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  • Tamsyn Isgrove

The Diet Sabotage

How many of us have been on a diet hoping to lose that extra weight and then sabotaged ourselves by eating that bag of crisps or that chocolate bar?

When we hold a belief (cognition) about the world or ourselves (ie: I need to lose weight); and then we behave in a way that goes against our belief, (ie: I've eaten a chocolate bar), a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance (I like to call it guilt). As the experience of dissonance is not a pleasant feeling, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance (i.e. agreement).

For example:

Attitude: "I am going on a diet and will avoid sugary food" Behaviour: Eating a doughnut or some other food high in sugar.

Dissonance reduction can be achieved in four ways:

1. Change behaviour (Example: Stop eating the chocolate bar)

2. Justify behaviour by changing the conflicting cognition (Example: "I'm allowed to cheat every once in a while")

3. Justify behaviour by adding new cognitions (Example: "I'll spend 30 extra minutes at the gym to work it off")

4. Ignore/Deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs (Example: "I did not eat that chocolate bar. I always eat healthily.")

Do you recognise which Dissonance reduction method you use? Does the way in which you reduce dissonance actually cause you to fail your diets? Maybe when we start to understand how we behave in situations like this, we will be able to create better tools and methods for ourselves to enable the achievement of our goals?

If you'd like help in understanding how to achieve your goals through hypnotherapy or just simply to know more, please get in touch on 07754475848. Initial Consultation is Free Of Charge.


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