The Dieting Cycle
How many times have you tried a new diet or weight loss technique? I don’t even have to describe the outcome of a “diet” – the fact that you are constantly experimenting essentially means they’re not working! What’s the purpose of completing a diet over and over if you’re not maintaining the results? Often, we don’t reach our goals or desired results and we blame ourselves and feel failure. So, we attempt the diet again or a maybe different diet, perhaps reaching results this time but then gaining the weight back easily. We get even more upset – damaging our self-esteem and becoming obsessed with the next diet. Chronic dieting is a vicious cycle. Sadly, many of us believe that reaching a specific weight will lead to happiness. “If I just lose 10 pounds, I can finally feel good about myself.”
A dieting mindset is when the focal point is not on long term health benefits but instead on reaching a number (usually a number on the scale or a body fat percentage). The difference between your overall pattern of eating and a fad diet is that the fad diet usually has an end. They include food experiments (high fat low carb, or low fat high carb?), food restrictions (gluten free this week!), counting calories (shoot me now), focusing on macronutrients (don’t even get me started) – all of these focus on the smaller picture and distracts us from what is actually important. What’s important when it comes to health and wellness in terms of our overall pattern of eating is how this food is making us feel and if it’s preventing (or leading to!) disease.
I encourage you to start viewing food in a different way. How does your pattern of eating make you feel??? Do you have digestive problems? Are you having hormonal imbalances? A regular period?? There is obviously a correlation between our lifestyle habits and our health! How can any diet be healthy if it’s causing you to become constipated? How can a diet be okay when you are missing periods or experiencing extreme irritability?? And It’s okay to experiment with foods to determine how they make you feel. I support this! Get in touch with your body and the way your lifestyle makes you feel. But don’t go on a meal plan that lasts two weeks. Create a life-long pattern of eating that is going to make you feel amazing!
Be careful with any diet that flaunts drastic changes in a short amount of time. These are the classic signs of a fad diet. Changing your behavior and making lifestyle shifts will never have an end point. The photo below comes from Eating Disorders Victoria: click to see their scientific explanation on why diets don’t work!