Dieting Causes Obsessive Thoughts About Food
"Worrying about your weight, dieting, restricting food, restricting calories, fasting, overexercising, and other dieting behaviors can cause emotional stress in a number of different ways," explained Christy Harrison, MPH, CDN, an antidiet registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, host of the Food Psych Podcast, and author of Anti-Diet. Being deprived of food overall and being deprived of specific kinds of foods, particularly carbs, creates obsessive thoughts about food. That's part of the body's response to starvation driving you to think about food so that you'll seek it out and reverse the perceived famine.
BACP-accredited eating disorder therapist Harriet Frew agreed with Harrison and said, "When you're dieting, you can't help but be preoccupied with food 24/7." It can make you feel out of control around food, and out of control in general.
"Obsessive thoughts around food and body image are likely to be overwhelming," said registered dietitian and intuitive eating counselor Kathleen Meehan, MS, LDN. If a large percentage of our day is consumed with these thoughts, it makes focusing on anything else especially challenging.