Deprivation - It's All In Your Head

Do you feel deprived?  

- That feeling that gnaws away at you at some point during a diet or ‘regime’ of some sort.

I hear so many people tell me that they don’t want to feel deprived that it seems like an epidemic.  I remember a lady a few years ago telling me she felt deprived on my food plan, the only person in 8 years. Now the interesting thing is that I don’t remove any food groups, unless you consider cakes or takeaways actual food groups.  But it did get me to thinking about the concept of deprivation and I remember many times saying the same thing myself.

In the case of food, it’s really easy to get, so it’s very easy to just give in to that instant gratification.  Once we understand what sits underneath the word deprivation however, we can open ourselves up to the real solution.

Deprivation is the absence of basic necessities such as sleep, food, water, oxygen and nutrients – along with a few other categories of things.

It is feasible that your brain may perceive some sort of warning signal in the absence of adequate nourishment, but if you are sufficiently nourished and the source of deprivation is the absence of non-essential foods then what is really triggering this sense of deprivation?

I was reading an interesting article on Emotional Deprivation Disorder and whilst we won’t dive into that right now, we can very much acknowledge that many of us are emotional eaters and we also know that when we heal those emotions it’s a lot easier to eat well consistently.  So whilst we may not actually have Emotional Deprivation Disorder, we could be feeling Emotionally Deprived.

Here are 6 main reasons we feel deprived - some of them are not in your head.

  1. We really are being deprived, literally, of nutrition.  Restrictive diets and the absence of food groups can leave us deprived of energy and nutrients.
  2. Relative to others we feel deprived.  When we compare ourselves to others’ eating behaviours we always find the joy in theirs and the fault in ours.
  3. We are emotionally deprived. Of course a diet is going to make us feel it moreso– it’s taken away our comfort food!
  4. We’ve confused ourselves into deprivation. There are so many different diets and pieces of information that it’s easy to mix many concepts together and create our own unique blend of dietary restriction.
  5. We are mildly socially deprived. Humans have used food as a social adhesive for a very long time.  Food is for fuel, but it is also for social situations.  Social Deprivation is also a real thing, and I believe we have a mild case of it, especially if you go on a diet and don’t go out with your friends!
  6. We are sleep deprived.  So, try being sleep deprived (a basic necessity) and then going on a diet – of course you’re going to feel deprived.

Getting clear and real about deprivation will help in a big way towards staying on track with your health and fitness goals.