Monday, July 16, 2007

Save Money, Stop Dieting!

I came across this mini article about the hidden costs of dieting on today. It made me chuckle. It’s really short, so I’ll just copy it here.

The Price of Self-Control

Hide your credit cards before you start cutting back your calories

by Rachel Meltzer

The real reason dieting is so hard? New research suggests we have a fixed reservoir of self-restraint. If you use willpower in one area (like, you stop eating chocolate), you become impulsive in other ways (say, blowing money on shoes).

When University of Minnesota marketing researchers asked volunteers to write an essay and then go shopping, those who were free to write about any topic spent $1.21 on average; essayists who were forced to exercise self-control, by restricting themselves to certain topics, gave in to the temptation to spend more ($4.05 on average). The lesson? Before you start your summer diet, hide those credit cards!

So there you have it, yet another reason to give up dieting. I already knew that intuitive eating had brought many wonderful changes to my life, but I didn’t know that it was saving me money. Woohoo!


WifeMomChocoholic said...

I have had the opposite experience (of course I had to be an oddball). When my bingeing/compulsive eating is out of control, I often spend, spend, spend money. I think I'm trying to feel better or something. When I feel fit and healthy, I end up with huge amounts of saving.

Tree Lover said...

To be perfectly honest, I don't think intuitive eating has effected my spending habits one way or the other. Actually, I have probably spent more in the last year since giving up dieting, but that has more to do with a nice raise than food.

I can see how it would go either way. It makes sense that someone who uses food to avoid emotions might turn to shopping for that purpose when dieting. It also makes sense that feeling out of control with eating could lead a person to feel out of control with other things, like shopping. I have noticed that over-drinking often goes along with over-eating, so why not shopping, too?

Michelle-cecl said...

I would have been an outlier in that study. I always found that when I controlled my eating, I could control my other impulsive behaviors as well.