Hands up! Did you start a diet in January and lapsed by February? Was it a success? Did you lose weight and more importantly did you keep it off? Or did you end up heavier than when you started? If so, you’re not alone. Diets don’t work – it’s time to ditch the diet.
We all know instinctively that diets just don’t work and yet we all keep trying them. Dieting is a massive industry, feeding on people’s misery and distorting our relationship with real food.
Read on for 7 reasons to ditch the diets and opt for healthy eating for weight loss instead.
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Diets Don’t Deal With Emotions
Our relationship with food is complex. It’s one of the main reasons diets don’t work. It’s only by dealing with the emotional reasons behind why we eat the way we do, that we can start having a healthy relationship with food.
Keeping (an honest) food journal can help. Facing up to what we eat and why is the starting point to losing weight.
Dieting Doesn’t Lead To Long-Term Weight Loss (For Most People)
Diets don’t work because they can be so hard to stick to. Cheating a little here and there is often enough to make people think this isn’t working and there’s no point in continuing. To make things worse, your body will resist the weight loss by slowing down your metabolism.
It’s better to lose weight gradually. Get out and enjoy life. Take up a sport or exercise class and enjoy eating healthily.
Dieting feeds into the “food as reward” mindset. You diet and lose weight, then reward yourself by eating. So many diet forums are full of people talking about their reward (food) when they reach their goal weight.
It’s a big reason why diets don’t work. When you starve yourself to lose weight, your resistance against binge eating is really low.
Dieting Can Make You Feel Like A Failure
Most diets fail and when they fail it’s easy to be really negative about it. It adds to the baggage we have around food, the idea that you’re a failure.
Knowing that if you diet you will fail, can make people think “I might as well just eat anything”. Yet another reason why diets don’t work!
Instead of dieting, try yoga. Yoga is a good way to learn to love your body, to nurture and get in touch with your body’s needs. Become more mindful of the way you live and eat.
When you love your body, you’re less likely to abuse it by eating all the wrong unhealthy foods.
Dieting Risks Developing An Eating Disorder
When you’re on a diet you can become obsessed with food in a way that effects your mental health. Dieting is a risk factor for developing eating disorders and it can be difficult to return to normal eating habits.
It’s very easy for a strict dieter to focus only on food and forget to live their lives. When live stops evolving around food, it’s easier to lose weight.
Sadly we’re surrounded by false body images. Half- starved, stick thin models or retouched images. These images do not represent real life and real women. We come in all different shapes and sizes.
Losing weight won’t give you a perfect body. These perfect bodies are rarely real. Instead aim for a healthy body!
Diets reinforce the stigma of weight and add shed loads of emotional baggage to a person’s perception of how they should look.
Diets Don’t Help You Love Your Body Right Now
Self love is the most important part of the weight loss journey. If you don’t love yourself and care about your body, you’ll keep filling it full of junk.
Diets can often be seen as a form of punishment, forcing yourself to conform to other people’s opinions of how you should look.
Start living instead. Don’t hide yourself away. Get out with friends, take up new activities, (sporty ones are good but any activity can help), or rediscover pastimes you used to love.
Taking the focus off food will be a big step towards having a better relationship with eating. Find something non-food related to fill your time and start enjoying life.
I’d love to know what you think of these tips. Hope you’re convinced by these reasons why diets don’t work. I find my weight controls itself whenever I happy and occupied, getting outside as much as possible. I’m not naturally skinny despite enjoying exercise. I find if I ditch the diets but cut out junk food and respecting my body with healthy food it works for me… What about you?