When you put yourself on a diet, you’re saying to your body “I’m going to deprive you.”
One of the fastest-growing industries in America happens to be the diet industry. Funny enough you don’t see the obesity rate declining do you? How many times have you tried a new diet to lose weight short-term only to gain the same amount or more back? I’m sure you’ve heard that spiel before but is anybody actually explain to you why dieting doesn’t work? What if dieting was the wrong focus when it came to health?
You start your diet. Things are going well. But what’s really going on inside? Your brain translates this sudden change as a reduction in nourishment, thus your body enters deprivation mode. On any diet you are depriving your body of some nutrient it needs. Paleo you are “not allowed” to eat grains, vegans are “not allowed” to eat animal products, Adkins are “not allowed” to eat carbs, and other diets are not “allowed” to go over the calorie amount.
In diet mode, not only now are you depriving yourself of certian nutrients or food groups, but you’re also having to use mear will power to stay on track for the “diets” guidelines. Regardless of if the diet is a healthy one or not.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some ways of eating that are more beneficial than others, and some “diets “that can be lived out long-term and are healthy. That not the issue at hand being addressed here and is for another post:)
In place of being taught intuitive eating or listening to your body, strict guidelines are put into place. These do not take the individual into consideration or what their actual needs are. A diet that may benefit one person can actually be depriving another of what their body needs.
By constant deprivation and restriction, physically you may lose some water weight, but you have also set yourself back mentally and physically in different ways.
Now you lack nutrients and the satiation of foods you like. You are more likely to have an all or nothing mentality when a binge comes. One grain off your paleo diet may lead to eating a large portion, then depriving yourself of that grain and then repeating the cycle. Same for sweets or other food groups we miss on our diets.
“Rather than focusing on progress we focus on perfection, which is wrong.”
My personal advice? Eat some chocolate and if you need a little portion of grains or carbs during the week do it. Now before you go crazy, keep reading what I do in place of diets.
“You will do and go in the path of what you think.”
If you focus on food, that will be all you think about. If you are trying so hard to focus on sticking to your diet, all you are doing is focusing on the things you need to avoid, thus probably wanting those things more. Perfect for trying to eat the “right” way, huh? Thinking about dieting all day actually makes you hungrier. Great.
Let me give you a personal example. When I first stared the paleo diet, I told myself ” Ok, I’m ONLY going to eat paleo, no grains at all!!! Guess how successful I was? NOT AT ALL. All I craved was bread and anything not paleo because I was so focused on the diet. I would attempt to eat way too much of random paleo foods to satiate my craving and end up worse off than when I started.
What was going on? I knew a paleo diet would help me LOSE WEIGHT if I TOOK OUT the foods it told me to… Mhh LOSE and TOOK…
Let’s focus on those two concepts.
You know how your parents always told you a negative doesn’t make a positive? Well they were on to something. When we focus on the negative aspects of our body, our diet and even our life, that’s what we get. What if focusing on weight loss was the wrong focus? What if weight loss was just the symptom of a more effective and long lasting way? I purpose that instead of focusing on weight loss or diet, we focus on NOURISHING ourselves. Instead of a deprivation diet mentality to “lose” something, you are focusing on putting in the good stuff. So now that wrong LOSE WEIGHT, TAKE OUT mentality changes to NOURISH YOURSELF and ADD IN. Doesn’t that seem counter intuitive? To add something in and as a result lose weight?
That is just what the diet culture wants you to keep getting stuck in the cycle of. If you can’t lose the weight and as a result keep looking again and again for solutions, they are getting rich.
Going back to nourishing yourself. When you add in healthy, nourishing foods and are focused on all that you can eat, you really don’t have to muster up the unattainable will power a diet requires. If your focus is getting as many nutrient dense foods in your body and having lots of energy, don’t you think you will loose weight without even thinking about it? What if instead of completely cutting out a food group were eating such nourishing food that your “treat” food was a little of something you loved or a healthier version!
Think about the difference in mind set when you think about NOURISHING yourself for the rest of your life verses being on a diet for the rest of your life. Which one seems attainable and awesome?
So in closing I do not diet. Although my eating closely resembles a paleo type of eating, I take in many non paleo things because I either want them as a treat, or I know they will benefit my health and me as a whole! I know I am beautiful right where I am and find great joy in taking care of myself while improving each day!
Educate yourself on what is in foods and what are the best foods to put in your body. Eat to fill yourself up with nutrients and flavors that satisfy you and give you the most energy and longevity. You know your body and can listen to it better than anyone. Do not diet, live a really full life always learning how to be more:)