I was initially going to name this post “The Deficit Approach”, but I’m pushing myself to not default to the negative side of things. So I chose to emphasize the opposite.
Oftentimes while on a “restrictive” diet (they even call it restrictive!), you feel powerless and deprived. You feel disadvantaged and unlucky. In educational psychology, there is a phenomenon called the “deficit mindset”. With this kind of thinking, people define themselves through their weaknesses and disadvantages and not through their strengths and advantages. When on a GI diet, you’ll be surrounded by so many delicious foods that are horrible for your health. When you choose not to eat something that is detrimental to your health, you can either say, “I am missing out on something so delicious,” or you could say, “I am doing something wonderful for my health by not eating this.” Guess which one highlights the deficit mindset. It’s pretty obvious which one highlights disadvantages versus advantages. This internal dialogue is crucial to your success with lifestyle adjustments.
I’m not going to be unrealistically chipper about this. It’s hard, and sometimes you really want to break down. I know how hard it is to pass down a delicious bowl of mint chip ice cream or a simmering dish of buttery garlic scampi (especially if it’s free!) But once that initial gut (no pun intended) response has passed, the key is to really bask in your strength and will-power… and to celebrate all of the steps you are taking in your healing process! It’s easy to feel like you have no control when your are on a GI diet, but in reality, you are in more control than most people are!