In psychological research on goal achievement, there is a concept called the "goal conflict model of eating." The idea behind this concept is that the eating behavior of people on weight loss diets is dominated by a conflict. The conflict is between two goals, which are not compatible. The goals are 1. the enjoyment of eating and 2. losing weight.
For a dieter, these two goals are desirable states that she wants to attain. But of course they clash.
As a dieter, you are looking to lose weight now. At the same time, food has a positive value as well. You probably try to keep yourself from thinking about food that isn't weight loss food, so you can continue to follow your chosen weight loss diet plan. However, you may fail to do this because there are so many food cues all around. Often the goal of eating enjoyment will take over and knock out your weight loss goal.
You've probably found yourself in this quandary. You love good food for it's taste, but you don't want to eat food that isn't weight loss food because of it's calories.
Research reported in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests several strategies you might employ while you are on a weight loss diet, so your good eating habits don't break down.
Distract yourself by thinking about things unrelated to eating.
Think about how you would feel afterward if you do go ahead and break your weight loss diet. In other words, anticipate the regret you would feel for having done it
Give yourself diet and weight loss goal cues whenever possible. Have right on hand ways to remind yourself of your desire to stick to the diet exactly when food enjoyment cues come up. If you do this many times, you will find that it may even become automatic. That is, faced with wonderfully palatable food your weight loss goal will immediately come to mind - with enough practice.
So, be mindful. Recognize your goal conflicts. Get your strategies in place, and use them over and over until you can rely on them to just about handle your conflict for you.