Monday, 1 October 2018

Is dieting making you insane?

Circles are beautiful but not when you are going around in them. The common saying is “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” And that strikes me to be like yo-yo dieting.

Do you know why you yo-yo diet? I have only just worked out that when I was younger I would diet to lose 10 pounds and go straight back to eating and drinking how I did before. There was no acknowledgement on my part that I needed to actually change my lifestyle, that I needed to have a long-term plan. So as I got older, dieting started to be in the "too difficult" box I had less stamina to stick with any diet and so I lost less and gained more.

Research suggests that not only is the experience of yo-yo dieting de-motivating, it actually harms your health, more than just steadily gaining weight over your lifetime.

Your mental health is harmed because you end up obsessing about food - whether it's good or bad, is it on 'the diet', how much you weigh and what you look like, and you may think unkind thoughts about yourself and your body comparing yourself to others or media images. 

Your physical health is harmed because you put your weight back on and possibly more than you lost.  Studies show you gain 30-65% of the weight you lost back within a year and one in three people end up heavier than before they started. Why? because strict dieting slows your metabolism, puts your body into starvation mode and tends to produce cortisol due to the stress of dieting. The weight gain goes on the belly which is associated with health risks. Scarily, some research shows yo-yo dieting puts you at more risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and I even read that there is a link with endometrial cancer in women. 

Is that enough to make you want to do something differently? 

So what easy changes can you make? 

  • Focus on NUTRITIONAL BALANCE rather than diet rules. I like to use Dr Moseley’s 8 Weeks to a Sugar Free Diet because I really enjoy the foods in there and I don't feel hungry. I don't follow it obsessively but as a guide. 
  • Adapt your ROUTINES to ensure you are getting enough sleep and you reduce the risk of overeating due to stress, exhaustion, boredom, etc. 
  • Change your LANGUAGE around dieting. Our language affects how we think, so for example stop referring to foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as it is simplistic on one level and de-motivating on another. When you think of a food as ‘bad’ it creates guilt around the eating of it, which is not helpful.  
  • Focus on your PROGRESS. Celebrate any change in your body - more energy, smaller waist, clearer skin. Do not focus on how far you have to go, as that may feel too huge and make you want to give up. 
  • LOVE YOU and be kind to yourself. Start changing how you speak to yourself. Enjoy your life and worry less about what your body looks like. Smile at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are. 

What further support can you get to make bigger changes?

If you are ready for change, you can join my Facebook group ShiftmyMindset, ShiftmyWeight and message me with the line MINDSET TIPS to get my FREE E-BOOK "10 mindset tips to stop yo-yo dieting now". 

If you are ready to change, start implementing the tips in my e-book and BOOK A CALL with me to discuss how I can help you make those changes more quickly, how I can help you to remove your emotional blocks, update your values and build new habits.

Imagine never having to start a diet again!

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