Sensible Diet Fail

sensible diet fail

Haha. I just had an *interesting* experience with a “sensible diet”. Or perhaps a more fitting expression would be “experimenting with disciplined eating”.


Here’s some background.

I wanted to know how my attempt at intuitive eating has affected my weight, so I weighed myself a couple of weeks ago. I discovered I weigh 156 lbs, which is basically the same as five  months ago when I weighed 154 lbs.

I think that’s actually a good result, because I definitely ate all kinds of fattening foods in the beginning. Then in October and November I had a difficult time with all the stress and recurring migraine attacks, so I wasn’t very focused on healthy eating.  I could’ve done much worse.


Nevertheless, the problem was that I was/am really itching to start losing weight, so I decided to start eating in a more disciplined way. So I started tracking my foods with the help of a Finnish service.

Below are a couple of example shots from the service. Te text is in Finnish but you probably get the gist even without  translation. The green balls in the middle monitor the quality of the diet: the amount of veggies, the proportion/amount of fats and protein in the diet, treats (i.e. empty calories) and the amount of fiber in the diet etc.

Click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge.

What I actually ate is not so interesting than what followed after I started eating in a disciplined way.

I felt I was constantly thinking about food and obsessing about the healthiness of my diet (mostly the amount of protein in my diet because that tends to be low).  I soon felt pretty miserable, even though physically I was feeling ok.

Now for the really interesting stuff: after a couple of days on a sensible diet I started eating more chocolate and candy than I usually eat. The mere thought of eating in a more disciplined way was enough to trigger my cravings for sweets and chocolate.

Unconsciously I must feel that following a sensible diet really means giving up all the good stuff and being deprived for the rest of my life.


So I decided to drop my “sensible diet” and focus on improving my diet in other ways. One problem I’m aware of is that I don’t eat proper meals in the evenings which leads to constant snacking. Time to get rid of that bad habit.

P.S. Have you ever had a similar experience?


  1. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Making a full-blown dinner for yourself must seem like too much work if you don’t really care so much. I don’t think I would either. That’s why I cook a big pot of something and eat it for several days in a row.

    I have had the preoccupation with candy/sweets before. It mostly happens when I tell myself that I should not be eating any of it at all–none. Then, an interesting thing happened when I started constantly carrying a dark chocolate bar in my purse. I didn’t feel like eating it. The obsession seemed more to be about having the choice to eat it versus actually eating it.

    For protein: I make a pot of vegetarian chili every week. The beans have protein. I also eat boiled eggs with the yolks popped into the garbage. I probably have one tuna salad sandwich each week, and then also one meal with meat. I don’t think that people need as much protein as they tell you.

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      I think you’re spot on, Marion! The middle paragraph describes the phenomenon very well. I wasn’t consciously denying myself sweets, but on an unconscious level disciplined eating must have meant a really ascetic way of eating to me to have that kind of effect.

      So far I’ve resolved the night eating thing with a big salad with tuna that is fast to prepare. Vegetarian chilis would probably work too. Maybe I head over to Biz’s site.

  2. Biz says:

    That’s why I love WW, because while my daily points focus on the healthy guidelines (i.e. x amount of fruits, veggies, healthy oils) my flex points (49 for the week!) let me enjoy a piece of pizza, a bagel or wine.

    Hang in there Satu! 😀

    • Satu says:

      Hello Biz! WW must have changed a lot recently. When I was following the program, I only could eat 18 points a day. 49 sounds like a lot of flex points for a week..

  3. Lori says:

    I think it all comes down to how we view food. If you think of a food as bad or forbidden, you want to have it. when you just make it a part of your life without assigning it a good or bad status, it just becomes food.

    I allow myself to have cupcakes, chocolate, snacks, etc, but I don’t have them all the time. They have their place in my diet (a very welcome place), but I also understand that I have to make sure I eat in a way that properly nourishes my body on the other days. I don’t always succeed, but I do okay.

    For dinner, I often have a lot of protein cooked up like chicken to make quick meals. It is easy to cook up omelets for dinner, too.

    • Satu says:

      Hi Lori! You’re right about it being an issue about how we view food. I’ve learned to be more relaxed about my eating lately, but obvioulsy I still have a long way to go.

      BTW: I love the food pictures on your blog! Sombody else’s eats always look better than your own. 🙂

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