I am a great believer that dieting is NOT the way to lose weight permanently. It’s not a belief that I woke up one morning with either, oh no, the belief that I hold about dieting took around ten years to form! Why is that, I hear you ask – The answer is simply that I spent more than a decade believing that dieting was the answer to my dreams and that, if I only tried harder, I would eventually lose weight and have the slim body I yearned for. I devoured every article I could about the subject that was so close to my heart. I subscribed to slimming magazines, I even purchased the ‘slimming’ knickers too!
Lose weight I did BUT gain more weight than ever before I did too. To top that, I lost myself in the process because losing weight became the main driving force about everything in my life! Looking back, I cannot believe I wasted so many years trying to lose weight only to end up heavier than when I began. If you can identify with all or some of this story then I really hope that you will find this blog helpful and, if I a really honoured, I hope that it will give you the push to finally break free of the dieting tray.
- Give up dieting – I think you probably saw this one coming from the intro!! Don’t panic, I am not asking you to stuff your face, gain more weight and be happy about the fact that you are overweight! On the contrary, I am asking you to stop dieting as I believe it is the only way that you will actually lose weight for good. When I was caught in the dieting trap, I found that my main focus was on the dieting itself and not on the outcome (losing weight). I became obsessed with the entire process and totally fixated on food! My whole life was consumed by what state my diet was in and when my next meal was so much so that I only felt good when I maintained the calorie count and lost weight. The ‘how’ to stop is not something I will go into in this blog but, if you would like to know more, please see the link below.
- Give up bingeing – According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of bingeing is ‘A period of excessive indulgence in an activity, especially drinking alcohol or eating’ and because of this, it is thought to be a very negative action. It is my belief however that when you have a strong urge to eat something you shouldn’t or eat more than you should, that you should not deny yourself. I know this sounds ludicrous but stay with me on this. From experience, I have found that the more I try and deny myself something, the more I want to eat it. Then, when I finally give in, I find I eat much more than if I had had that bar of chocolate, or that cake or whatever it was that I desired in the first place. Also, say, you really fancy eating that large pizza and chips and you deny yourself, you might also find that you will then proceed to spend the rest of the day overeating too. If then, we can be brave enough to give in, you will gradually find that you end of eating less in the long run. You will also find that when the craving strikes, it won’t be a huge as it used to be because you will not be entering the dreaded ‘forbidden’ zone!
- Give up feeling guilty – I used to constantly feel guilty if I ate anything ‘off-plan’. I used to also feel guilty when I ate more calories than I was supposed to. In most cases, this would then mean that I wouldn’t enjoy what I had given into AND I would feel bad about myself. It immediately placed me in a ‘lose, lose’ situation. Instead, it’s so much better if you can at least enjoy what you are eating. That way, after you’ve eaten, you won’t be left hating yourself, you will instead be rid of the craving and be able to carry on with your day. Trust me, I have been there and still have these days. The best way to deal with them is to let yourself have what you fancy. Remember, denial only makes the food demons grow. One cake, or even a few cakes is much better than feeling so bad that you decide to totally blow out and stuff your face all day. When this happens, it is very rare that you even enjoy what you are eating and what a total waste of time that is!!
- Weighing yourself – There are so many reasons why your weight fluctuates that putting yourself through the pressure of weighing yourself is just not worth it. You will know if you have lost weight or are fitter simply by the level of activity you can cope with and whether your clothes fit better or not. Just one example of why weighing yourself is useless is that you may find that you have put on weight which will instantly make you feel bad. The real reason for it could be purely hormonal or that the weighing scales are faulty but you don’t know this and will blame yourself for failing to lose weight. There are many other reasons not to weight yourself and if you are interested in finding them out, please see the link below.
Written by Sherry Taylor
Author of The Anti-Diet Lifestyle