Think about a diet that you have followed in the past.... If it worked for you, are you still happy with the results? The truth is, diets don't work for your body and brain. 95% of dieters gain back the weight they lose or more in some cases. Because when the body starts getting less food, you will decrease your metabolism and will have to permanently reduce your portion size to maintain your ideal weight.... it is miserable! And consuming!
We are told from a young age that if we don’t like our body we need to move more, eat less, stop eating fries, desserts, soda.... then we get older and it turns to eat fewer carbs, go low-fat, stop consuming alcohol... It all sounds so simple. You just need the willpower to stick with it, right?!
So, then when we aren't consistent with our low-fat, low-carb diet and end up eating a pint of ice cream because we have deprived ourselves for so long.. we start to question our self-worth. I'm speaking from personal experience.
The fact of the matter is if we were able to control our weight that easily obesity and body image disorders wouldn’t be so common. Food is sustenance.
I have experienced all of the ups and downs of many diets... The temporary results were great! Until I went out for a drink and had some late-night pizza and the whole thing went to sh*t...
See, the main issue with dieting is that it puts the responsibility and expertise outside of you rather than being connected with how you are feeling, thinking, and craving at a moment. You are constantly focused on external roles... making the diet the expert.
My advice to anyone that is not happy with their body is to stop obsessing over external factors and become passionate about why your relationship with food/dieting is the way it is... What parts of a diet have worked really well for you? What hasn't worked? Why didn't it work?
What is your current relationship with food? Dive into your youth... For example, were you always told you can have a treat if you behave? Or you always got a special snack after your youth soccer game? Your past experiences with dieting can help you deconstruct and redefine your current beliefs about dieting so you can find something that works for you and your everyday life. Your body already knows exactly what it needs and how much it is supposed to weigh. There is a set weight that your body has, and it usually fluctuates about 10-15 pounds. There are chemical signals that tell you to gain or lose weight depending on your food consumption, environment, stress, and countless other factors. So stop depriving yourself. When you deprive yourself of sensory pleasure by putting yourself on strict regimens ... You will produce less serotonin, which is an essential chemical for happiness and metabolic function. Because when your body expects less food, your internal furnace turns down to conserve energy... So you hold onto fat because your body needs it to survive. The brain is 60% Fat! Moreover, I do believe that will power is LIMITED. Unless you are a rare breed, like a Navy Seal.
So don't restrict yourself... and eat what you want but in moderation or find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods. Yes, this is the hardest part... moderation. Another thing everyone makes sound so easy. You have to be willing to take the time and searching internally by tuning into your body and acknowledging what works for you and what doesn't... Learn to eat mindfully so that you know when you are full or need greens or protein. Your body tells you what it needs, the key is getting in touch with your physical needs and emotions.
Once you are in touch with your physical needs and emotions and in sync with your body, nothing makes you feel out of control! Not even a full pint of ice cream... or two! You know yourself better than any diet or health professional. You're unlikely to lose weight permanently until you go off diets altogether. Find out how to fill yourself intuitively and mindfully so your metabolism remains at a steady pace, and you reach and maintain your ideal weight. Every person is unique, one thing we talk a lot about at The Institute of Integrative is that one person's food is another person poison! This is exactly why some people thrive off a specific diet, that doesn’t work for others.... Your environment, gender, age, physical activity, culture all go into diet and what works for you. The first step in breaking it down is to explore a more balanced lifestyle...
What is working for you right now, and what isn't? From there, experiment! You can try out different diets such as high protein, low protein, clean eating, veggie-based, intermittent fasting to find out which pieces work for you and which foods make you feel your best? Then take what works and include more of it in your life. I have been through it all. I've felt so out of touch with my body and so out of control. But this is exactly why I became a health coach. To help people get their body to a healthy, ideal weight and maintain it without constantly obsessing!
Obsessing is miserable. It is not living! Life is too short not to thrive.
Once you identify the foods that make you feel great, you can push out and limit the others. This part takes discipline. You need to take the time to note what foods make you feel your best. Keeping a food journal is a great way to do this. In a fast pace world that loves immediate results, you need to be willing to take the time and put in the work. It is worth it, you are worth it!
The next step is getting in touch with your mental and physical needs. Develop a training regime that allows you to move your body consistently.
Figure out your emotional needs and triggers. Find your spirituality. Dive into your current relationships... They should nourish you, inspire you, and make you feel comfortable and confident.
Now take note of what has the biggest impact on your outlook and self-worth?
Are their parts of your life where you notice consistent negative interactions?
Explore your career, can you learn to love what you're doing? Or do you need to change up your field of work? Just think about it. Listen to your internal cues and trust your self! YOU'VE GOT THIS! If you are interested in health coaching and working with me to break this all down. I WOULD LOVE TO HELP YOU!