If you have ever struggled to lose weight, you know this one thing to be true: dieting doesn't work. Trust us, it isn't just you. In fact, recent research has determined that dieting may actually work against you and lead to greater weight gains! To put it simply, diets are designed to fail, says Linda Bacon, PhD, associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, professor at the City College of San Francisco, and author of the books Body Respect
and Health at Every Size
So what exactly are you supposed to do? Losing weight is a worthy goal but in order to get there, you need to shift your mindset. Here are 5 ways to drop the dieting mindset and get yourself to a state of improved health.
1. Identify the real culprit
You are not the problem. You are not lacking willpower, you are not a failure. Diets are simply not sustainable. "Recognize that dieting is the problem, not the solution," says Dina Zeckhausen, PhD, an Atlanta-based psychologist and founder of the Eating Disorders Information Network. More often than not, when you deprive yourself of foods, you are setting yourself up for an inevitable binge down the road. Try, instead, to eat according to your body's natural hunger and fullness cues. Look at the triggers that can lead you to overeating. Examine your "daily unconscious habits, emotional triggers like stress and anxiety, and physiological triggers like being overly hungry or full," says Zeckhausen.
2. Get what you really need
You may want to consider taking a step back from your weight loss goals until you have your eating habits under control. "Once the binge eating has subsided, the next step is to learn healthy ways to get psychological needs met, whether through moderate exercise or reaching out to others for support," says Zeckhausen. "When you are coming from a place of self-love instead of self-loathing you will make choices that support this value system–when you love something you want to take care of it!" (Want to start an exercise routine? Check out over 115 hours of workouts available on SweatFlix℠
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3. Trust your body
Your body wants you to be healthy. It works hard to keep your blood sugar and fat levels within a certain range and if you are restricting calories, your body ramps up your appetite in an attempt to restore that balance. Dieting "teaches you to distrust your body and deny its needs," says Bacon. "The body is very effective at managing your weight, if you let it do its job." Overeating and starving yourself are sure fire ways to prevent your body from being able to do this job. Being healthy starts with respecting your body. When you diet, you are telling your body that what it needs is wrong. And this philosophy is just, well, wrong!
4. Take the direct route
"There is no reason anyone needs to lose weight to get what they're really looking for," says Bacon. It would be understandable if you felt otherwise in our thin and fit obsessed society. These attitudes can reinforce a negative self-image. Look at why you want to lose weight in the first place. Are you looking to be happier? Healthier? More attractive? Instead of placing your focus on how to get a thin body to achieve those things, concentrate on how you can get those things NOW. What can you do in your life right now to feel happier, healthier and more attractive? "Go after those directly, instead of believing you need to first lose weight," says Bacon.
5. Shift your focus
You may have yourself convinced that life will be perfect once you hit your goal weight, but the truth is, that may not be the case. "Moving toward increased self-acceptance and taking power away from your weight will do much more to improve your life," says Bacon. Many people "believe that hating their body is an essential motivation for change, so they resist letting go," she explains. This belief may actually stand in the way of change. Real change comes from a place of valuing yourself enough to want to make your life better. "By first learning to have a positive relationship with your body, even if that body is not 'perfect,' you strengthen your ability to make change," says Bacon.
Healthy eating and dieting are not the same. Pull yourself from that relentless cycle and let us help you build the foundation you need for a lifetime of healthy habits! The BodyRock Meal Plan offers you 30 days worth of healthy meals and snacks that are nutritiously balanced and sure to satisfy your tastebuds. No more menu planning, no more boring dishes. No more feeling starved. Each week, we give you a detailed grocery list so all you have to do is grab the ingredients and follow along. It really doesn't get any easier! Get your BodyRock Meal Plan here
Are you a reformed yo-yo dieter? How did you kick the habit?
Source: Woman's Day