By Bonnie R. Giller
Are you stuck in diet mentality? The diet mentality incorporates restrictive thinking and behavior for a certain period of time. Restrictive behavior translates into eating only a certain amount of calories and/or certain foods until a goal weight is met. Usually there is a goal date involved surrounding a specific event, such as fitting into a dress for a wedding or a bathing suit for vacation. Restrictive eating behavior is very unhealthy. You miss out on vital nutrients and adequate calories which results in malnutrition, irritability, lack of energy, fatigue, and even stress.
If you’ve been dieting for that special event, what happens after that event is over? More than likely you have returned to your old eating habits, only to regain the weight lost. This yo-yo cycle of weight gain and loss can go on for a lifetime unless you work towards changing negative thoughts and eating behaviors into positive thoughts and eating behaviors. Changing your thinking patterns and behaviors for the better can provide support when striving to ditch the diet mentality.
Chronic dieting can cause immense physiological and emotional damage. It can lead to increased binge eating, decreased metabolic rate, increased feelings of deprivation and increased feelings of failure. Contrary to the word “diet”, instead of losing weight, chronic dieting usually results in weight gain. Chronic dieting is a vicious cycle that diminishes self-esteem, damages personal values, and enhances a sense of worthlessness. These psychological consequences trickle-down and effect almost every area of your life including work performance, home life and relationships.
As a chronic dieter, you also develop a negative perception of food in which it is seen as an adversary that is no longer to be trusted. Perceiving food as negative is an unhealthy approach to maintaining health. Food is fuel for your body. You cannot live without food. Furthermore, many cultural and social practices make food the centerpiece of events, where food is perceived as happy and celebratory. If you can no longer find the enjoyment in food, then you potentially can no longer find the enjoyment and happiness in social activities.
Your solution to breaking free of the diet mentality lies in a concept called Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is eating based on your physiological need to eat not based on situations or emotions. It is eating based on your inner hunger and satiety signals. It fosters an awareness of your eating patterns while helping you to determine what kind of eater you are. Awareness opens your eyes to unconscious triggers and forces a consciousness you may have previously been lacking. Intuitive Eating teaches you how to become more attuned to your body cues, including physical and emotional feelings, and behaviors that lead you to eat. It also leads to making peace with food and ditching labeling food as good or bad. This approach helps to create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body.
Here are 3 powerful tips to get started:
1) Commit to a diet-free lifestyle. Recognize that there will always be another diet gimmick lurking around the corner for you to try and that these are marketing ploys. Decide that you will no longer “follow” a diet, or let someone else tell you what and when to eat. Instead, you will listen to your own body and ask yourself before you eat if you are hungry. If your answer in “no”, then dig a little deeper and find out why you are reaching for food.
2) Throw out the dieter’s tools. As an intuitive eater, you no longer need a food scale, printed menus ripped out from magazines, or a body weight scale. The only tools you need are your signals that are within you.
3) Forget about failure. Instead, recognize that your path towards Intuitive Eating is a learning experience. There is no place for feelings of failure in Intuitive Eating. There might be bumps in the road, but those are obstacles which become opportunities for you to learn. Stay positive and you will succeed.
If you are tired of living a restrictive lifestyle due to chronic dieting and want to finally give up dieting, these steps will get you on your way towards rebuilding the trust in your body and increase your self-esteem.
– Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters break free of the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy non-diet mindset, nutrition education and caring support. She utilizes the principles of intuitive eating, which is eating based on your internal signals of hunger and satiety versus situations or emotions. The result is they lose weight, keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life of guilt-free eating. Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.). She is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Bonnie is the author of an e-book titled 5 Steps to a Body You Love without Dieting. Get your copy Free and learn more about Intuitive Eating at www.brghealth.com.