Why Diets Don't Work
Did you know that on average a woman spends 17 years of her life dieting? That is a statistic of 2 diets for 7 weeks during a single year starting at the age of 16.
Read that again. Now read it again. And again.
Imagine what you could do with that time. Imagine all the energy wasted on hating your body.
First of all, I know I am gearing this more towards women, I am doing this because of my personal experience. Men, I know you struggle with this as well. I hear you and I see you. This piece is still for you.
As someone who has struggled with food, my relationship with food, my relationship with myself, and body image, I get it. We have this "diet hope" that follows us around everywhere. We are hoping that this next diet will help us shed some weight and finally feel free and confident (it won't). We are constantly told if we are not on a diet, if we are not eating stereotypical diet foods, or have intentions to start a diet we are inadequate.
So, why do diets not work then?
Think about what you do before your diet. What do you do? Most of us, we have that "last supper". We binge eat on all our favorite foods the week or day before the new diet starts. We feel as though we will never be able to eat these foods again so we gorge on all of our favorite before we become "good".
This simple action, is setting you up for failure before you even begin. You are going into your new diet with the wrong mindset, intentions, and are likely going to fail. Let's say you are 100% on your diet for 7 weeks or however long it is.
What did you learn from this diet?
You cannot eat your favorite foods.
Your favorite foods are bad.
Your favorite foods will make you fat.
This diet is the only way to be thin.
This diet is the only way to keep weight off.
What happens right when you get off the diet?
You did not learn how to eat to maintain your weight.
You did not learn how to balance your favorite foods with the "healthy" ones.
You put weight back on because you didn't learn how to properly eat.
Worst of all, you binge on all your favorite foods you missed out on.
Diets do not work because we do not learn. We learn how to diet. We do not learn how to live our lives, eat for nourishment, or eat for a better quality of life.
Diets do not work because they destroy your relationship with food.
Diets do not work because you now believe in good vs bad foods.
Diets do not work because you now feel guilty every. single. time. you venture off your made up track and eat a slice of pizza.
Diets do not work because they thrive on us hating our bodies.
Diets do not work because they force us into this viscous cycle of restrict, binge, repeat.
Diets do not work because they fill our mind with lies.
Here are some truths for you. Write these down. Remember them.
You do not have to be on a diet. In a world that thrives on it's diet culture, walk the other way. If you want to lose weight, work with a professional who wants you to be HEALTHY as well as help you lose weight in a PROPER way.
You can eat your favorite foods while attempting to lose weight. Its called balance.
Your favorite foods will not make you fat, bingeing after restricting yourself and stocking up on all the extra calories will.
Our bodies want to live in a maintenance level. We are not meant to be dieting our whole lives. If you have been dieting most of your life, give your body a break.
You are freaking beautiful. If you do not feel this way, you need to work on yourself before you ever work on your body. Enjoy nourishing foods and feel the amazing way your body can feel at the stage it is in.
A healthy and nourishing diet is not the same as a diet focused on weight loss. Diets more often than not do not equal healthy.
There are no such things as good or bad foods. There are only foods that have higher nourishment qualities and some with lower. Both of these foods can be enjoyed in your meals, without guilt. Choose foods that make you feel good.
If you struggle with this. You are not alone. I have been there and I will always struggle with it. If you need advice to fix your relationship with food, reach out.