Dieting and Scheduled Reinforcement

Dieting is difficult for many individuals to not only start but be consistent with for a duration of time that will insight results. Many people believe that they must completely eliminate certain foods or behaviors in order to achieve the desired goals they have set for themselves. As both a former athlete and someone who constantly goes to the gym multiple times a week, having a "cheat day" or rewarding yourself after a long week's work is important in lasting long enough to see the results you want. 

By putting yourself on a fixed duration or fixed interval schedule, you can set boundaries and circumstances around both the cost and rewards involved in your dieting. For example, for someone who is just starting off, being able to have your favorite food after working out 3 days is a reward centered around completing a challenging task. As a few weeks go by, push your limits to every 4 days, then 5 days, etc. so your body will still be able to cut calories and fats out of your diet, but also still rewarding someone who has been classically conditioned into eating whatever and whenever they want. 

Cold turkey rarely works for most people, many people who begin a diet by starving themselves or taking away all enjoyable food, usually results in a drastic weigh gain, disincentivizing someone to continue trying to diet. When I do homework, I may say to myself ok I have 20 pages to read, for every 10 pages I read I can take a break and watch a few YouTube videos. Just like the rat pressing the lever 5 or 10 times to receive a food pellet, putting a reward at the end of a task we may not be interested in doing, helps motivate us to do said tasks. 


  1. I enjoyed reading your post on dieting. It is interesting to learn about what it takes to successfully diet. In addition has you noted, going "cold turkey" can result in an unsuccessful diet, I believe this mainly has to do with the psychological effect it has on a person. By telling yourself you can never have a certain food, you will want it even more. Great insight!

  2. This is a great post! This gave me so much new information on how to start a successful diet and also how to use those tactics in other areas of my life, such as studying.

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog about dieting. It's interesting to learn and understand more about the key components of starting and successfully maintaining a healthy diet. I also think that going "cold turkey" won't work when it comes to dieting, and I agree that it won't because it can be a bit difficult to start a diet like that.


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