If diets are designed to fail, what’s the answer?
You’ve heard the statistic that diets last on average 6 weeks.
Basically, we can grin and bear the deprivation for about 40 days, and then we give up in despair.
The only people benefitting from your diet ‘failures’ is the repeat business the dieting industry is guaranteeing on.
So what’s the answer? Do we give up on our health and weight loss goals?
Of course not but where’s the balance?
In this blog, I will discuss 7 keys to understanding how to go from dieting to creating a healthy lifestyle.
1. Eating is such an emotional topic and an emotional activity.
We eat for EVERY reason… happy, sad, bored, procrastination you name it, we eat at any opportunity.
So becoming aware of ‘why’ we eat can be the beginning of creating a lifestyle rather than continuing on the dieting merry-go-round.
2. Food is calling us at every turn.
We’re tempted every day, not by a steaming bowl of broccoli, but hyper-tantalising, calorie-rich foods that are specifically designed to hit that addictive part of your brain so it seems like you have no control over the next mouthful.
It’s important to understand – you’re not a failure or weak-willed because the moment that sweet creamy chocolate or that salty crisp chip is on your lips, you want more.
Manufacturers spend millions on creating the perfect combination of fat, sugar, and salt that hits the same part of the brain as drugs and alcohol, which they know will keep you coming back for more.
3. One way to navigate temptation is knowing if you’re a moderator or an abstainer.
Believe it or not, there are people who can moderate, yes they can have one square of chocolate and be satisfied, yes they actually put the block back into the fridge and in most cases forget it exists.
To us abstainers, this is inconceivable.
It doesn’t mean I never eat chocolate it just means I don’t keep chocolate in the house and then I might choose to eat chocolate when I’m out socially.
Don’t let the naysayers make you feel like a failure because you can’t moderate, your health is your journey, and finding what work’s for you is the key.
Sure I could invest some serious time and ‘learn’ how to moderate, but setting myself up for success has worked really well for me and my clients.
You can read more abstainers and moderators in the great blog by Gretchen Rubin
4. How to beat feeling deprived.
Part of creating a lifestyle is finding healthy versions of your ‘fave’ sweet or salty treats so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
Creating meals that you find satisfying and delicious so there’s no deprivation.
If I’m looking for a sweet treat after dinner I’ll usually have baked apples or sweet potato pudding, or black bean brownies (although they are more of a birthday or holiday treat).
5. Guidelines rather than rules.
When I transitioned to a sober lifestyle – I did an experiment and started with ONE guideline…
Before I have an alcoholic drink I will have ONE alcohol-free drink, and lo and behold not only did I live to tell the tale, I actually enjoyed the experience so much I kept repeating it.
And now because I’m an abstainer I find it easier to not drink at all rather than moderate.
So begin with a guideline that helps you achieve your goal and then you decide how you want to engage with that food moving forward.
6. Let’s experiment.
Strategic experiments mean you get to experience what it’s like to do something different without the restriction of feeling like it has to be forever.
So while I did white-knuckle Febfast or DryJuly (3 extra days!) I also learnt a lot about how alcohol affected me. I slept better – no more waking up at 2am and not being able to get back to sleep. I didn’t wake up with cravings and my hunger levels were more balanced during the day.
I will always encourage my clients to do experiments. So many women have daily abdominal pain and bloating, low energy, poor sleep, headaches, constipation, and hormonal problems, that simply disappear when they make a few key changes to their diet.
This can be enough motivation to work on making this new way of eating a lifestyle.
7. The final piece to the puzzle… Education.
It’s one thing to experience how good you feel when you change your diet – but when you combine that with an understanding of how that is benefitting your body it can create a tipping point.
For example, you do an experiment and ditch dairy for 3-4 weeks and experience the difference, plus educate yourself on the harmful effects of this hormonal liquid https://naturallynic.com.au/can-you-ditch-dairy-what-about-your-cheese-addiction/
Then you get to decide if the guidelines are based on whether you’re an abstainer or a moderator, and then we find delicious healthy alternatives so you feel satisfied and can make eating with this guideline a lifestyle.
The power lies in you understanding YOU and what works for your life, so you can create habits that become a lifestyle that nourishes and supports your health.
A lifestyle where we don’t get sucked into all-or-nothing thinking, one that has flexibility and balance.
So what can you experiment with today?
If you’d like some ideas you can grab my FREE tutorial and get started today.
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