Please don’t go on a diet. I cringe every time someone tells me they are starting a diet—on Monday, it’s always Monday…. Depending on the study, it appears that up to 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will gain it all back, and sometimes more.
An article on thediabetescouncil.com, 14 Reasons Why Most Diets Fail by Nicole Justin says that two out of five people on a diet quit in the first 7 days. Only one is still going strong after a month. Why are we such a diet obsessed culture? Aside from the perception that thin people are happier and healthier, we are also constantly looking for the next quick fix. We get anything we want at the touch of a screen or click of a mouse. So why should weight management be any different? If dieting isn’t the answer, then what is? I’d like you to consider the different perspectives on dieting below:
Everything you eat IS your diet
I ask my clients to keep a food journal. Write down what you are eating and more importantly, how you feel physically and mentally during and after your snack or meal. Your body will tell you what foods do, and do not work for you (you just have to listen). By doing this simple thing, you are opening the door to food freedom.
Starting a diet indicates that you will also end your diet
Restricting yourself to certain foods or a certain number of calories is a form of deprivation. This approach can deprive you of nutrients, and does not just affect your body, but also your mind. Understanding and believing that you have the knowledge to eat the healthiest diet for your specific body is the key to ending serial dieting. Eating should be a joyful and sensory experience—restriction does not equal joy.
Be curious—not judgmental about what you choose to eat
Curiosity about food choices brings a sense of peace and allows for a more intuitive way to nourish your body and mind. Do you say, “I was bad this weekend” or “I ate so bad last night”? Labeling foods or yourself as “bad” only makes you feel like you did something wrong, which brings guilt and shame. This leads to the screw it, I messed up so what’s the use attitude.
Wondering about your choices rather than judging them allows you to honor yourself and perhaps brings about some “aha” moments leading you to a healthier way of fueling your body. We are all unique individuals, what may work for one person could be harmful for another. Ditch the diet mentality, pay attention to what your body is telling you and believe that you have the power to make choices that are in line with your goals.
“Mindful eating replaces self-criticism with self-nurturing. It replaces shame with respect for your own inner wisdom.”
—Jan Chozen Bays
Jennifer Viverette is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach. She is a passionate about sharing her expertise. A Lincoln County resident since 2008, she loves the tight knit community. Married for 21 years, with 3 cool kids, she loves to run, hike and read. After spending over 20 years in Human Resources, Jennifer now enjoys helping people reach their goals in a different capacity. Her company’s name is A Clear Vision Health and Wellness. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.