The Feast or Famine Cycle
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe it’s true, and certainly applies to the illustration of the diet cycle. What follows is a picture of what millions of unfortunate dieters experience much of the time. This cycle is truly vicious, causing pain, frustration, shame and confusion. Dieters on this cycle can end up feeling crazy.
Begin with FAMINE at the top and move clockwise.
The feast or famine cycle usually starts with a famine, a diet, or other food restriction.
Weight maintained by body quality food
Remember, this pattern usually begins with a Famine—you are determined to lose weight by controlling your eating, limiting portions, cutting back on calories or fat grams, or carbohydrates— whatever. Any method of under eating will set the cycle in motion, even accidental under eating for people who are susceptible. Famines are the stimulus for everything that follows:
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1. Lowered metabolic rate
2. Decreased activity level
3. Increased appetite
4. Cravings for sweets and fats
5. Preoccupation with food
Famine Sensitivity is the innate biological sensitivity to food restriction. Moving clockwise, Famine Sensitivity is next in the cycle. The severity of the diet is a big factor and includes how restricted your eating is as well as the intensity of your activity level.
IMPROVED SELF-ESTEEM and DIMINISHED SHAME
As we have noted, weight loss is a wonderful thing to dieters, the most wonderful thing! They spend a lot of time, energy and money on this goal. And there are real psychological benefits of weight loss. Overweight people may feel badly about their bodies and their failure as dieters. When they lose weight, they get a boost in self-esteem and shake off some of their shame. They are finally doing it! And as they shed the pounds, these positive emotional effects help reinforce their efforts. Weight loss gives dieters confidence and hope that their lives can really be different. These reinforcements keeps them dieting in spite of the discomfort, the inconvenience, the money, and all the stresses that go with battling their bodies.
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