Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to Ditch Diets for Good

Ever tried a diet? Who hasn't? About 50% of women are on a diet at any given time and more than 95% of dieters regain the weight that they've lost.

The good news is that we're starting to notice that something isn't right. The All Party Parliamentary Group just released a groundbreaking report on Body Image on May 29th. This was one of the first public reports to acknowledge that overeating is not a lifestyle choice, but can be the result of dieting.

So what is going on? Why don't diets work?
  1. Diets focus on what you CAN'T have or need to eliminate... often leaving you feeling trapped, limited and deprived.
  2. Diets don't take personal needs or tastes into consideration, but take a one-size-fits-all approach. Truth is, we all have very different bodies, ages, time, jobs, obligations, metabolisms, dietary needs and levels of physical activity. Not to mention interests.
  3. Diets generally only focus on food – not on lifestyle, emotions, social obligations and movement.
  4. Diets promise (and often deliver) short-term results but no long-term solutions. If the changes aren't enjoyable, sustainable, practical or adaptable... how can we be expected to stay on it??
If we don't stop this “yo-yo” on-again-off-again dieting and weight loss-weight gain pattern, we're going to wear our bodies – and our sense of power, worth and confidence out!  

How I teach people to NEVER have to diet again:
  1. Focus on what we can eat, what we want to eat, what foods make us feel strong, healthy, light, energized and taste deliciously satisfying. Think about it: what is a food that does this for you? (Watermelon and romaine chicken salads are two of mine!)
  2. Pay attention to what your own body is telling you. Are you still hungry or are you satisfied? When do you find yourself reaching for sweets or caffeine? What foods do you love? When do you get bellyaches or feel bloated? Study yourself. What can you learn? When I'm stressed, for example, I need hugs, and lots of them. Otherwise my sugar monster comes out.
  3. Fill and lighten yourself up with non-food sustenance. Remember when you were a kid and had to be called to come in to eat two or three times because you were caught up having so much fun? Get back to that place whenever you can. Fun, pleasure, creativity, connection with others and physical movement can really feed your body and soul. Is there an activity you do where you loose track of time? Follow your passion.
  4. Always make small, practical, and enjoyable changes. Meet yourself where you are. Give yourself time and compassion. Create rituals and support to make it feel as good as it can. You don't have to go vegetarian overnight (or at all!) - but maybe a spicy bean and rice taco night once a week would be a blast....
So what out of those strategies sounds most do-able and fun to you? Pick one, make a plan and start enjoying life more as you feel fuller and lighter at the same time.

Get a taste of my work and get started ditching diets with me this coming Monday June 11th when I talk about "The Sweet Life" and how to kick your sugar cravings with confidence! Space is running out so be sweet to yourself and save your spot here.

Sue Thompson We'llLook Back and Laugh That We Went On Diets to Try to Lose Weight

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