Diet Mentality

Diet mentality refers to the thought processes that are a carryover from old ideas and old tapes related to dieting behavior and dichotomous thinking. These attitudes have a lot of power. Diet mentality is primarily applicable to eating addicts, although many other addicts will recognize it or the related idea of deprivation as a potential problem in their recovery.

How to Identify It

Some key phrases in diet mentality are:

  • Squeaky-clean abstinence
  • Perfect abstinence
  • Stick to the food plan
  • I cheated
  • Legal foods
  • Good and bad foods

The feelings associated with diet mentality are guilt, the illusion of control, and “I have to do it right.”

Breaking out of It

Recognize it! Watch for phrases like, “must do,” and “have to.” The solution is to use Step Three. Use a Higher Power or your Program and the Steps of recovery.


Diet mentality, see also: Attitudes, Body image, Checklist mentality, Delusion, Dichotomous thinking, Eating plans, Habit & structure, Judgment, Magical thinking, Mental aspects, Metabolism, Nutrition, Obsession, Paradoxes in addiction, Program, Sanity, Therapy & treatment, Visualizations.

Updated 11 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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