If you have ever struggled with your weight, then you have tried your share of diets. But, can we trust diets for lasting results?
We all do it. We find ourselves on the merry-go-round of too much food, too many indulgences and no discipline when it comes to our food choices. The next thing we know we’re desperately trying to button the top button of our jeans; asking ourselves, “how did I let this happen?”
Then, what do we do 99.9% of the time? We head straight for the diet fix. We go online to find the latest and great “diet de jour” to fix our problems…our weight problems that is.
Of course, for most of us, this is not the first time we’ve done the diet thing. In fact, we may have dieted so much in the past that the diet has become our only method of self-control. But we often don’t like to admit that to ourselves. Instead, we usually prefer to tell ourselves that this time will be different. This time I am going to get this weight thing off my back once and for all.
But, the question remains…Can we trust diets to give us lasting results?
Most of us never intend for a diet to be a permanent way of life. Why…because diets usual operate on the idea of deprivation and self-denial that few of us can maintain long-term. Instead, we rely on them to “fix” our weight, so we can move on with our normal lives.
Since quick results can only be accomplished through strict dieting, the short-term mentality ends up being detrimental to long-term, sustainable success with weight.
A lot of research has gone into weight loss and the effects of dieting. Numerous studies have confirmed that short-term fixes don’t work; primarily because the process of serious calorie restriction or denying whole food groups actually damages your body’s metabolic process. Basically, we screw everything up when we try to deny our bodies the fuel they need to run properly.
Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again, while still expecting different results. Does this sound like your typical weight gain and diet loss scenario? Here’s the thing…weight is only the outward symptom of your behavior with food. But, your behavior with food comes from your thinking about food.
Healthy mindsets with food are not forged by strict diets and short-term behavior modification. They are established for a lifetime. Essentially, if you really want to win over your weight, take the “finish line” out of your thinking.
I honestly believe that you can change your way of thinking, but you cannot expect to get rid of one mindset without putting a new one in its place. So, what’s your plan for overcoming your weight gain/loss cycle with food?
After years of yo-yo dieting, I finally got off the weight merry-go-round by setting a prolonged 50-day period to journal my thoughts about food as I took steps to break unhealthy habits and realign my expectations and assumptions about portions.
Reading back through my journal entries, I noticed that the light bulb turned on sometime around the end of the second week. Until that point, my observations largely centered on the physical sensations and behavioral modification that traditional dieting requires.
However, I eventually started noticing just how essential my mind was to the whole process. Here is an excerpt from my journal entry, Day 12:
Alright, today I am back on track. It is becoming more and more clear to me that the true key to weight loss and management is in the mind. Of course, weight gain is caused by excess food; however, I am the one who ultimately makes the choice of what, when and where I eat. I like this idea… I have a choice. If I overeat one day, I can choose to right things the next day without heaping on unwanted feelings of failure and discouragement. Just get back on track; finished and done.
The journaling process was the single-most effective tool I have ever used to get to the bottom of my behavior and feelings about food.
Have you ever tried to journal your food thoughts? Consider adding this element to your cut-back efforts. Write down your thoughts, expectations, self-talk and assumptions. You just may be surprised by what you discover!
I am so excited to say that I am currently in the final stages of writing my first book, Find Your Weigh, that will finally present this process in an organized format to help people set the stage for lasting weight loss.
I am looking for a few people to read through the book before it’s published…to give feedback and suggestions for improvement. If you would be interested in something like this, please drop me a note.
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