Food stress comes from associating a fatty or sweet or highly caloric food with the notion of immediate weight gain.
Most women experience this almost daily. They think that if they have a chocolate bar, it will immediately go to their stomach or thighs! But that is actually a misconception that literally makes us miserable.
You need to know this: you can spend you daily calorie budget any way you want. It’s not because you spend 250 calories on chocolate rather than on mixed veggies that these calories in particular will make you gain weight.
As long as those calories are included in your budget, they won’t make you gain extra weight.
Mark those last words, because if there is only one takeaway from this book for you, this is it.
Food stress is therefore an issue for many women. In fact, I have a very simple example to give you, to help you grasp the concept immediately.
I am sure you have already seen a thin woman eating something fatty like chocolate ice cream or a serving of fries. Maybe she was even snacking in between meals and you wondered: “How does she do it? What’s her secret? How can she be so thin when she eats like that?”
You need to know that people who can eat a lot without gaining weight are few and far between. What actually happened is that you caught that thin woman indulging for a moment, and you jumped to the conclusion that she eats that way all the time, but that’s certainly not the case. You don’t know what she ate for breakfast, or what she’s having for dinner, unless you live with her. Generally, she is going to balance her high-calorie splurge out by eating less or better before or after this “indulgence.” I put quotation marks around that because even though it seems that way to you, it’s not actually an indulgence.
An indulgence shouldn’t be defined by the high calorie content of a specific food item, but rather by whether or not it is included in your remaining calorie budget of the day.
How many people believe in the dichotomy that either you stay thin by eating “healthy, light and reasonably” or you stick to fatty, sweet, high-calorie foods and inevitably gain weight? Even if the energy content on food labels or fast-food packaging is there to help you understand more-or-less how it all works, you have to admit that you probably still feel a little lost. Some types of food still make you feel guilty, and you don’t really believe in the “chocolate” diet. And yet, the evidence is : There that it can work.
Clearly, if you have three bars of chocolate every day in addition to three meals, you won’t be able to maintain your weight. But if you know that by reducing your intake to one bar of chocolate, you can have one each day, then it will make dieting much easier for you. That one bar of chocolate will give you so much more enjoyment and satisfaction than the three you used to eat feeling guilty.
One chocolate bar eaten with true enjoyment will make you happier than three of those consumed with “guilt.”