So If Dieting Isn’t the Answer, What Is?

ever feel like you are on a roller coaster when it comes to weight loss and life?

So if dieting isn’t the answer, what is? First of all most any diet when followed correctly will lead to weight loss. So dieting works, right? This is one of those yes/but situations. Large amounts of research has shown that 85-90% of people that lose weight while dieting regain it and more. Kinda deflating isn’t it? Again it is that roller coaster ride that keeps us returning to the diet cycle. We want to feel good about our selves and that is what our brain feels when we lose weight, inches, a size in clothing etc. If a diet is the only way we achieve this feeling then we are fighting a losing battle. We went over the reasons that diets don’t work in our last post

Now let’s see what the answer to this predicament is. There are lots of ways that we can have a healthy connection to and enjoy our bodies that have nothing to do with constant dieting,compulsive exercising and denial of pleasures. Here are seven for a start!

change Your Focus From “Being” and “Looking” Good to Feeling Good

This is about changing from the inside out, using your own ability to make decisions about the foods you eat. Not letting someone else control or regulate what we can have. When we’re in touch with what we truly need and want, we can make choices that feel good in the moment — and long after.  Mindfulness is the bridge to noticing what makes you really feel good and then doing it on a habitual.

accepting you as your own unique and wonderful self

Yes this is easier said than done and self-acceptance isn’t a cure-all. But the first step in taking care of ourselves is accepting ourselves and taking a non-judgmental attitude towards ourselves, regardless of our size. This allows us to see what’s real — without the interference of self-criticism. Changes made because that is motivated by self-disgust and shame don’t last. It’s hard to take care of something you don’t really like. A lot of people fear that if they accept themselves they will just let things go and not care. Self-acceptance actually prompts us to treat our bodies with kindness and respect.

Quit trying to lose weight

Yep, that’s what I said and mean. Aim at doing what’s needed to help you feel good instead. Usually, those are activities that will  promote our body in achieving and maintaining its set point weight. Weight loss, if that’s what your body needs, becomes an outcome, rather than a goal. The blessing with this method is that it is likely to be a lasting result, rather than another yo-yo diet. And it’s enjoyable, which just adds to its lasting effect.

stop dieting

This may sound like a repeat of #3 but there is a difference. What we’re talking about here is the habit of paying constant attention to what we’re eating; counting how many calories, fat, or carbohydrates it contains; creating a schedule for when we eat — and on and on and on. Yep — the things that many of us continue to do even when we say we don’t diet anymore. Does this sound familiar like your lifestyle change? These behaviors tends to lead to a way of eating that often falls far short of what our bodies need for health and wellness. Our bodies health and wellness includes supporting a healthy microbiome that plays key roles in our metabolism and immune system. Substitute eating mindfully — using your bodies internal cues that are there to guide you in eating for health and well-being.

 Change the Way You Think About Exercise

We should move our bodies because it feels good. “Should” or “have to” has no place in the decision. It has to be all about want. Ask yourself: What do I want? rather than “What should I do?” The difference is life changing. It takes the place of anxiety, stress, and shame with a new, exciting relationship with movement, joy, and play that can make physical activity a regular part of your life. Movement doesn’t have to be associated with calories and weight loss. It can simply be one of many ways to enjoy your body and your life.

Practice mindfulness

The world today is stressful and puts pressures on us from all sides. Mindfulness can help you make choices in your own interest. Maybe you’ve heard of this concept, but don’t know what it looks like in practice. So what is mindfulness you may ask. You don’t have to take up yoga or spend hours in silent meditation to learn about it. It is simply the practice of giving complete and non-judgmental attention to your present experience. In other words, practicing being present and attentive to what’s going on and the choices you have, and then deciding what is best for you both in the moment and over time.

Enjoy Life

Really, happiness leads the way to making choices that support both your physical and emotional well-being. It’s time to stop putting your life on hold until you lose weight, gain weight, or wear a different size. Start living the full, rich, meaningful life you deserve today.

I know that making the change to this way of living may be scary. It means you have to let go of the negative thoughts and and admonishments that have directed your decision making for a long, long time. But you can do this and will be pleasantly amazed at how much calmer and less stressful your life can be.

Send us a comment and let us know how it goes!

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