My last blog on Ditch the Diet focussed on why it is good to stop dieting but if you have been dieting on and off for years it is probably not an easy concept to get your head around. Ditching the diet is the first step in the non-diet approach to health and although first it may be one you have to keep coming back to as you address the other areas in the non-diet approach. Diet Culture is everywhere from every form of media, medical professions and to top it all it is often a huge topic of conversation around the lunch table. None of the steps you take with ditching the diet are easy to begin with until you really let go of the dieting mentality and start to see it for what it really is and this can take time. Within this article I hope to give you some ideas on ditching the diet and possible stumbling blocks however once you get started you will probably discover more for yourself and ways to change.
Some steps to consider include:-
Give your weighing scales to your local charity shop don’t just put them on top of your wardrobe or in a cupboard because you might just bring them out in a weak moment.
Deciding not to go back to your local slimming group class even this can be difficult as a lot of friendships are made here with and the shared goal of getting into smaller clothes is a difficult to break. Perhaps you need to look for other groups to join perhaps a hobby or a fun exercise class like line dancing or salsa.
Stop counting calories, points, sins, and units. Choose food because you like it and don’t fool yourself into always going for the low fat or low carbohydrate option and pretend it’s about health and not weight. The focus on healthy nutrition has to come after you have been able to stop dieting and eat mainly for hunger and fullness and satisfaction. This is to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not just another weight loss diet.
Look at the ways you are getting dieting information is it in magazines or on the Television or is it all over your social media. Initially stop buying the magazines or watching the programmes and don’t like or follow the new diet ideas on social media as they will try and lure you back with the last diet you will need as it will be so easy and flexible!!!. It’s just another diet and if you have tried a lot then don’t be dragged in again.
You can’t ban your friends from talking about their latest diets but try and change the topic so as not to get dragged in to how well they are doing and how well you might do.
If you get stuck, review all the times you have been on diet. Look at how long they lasted and how the weight returned again each time and how often you felt it was your fault and perhaps think about what you might have been doing instead.
It can help to join a group with likeminded people to get support or to see a dietitian who specialises in this approach. If interested why not check out the services I offer and if not sure contact me to find out if this approach may help you.
I know, way too early to think about Christmas we haven’t even had Halloween yet. But everywhere you look the shops are getting ready for it and people who often worried about their weight have got the next reason to worry, Christmas, and how they have let themselves go in the summer now it’s time to get back on track for those nights out and getting together with friends and family. This may or may not be you perhaps you feel you are one of the lucky ones because you have come across a diet that is working and you are in the confident phase of seeing some weight loss which is making you feel good about yourself and delighting in complements about how good you look and you in telling everyone who will listen that they should give it a go. Chronic dieters generally fall somewhere in a continuum between these 2 groups at one end feeling shame and disgust at themselves but they continue trying and retrying because the feelings they get during the diet going well at the other end makes everything feel wonderful and life fantastic and they know that this feeling will last forever and they will never need to start another diet again, until they do.
Constantly going from high to low feelings about your body and your worth can be quite exhausting and, worse than that it can, over time, work to reduce your self-esteem and self-worth both of these being entrenched in how thin you look as well being the possible cause of other health problems like raised blood pressure, cholesterol, gallstones, osteoporotic fractures and coronary heart disease to name a few. But what’s the alternative. Perhaps it might be time to consider cutting out the lows. I know you might think, but this time it’s going to work and the feelings I get from being thinner are going to last because I won’t put on weight. I have the willpower because this diets so easy.
Before you read on ask yourself.
How many years have I been on a diet?
How long did I stay at my ideal weight in that time?
How did I feel when I fell off the diet?
Wouldn’t it be good not to have those lows and start to feel you are ok no matter what?
From a biological point of view your body is built to maintain weight not lose weight and it will adapt to help prevent weight loss. Research shows that weight loss leads to a reduction in metabolism which helps to ensure weight is regained and many people not only regain weight but they get heavier. If you have spent a number of years dieting and have always ended up back where you started or weighing even more and you just want to make changes to help you feel good more of the time and also have the added bonus of improving your health as you go. Perhaps it is time to make peace with all food and claim back your self-worth. Stopping dieting does not mean you are giving up on yourself or your body it just means that you are going to stop the diet cycle that may well have led you to having low self-worth and the belief that some foods are so powerful you have to avoid them making them even more powerful.
Give another way a chance by setting goals to feel good and improve your self-care, which in turn can help improve your self-worth and ultimately your health. This option is not a quick fix, like the promises from the diet culture out there, but if you have spent the last 5-20 years on a diet what is 12 months from now. Coming up to Christmas 2019 or Halloween 2019 how do you want to be feeling? Do you want to feel good or treated because you have made a lasting change for you self-worth or tricked into another diet that has left you a year older but still on that continuum.
So why not make a start right now
Start to listen to your body signals for hunger and fullness and noticing how different foods leave you feeling satisfied
Give yourself permission to eat all food
Listen to you internal dialogue around food and when diet rules come up challenge them
Start to plan for all aspects of health care including sleep, having fun, relaxation, work load, physical activity and treating yourself with kindness.
If you would like to try this way but not sure how to get started why not contact me for an appointment.