How to Break the Vicious Dieting Cycle
I am so sick of diets. I am sick of hearing about them, I’m sick of reading about a new one every single time I open up a magazine, I’m sick of talking about them, and I’m sick of feeling as if I should find one that “works” for me.
There is something so non-committal about diets; what happened to eating well, exercising, and enjoying everything in moderation? When did our society as a whole decide that, for a specified period of time, we should deprive ourselves of certain things (carbs, fats, sugars, meats, etc.) in order to look a certain way? Diets are a bummer. And, honestly, most of them don’t work. Yep, I said it, and I’m sticking to it. Do you agree? Why or why not? Here are a few ways to shift your focus from “diet” to “lifestyle change”:
#1: Ask yourself why you’re dieting in the first place.
If you are on a diet or are tempted to start one, it may be time to have a serious conversation with yourself about your intentions. Ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve. If your goal is to lose weight, is it because you want to feel better about yourself, is it for health reasons, or is it because someone else thought that you should? Once you come to terms with the reasoning behind your desire to diet, you can ease your way into a healthier relationship with food.
#2: Reason with your past diets.
Inevitably, if you’re wanting to diet now, you've probably already done it in the past. Many people are yo-yo dieters- they diet for a period of time (days, weeks, months, etc.), lose some weight, and then most likely abandon their diet and gain all of that weight back, if not more. They tend to make empty promises to themselves, telling themselves that this is the time that they stick with it. However, if you’re honest with yourself, you can probably say no diet has ever worked long-term for me, and no diet will- I need a lifestyle change, not a diet.
#3: Listen to your body.
Being in tune with your body can help you to pick up on the subtle clues that it gives you. Eat slowly, so that you know when you are actually satisfied, as opposed to stuffed. Notice how much more energy you have when you eat whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins. Instead of depriving your body of the foods that someone else deems unnecessary, aim to feed your body the foods that are tried-and-true nutritional powerhouses. That way, when you do give into a craving, you won’t need to feel guilty about it.