It’s all going great! You’ve been meticulously measuring and logging every food and drink morcel in your food journal for about 10 days now; and you have to admit, it looks pretty darn good. You are the poster child for healthy eating – kale, lean chicken breast, salad, and avocado. You are so proud of yourself and begin thinking, “Wow, I’m really gonna’ do it this time!” Until the day that nice lady brings your all-time favorite donuts to work. You manage to hold strong and eat only half the donut. Then you begin to think:

“Do I really have to enter this in my food log? I mean, really, it’s only half a donut and I’ve done it only once. Man, this is really gonna’ mess up my perfect eating streak and there is no waaaay I am gonna’ show this log to my personal trainer!”

Sound familiar? So, is it really that bad to lie to your food journal anyway? What’s the big deal after all? IMHO, the situation is not ideal, but probably not for the reasons you think.

Most diet plans tell you what, when, and how much to eat.

Even the most fervent dieters have difficulty sustaining the food restrictions of a diet plan and inevitably wind up overeating. When this happens, we might be sneaking food, hiding food, starving yourself, then binging, and lying to your food journal.

It’s at this point where all the negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves arise. After all, you must be a “bad” person because you’ve broken all these food and diet rules:

  • You ate a “bad” food
  • You ate too much of a “good” food
  • You ate at at the wrong time
  • You didn’t log your foods
  • You missed a workout
  • You didn’t lose any weight
  • You gained weight

Researchers found that feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem are common at this time.

 There is a sense of failure due to a perceived lack of willpower. You are preoccupied with food, yet feel deprived. The worst part is the shame that accompanies this perceived failure. After all, your friends encouraged you to go on a diet. They told you it was the right thing to do and complimented you for your weight loss. Now what?

It’s for these emotional reasons that I contend that lying to your food journal is not ok. Not for the act itself, but for how it makes you feel when you break a diet rule. Any process that makes us feel shame and guilt is not a good process. When the process is set up as “pass/fail” as in most traditional diet plans, we all end up as failures. Most dieters feel that it is their fault that they couldn’t sustain the diet and that the weight has been regained.

Sadly, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is an entire body of research evidence spanning decades that illustrates why diets don’t work and actually cause us biological and psychological harm. Did you ever stop to consider that maybe it’s the process of dieting that has failed us, that we didn’t fail the diet? After all, if the dieting process worked, wouldn’t we all be skinny by now?  

Besides, how can we expect to follow a process that makes us feel so horrible, yet end up in a place of love for ourselves? As one of my professors used to always say, “The journey informs the destination.” You are not going to end up in a place of self-love, if you are hating yourself throughout the entire process.

Stop the chronic dieting and discover an empowering new way of relating to food and body

 that honors your inner body wisdom and does not rely on external food rules, charts, or logs. Begin to accept yourself now, in the present, with your body at its current size and shape. Only then, will you be able to get to the place where you really want to go, a place where you are at peace with food and body once and for all.

Learn a new way to make peace with food and end chronic dieting

Learn how these negative feelings actually perpetuate the diet/binge cycle