Fostering restraint in an overindulging society

Disinhibition is when a person cannot restrain or suppress himself from eating when not hungry. When a disinhibited person sees food, smells food or watches other people eat, they find it difficult to resist eating.

A study was done to determine the relationship between disinhibition levels and weight of more than 600 women. Results showed that the lower a person's disinhibition score, the less she weighed. Highly disinhibited women gained the most weight over a period of about 20 years. It's easy to become disinhibited in our society, with large portions and high-calorie dishes.

Research suggests that disinhibition can be counteracted with dietary restraint. Dietary restraint is making a conscious effort to watch calorie intake, improve eating behaviors and make healthy choices.

Research shows that it is necessary to make conscious restraint in a society that makes it easy to overeat. A person who is disinhibited lacks restraint toward food, especially when they are trying to lose weight, even when not hungry. If you find that to be the case, you can take some measures to foster restraint.

• If you overeat at a meal, do not promise you will skip your next meal to make up for the extra calories you've consumed.

• When it comes to having a bite of foods not included in your meal plan - tell yourself that every calorie counts. The extra calories consumed every now and then can slowly add up in pounds.

• Trying to counteract disinhibition by practicing dietary restraint can help you control your weight.

How do we do that?

First, we need to redefine our satiety level. Our satiety level is when one feels full. You may be used to consuming large portions and feeling stuffed to be satisfied. It is possible to limit the damage of giving in to a craving by redefining your satiety level.

Remember, you don't have to distend your stomach to reach a level of satiety. You can learn to consume smaller portions to satisfy your cravings. If you give in to a craving, you can gain more control by consuming pre-portioned, single-serve items. As you consume the food, be aware of the experience. Avoid distractions and enjoy the food. You'll be more satisfied if you experience the enjoyment of it.

If you still feel the need to indulge after you have consumed a particular food, wait about 20 minutes. Give your body and brain time to know it's full. Avoid situations that increase temptation. For example, avoid buffets or stay away from the buffet tables after you have plated your portions of healthier foods. In order to foster restraint, it is important to focus on controlling portions. So avoid extra servings, and remember that you do not have to clean your plate at restaurants.

Try to foster restraint if you tend to be disinhibited around food. It will help you reach your weight goals!

Thank you for reading Diet Center's behavior tip of the week. If you need help, please call me today at (928)753-5066.