as “freebies?” Is this affecting how sensitive you are to “5” so that you are more likely to overeat other foods as well? What will you do about this going forward?