4 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Dieting NOW
Written by: Kara Vetter
How many times have you begun a diet with the intention of shedding 5, 10, 30 lbs., only to end up gaining even more than you’d planned to lose?
This seems to be a common outcome of so many diets. Even when you have been successful, the odds are that you will regain that lost weight – and then some. And you have probably blamed yourself for not having enough willpower to stick with it.
But it is not your fault.
Let me explain why dieting does not work and why you should ditch your diet NOW.
1. Restricting encourages binging.
That’s right. When you cut your food intake you are actually causing the exact thing you are trying to control – overeating. If your body is not receiving adequate nutrition, it will go into starvation mode. You will naturally want to hoard food like a bear before hibernation.
2. The perpetual yo-yo cycle of dieting.
So now you understand that dieting can lead to binging. However, if your ultimate goal is weight loss, you will wind up on a hamster wheel: reducing calories, leading to out of control hunger, leading to overeating, leading to weight gain, back to reducing calories… and so on.
3. Cravings grow STRONGER.
Have you ever wondered why the moment you make the decision to begin a diet, all you can think about is food? Go on a low-carb diet and a loaf of bread will randomly appear in your dreams. Cut out dairy and you’ll be begging for ice cream. By eliminating entire food groups or forbidding certain foods, you amplify your desire for those foods along with obsessive thoughts about them.
You are destined to end up binging on the foods you have been denying yourself.
I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche “you always want what you can’t have.” Perhaps the author was on a diet when he said that!
4. Thinking in extremes.
A common theme when dieting is the “all-or-nothing” mindset you adopt. If you aren’t following your diet perfectly, then you are being “bad.” When you say to yourself, “I really shouldn’t have eaten that” – even if it was the smallest taste – there can be a tremendous amount of guilt for cheating. Those thoughts are almost always followed by “now that I ruined my day, I may as well eat whatever I want!”
Again, this leads to binging, which leads to restricting, which leads to binging… it is a vicious cycle. Stay on this merry-go-round long enough and you will begin to feel like a failure. You will start to erode away at your own self-esteem, ignite food obsessions, get too preoccupied with your body and – in drastic cases – possibly even slip into some serious eating disorders.
So, is there an alternative to dieting?
The answer is easy and it’s a resounding… YES! Instead, commit to being healthier.
Instead of making a list of foods that are off limits and removing them from your diet, begin increasing your servings of more nourishing foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and green juice and smoothies. Doing this will naturally and gradually crowd out foods that cause weight gain and other health issues.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes you also need to allow yourself to give in to your cravings.
Have you ever been longing for a brownie, but you are determined to ignore it? You start off with a snack you feel better about, like a rice cake with peanut butter. That doesn’t satisfy you so you try some cereal. When you’re still not satisfied, you move on to bread with butter, then crackers and cheese, chips and cookies and eventually… brownies.
If you give yourself permission to enjoy the brownie that you wanted in the first place, you can actually steer yourself away from a full blown binge.
Add to this list some exercise you enjoy, meditation and visualization techniques and watch your new – healthier – lifestyle unfold. Say goodbye to “diets” for good and hello to balance, peace of mind and endless amounts of energy and health.
Kara Vetter is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Her mission is to support those who suffer from Bulimia and let them know that complete recovery is absolutely possible. She is passionate about healing through nutrition, both mentally and physically. Kara is a firm believer in using the principles of the law of attraction, along with meditation, to guide her clients to complete transformation.
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