Part 1.  The Polar Bear Effect

Why Can’t We Stick to a Diet?

Everyone knows we should “eat less and move more” to lose weight.  Why can’t we do it?

Maybe you are on the perfect food and exercise plan.  Were you excited by the prospect of finally taking the weight off for good only to find yourself always falling off the wagon? Were you confused as to why this happens?  

There are many reasons for this. One of the reasons might be how our brains work.  Try this experiment:  Do not think of polar bears for 10 seconds.  Ready…close your eyes and don’t think about polar bears.   How did you do?  Chances are you had not thought about polar bears in months and now all you can think about is polar bears!  You may have heard the phrase what we resist, persists meaning what we try not to think about becomes all we think about.  Dr Martha Beck calls this phenomenon “The Polar Bear Effect”.  We can, when rested, relaxed and enjoying life, suppress thoughts and feelings fairly successfully. But when we are stressed all resistance goes out the window.  When dieting we know what not to eat.  We usually do well with the diet at the first, happy and excited about the change. Then a stressful event occurs or an annoying situation, maybe even being tired will weaken our defences. We will then think of nothing but that forbidden food.  This is the Polar Bear Effect.  This is only one of many reasons we fall off the wagon but knowing how our brains work can give us some relief in the struggle.  Notice for the next few days how often the “polar bear effect” happens to you. You may then be able to let the thoughts go before you fall off the wagon.  

Stayed tuned for future blog posts explaining more reasons we fall off the wagon and what we can do about it.

Achieve Thinner Peace is a support group for those looking for relief from the obsession with food and dieting. They offer a 15 week course exploring science based strategies giving you the tools to generate a lasting sense of peace with your body that comes from within.

Free information meeting:

Monday January 9, 2017

7 – 9 PM at Queen’s House of Retreats

601 Taylor St West, Saskatoon SK

Facilitators: Katherine Harriman, MSW, RSW & Rusty Dixson, Nia Instructor

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