Why it’s time to ditch the diet

Yes, I said it – ditch the diet. The dieting cycle trap is one we’re all too familiar with. It’s a path many of us are led down early on in our lives that leads to restriction and an unsustainable lifestyle. The main problem with diets is that they are telling YOU what to eat vs. you checking in with your body. By moving away from diets and tuning into your internal cues, you’ll not only feel more satisfied but have increased body image, less urge to binge or feel guilty around food. 

Early on, we are taught how to diet but not how to eat for enjoyment, satisfaction and nourishment for our individual bodies. 

Why are diets dangerous? 

– Diet culture brainwashes us into thinking that food should be tracked, counted, measured which reduces our self worth to just numbers

– Dieting emphasizes food as “good” or “bad”, as a reward or punishment and destroys our relationships with food and our bodies 

– Diet Culture worships thinness and equates it to health, happiness and status which means you can spend your whole life thinking you’re irreparably broken just because you don’t look like the impossible thin ideal

– Diets are not long term, sustainable way of living and we tend of think of ourselves as the failure instead or the diet that simply doesn’t fit within our life and our body. Breaking free from diet culture is hard work but worth the freedom

Where do I start once I stop dieting? 

  1. Go at your own pace: Diets that have strict timelines are intended to create results that are quick, but not sustainable. If you’re truly focused on long-lasting health and happiness there is no need to put unnecessary restrictions on yourself. Take one day at a time and Implement changes at a pace that works for you. Try to get creative and experiment such as a new fruit/vege every time you go shopping, test out new spices and recipes, etc. As long as you keep moving forward, you are doing great!
  1. Ditch the Labels: When you label foods, you start to label your experience with it as well. If we label a food as “bad” or “good” it influences your perceptions of the food and your experience with it. If you think you’re eating “bad” food, you tend to associate guilt or shame or restriction when it comes to eating. When you ditch the diet (and the labels) you give yourself permission to choose the food you want to eat and enjoy them too! When foods become something you can have any day, it establishes the trust in your body that this isn’t the last time you’ll be able to eat that food — so it starts to get rid of the last supper mentality. 
  1. Mindful Eating: Bringing mindfulness, awareness and curiosity to your eating habits goes a long way. Mindful eating helps you not only notice your hunger but also when you’re satisfied and full. Plus, you’ll be able to be present and actually enjoy the taste of your food! Before your meal, pay attention to your surroundings, take 3 deep breaths and allow yourself to bring your attention to chewing and eating this delicious meal. The less distractions at the table, the better! 
  1. Crowd Out: The more wholesome foods you add to your existing diet (the better you’ll feel) and the less you’ll crave junk. Your palette will appreciate a greater variety of healthy ingredients. You’ll literally crowd out the unhealthy foods until you reach a balanced diet that is sustainable and makes you feel great – even if that still includes an occasional guilt-free indulgence!  

Most importantly, be kind, trust and listen to your body.

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