Now, I am not a therapist by any means, but this is a style of thinking that I often see with clients. It’s in fact a negative thought process. People who tend to think this way, tend to split their views into extremes; like black or white thinking. There is no grey area. If you are wondering if you are an all or nothing thinker or at least do on occasion, you may use terms like “never” or “ever”.
When we tend to think this way, we may have a hard time seeing any solutions. An example of this would be, if you indulged yourself at a meal and felt that you have over-eaten even just slightly, you could tell yourself that you’ve ruined your diet and mine as well continue to over-indulge! And that you’d restart everything tomorrow. Have you ever said this to yourself? This is a common way of thinking when one is “trying to be good” (another common phrase I hear quite often). Unfortunately, when this happens, we have a tendency to then think that we’ve failed. When in fact, we haven’t failed at all. It was our way of thinking that failed us.
Another outcome could be to accept that you indulged at that meal and that that’s OK. Because you know what? It is! I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. However, like talking more positively to yourself, over time you will believe it and it will come more naturally.
Some common tips on how to overcome this is to start to find some grey area – no more black or white. Maybe instead of always thinking about things in a negative way, i.e. “I cheated on my diet”, we can start to look at things in a more realistic way, i.e. “I wanted some chocolate, so I ate it and that’s ok”.
Other options are to try and avoid using words like “never” or “ever”. An example would be instead of saying “I’m never allowed to eat sugars”, maybe be more realistic and say “I’m allowed to enjoy foods with sugars, because it’s ok”. Another option would be to try and find the positive in the situation. Or even another option would be if you find yourself back in the all or nothing/black or white way of thinking, try to catch yourself and see if there is any grey area that can be seen?
Lastly, support like seeing a therapist, or even a registered dietitian can help you overcome this way of thinking. A good support network like friends and family can help you.
Let’s start seeing less black and white and start seeing a little more grey in our lives!
Every year around this time of the season many people and clients ask what they can do to help prevent colds and/or boost their immunity. One of the most common nutrients they think to take is vitamin C. Why you ask? Because everyone thinks that it helps in preventing and treating colds. Does it? Actually no, not for the general population any way. SO why do we think this? It’s because in 1970, Linus Pauling made a suggestion that vitamin C could have some preventative effects on colds. But when researchers decided to try and redo the studies, they couldn’t come up with the same results. The only results they were able to come up with was that taking vitamin C was able to help athletes, soldiers, elderly or chronic smokers in preventing colds. So that answers that!
Also, to note, in these studies, it was shown that people who took higher doses of the supplement, DID NOT in fact absorb more, they actually absorbed LESS vitamin C. Crazy right? What happens with the rest of the vitamin C you ask? You pee it out. Yup! You pee out the extra. It is rare to have vitamin C toxicity, just so you know.
So if you don’t need a supplement, how do you make sure you get enough? Through FOODS! Now, you may think that the best source of vitamin C comes from citrus or oranges, right? WRONG! Red peppers are actually the best source of vitamin C. Bet you didn’t know that eh?? There are a lot of vegetables that are good sources of vitamin C, not just fruits. Also to note, cooking/heating up foods or storing them for long periods of time can destroy/reduce the vitamin C amount in foods. But not to worry, most of the foods that we eat that are rich in vitamin C, we eat raw.
As for vitamin C helping in possibly preventing cancer or helping with heart disease, it has been shown that vitamin C from foods may show promise, but not from supplements. It has been shown in different studies that nutrients found in foods has more benefits than taking them in pill form. So let’s start eating FOOD!!
So now you know, taking vitamin C won’t help in preventing or shortening your cold.
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.