3 Reasons To Stop Dieting

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Nx86xdrewssexybody-3Written by: Kirsten Cowart

It seems that everywhere you go, you hear about new diets, diet pills and quick tricks to lose weight. You are bombarded by friends, social media and commercials everywhere you go.

What is so interesting about dieting, though is that… it actually doesn’t work long term.

In order to create consistent and healthy changes, you have to change your lifestyle and make better long-term choices. Consistent choices are the decisions that pay off the most in the end. If you have ever heard the story of the tortoise and the hare, then you will know that slow and steady wins the race.

The Roller Coaster Of Dieting

In my experience, I started to notice year after year that I wasn’t getting any lighter or healthier. I would lose some weight from a bunch of exercise and then gain it right back – often with some additional weight – the months after.  

The desperate feelings I felt while dieting ignited binge eating once my diet was over. What started to happen was that I ended up on a rollercoaster of ups and downs and, in the end, that was really hard on my health.  

I finally decided on new year’s day 2014 that I was going to try something new. I was going to focus on slow, consistent progress so that by the end of 2015, I could see an actual difference that I would be able to maintain.

In order to do that, I decided to change my lifestyle.  

I started cooking more at home, I got rid of processed frozen meals, then a few months later, I removed box meals, too. I cleaned up, organized and decluttered my life.

I worked on myself, I balanced my emotions, I faced my fears and regularly meditated. I cut back on sweets, stopped buying soda and started being just a bit more active than I was before.  

These were all slow changes I made over an entire year. I would add or take something away, wait for my life to rebalance and then try something new.  

The Change I Wanted Started Happening

By the end of 2014, I had lost 40 pounds and kept it off with what felt like no extra effort, because the changes were subtle and over time, it didn’t feel like a heavy burden or that it was difficult at all. I didn’t diet and honestly didn’t exercise regularly that year. I have since added in yoga into my lifestyle and that has helped me even more.

I think the thing that surprised me the most about the transformation was that there wasn’t a diet, diet pill, or a bunch of weight loss guides and tricks. I focused on health, happiness and balance and the rest took care of itself.

Here are some KEY POINTS that I have observed when it comes to diets:  

1. Diets Do Not Help You Maintain Weight Loss In The Long-Term.

Researcher Traci Mann found that yo-yo dieting can mess with your metabolism, hormones and cause neurological changes. This makes traditional diets fail big time. “When you are dieting, you actually become more likely to notice food … But you don’t just notice it – it actually begins to look more appetizing and tempting.”

Mann also stated, “the hormones that make you feel hungry increase” and “the hormones that help you feel full, or the level of those rather, decreases.”

When it comes to your metabolism, Mann said, “Your metabolism slows down. Your body uses calories in the most efficient way possible … When your body finds a way to run itself on fewer calories there tends to be more left over and those get stored as fat.”

Studies show that 95% of diets will fail.

2. Weight Loss Is Actually NOT The Key To Increased Happiness.

There are many reasons why people want to lose weight. Sometimes it is emotional imbalance, physical health, social issues, body image or many other reasons. When your emotions are out of balance, it is really hard to maintain a healthy body or body image.  

In the end, if your reasoning for wanting to lose weight is only skin deep, then it will probably fail.

Clinical Psychologist Andrea Bonior, said, “It’s not the external achievement of some goal that’s going to make us happy. You think that will automatically change your life in some meaningful way, but it could be that your life pretty much remains the same.”

In order to find happiness, you need to accept everything as it is in this present moment. Once you do that, then you will be able to be truly happy. What is awesome about mindfulness meditation is that it teaches acceptance. Acceptance reduces stress and without excess stress, you will naturally start to lose weight.  

3. Losing Weight Will Not Necessarily Make You Healthier.

You can be overweight according to the BMI standards and still be considered healthy. Also, you can be an average weight or even underweight and still be considered out of balance and unhealthy. Weight is only one factor to consider.  

Dr. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor coauthored an article in The Nutrition Journal, which said, “Most epidemiological studies find that people who are overweight or moderately obese live at least as long as normal weight people and often longer.”

Instead of having your goal be weight loss, shift your goal to being and feeling healthy. Holistically set goals that help you take baby steps towards balancing out your life. Work on your physical self and set physical goals for eating healthy, staying active and learning more about nutrition. Drink more water and set good hydration goals. 

Set emotional goals to help balance your feelings with your emotions. Pick up some books on healthy communication and work on connecting better with others. Try out yoga or meditation as a way to add extra tools into your daily life that will help you stay balanced.  

Also, set growth, intellectual and spiritual goals. Often times, to feel fulfilled, you need to be moving forward in life. Slow, consistent progress is key in this. Read a new book each month, read more online articles, watch a documentary, check out some videos on youtube about philosophy and thought; expand your mind and start working on your life goals.  

In the end, follow your passions and don’t get tied up with the inches around your waist. You may find that one day, you’ll be looking back and realizing that you hit your weight goal somewhere along the way without even thinking about it.

What do you do to stay holistically balanced and healthy? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

Quote credits- https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindful-musings/201510/3-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-go-another-diet

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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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