Does it seem to you like everyone you talk to is on a diet? It definitely seems that way to me. Either everyone is on a diet, or they’re “eating terribly”. It got me thinking, why would we want to live like this? My vision for myself, my loved ones, and for all of my clients, is that we no longer live this way. I want us all to feel good about what we eat- to enjoy our food and believe it is nourishing and fueling us for our best life. But our society is completely stuck in this diet culture, which makes it extremely hard.
Most of us think that we just need to diet long enough to reach our goals. We think “If I can just get to THIS weight” or “THIS size”, then I’ll feel good and happy. I’ll go on this diet just long enough to do that, and then I just won’t gain the weight back”. Sound familiar? How often does that ACTUALLY happen though? Keep reading to find out the top mistakes that cause people to diet again and again.
The Top 3 Diet Mistakes
- Using a crash diet. The simple fact is that if you can’t do it for the rest of your life, then you will not keep the weight off. Signs that a plan is actually a crash diet include: eliminating food groups or nutrients, calorie restriction, nutrient restriction, extreme exercise, rigid food or exercise plans, and more.
- Not Exercising. It’s virtually impossible to keep weight off without exercise. Even though you can lose weight with diet alone (the first time you lose), you won’t keep it off if you aren’t exercising. Another thing to remember is that while on a diet, the loss will come from both body fat and muscle. If you exercise, you can protect your muscle and lose more body fat. If you don’t exercise, then when you stop dieting, all the muscle you lost will be replaced with body fat, causing you to gain more weight than you lost and/or making it harder to lose it again.
- Using a negative body image as motivation. This is a bigger mistake than people realize. I can’t tell you how many times people say to me if they feel better about themselves, then they won’t be motivated to change. It sounds right. But it’s not. It is so so wrong. Here’s why- without realizing it, you are sabotaging your motivation. You end up not eating at all, and then eating junk because “why bother?”. The other thing to think about is that you’re likely making unhealthy choices as a result of negative feelings in the first place, which is what got you to the point of wanting to go on a diet in the first place. By changing how you view yourself, you change the motivation from negative to positive, making it easier to focus on the healthy benefits of food, which fixes your relationship with food, and your relationship with yourself, allowing your results to be lifelong. Remember- you can both love yourself as is AND want to make healthier changes.