Ditch Your Diet

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If you want to lose weight, ditch your diet.  It won’t work.  In fact, studies have shown that weight lost via “dieting” doesn’t work 95% of the time.  Why waste your energy dieting?!  If you really want to lose weight, whether it’s to look better, feel better or otherwise, shift your attitude.  Instead of going on a “diet” to lose weight, put your focus on “getting healthy.”   Diets are temporary.  Health is a life long project.
Why weight loss diets don’t work …

Diets take joy out of eating.
  Instead, joy is replaced with a sense of scarcity and deprivation (“I can’t have this, I can’t have that”), and a sense of guilt (“I ate chips with my lunch”), etc..  When we eat, we literally ingest the attitudes we have at the time we are eating.  Do you want to ingest guilt and deprivation, or abundance, joy — and satisfaction?  If you carry deprivation around with you, you’ll binge the first chance you get.  Then, you’ll feel guilty about it.  Its a vicious cycle.

Diets Drain Your Energy. 
Yes, literally they do drain your energy because you aren’t eating.  But more importantly they shift the focus of your energy to things like calorie counting, scale watching, and food obsessing.  This leads to low energy, depression, negative self talk, lowered metabolism, and a distraction from making the energy investment into healthy habits for a healthy you.   Should your day really be spent obsessing over what you ate, or ruined because the scale was a bit heavier than yesterday?

Diets Alter Your Bodies Equilibrium: 
When in balance, your body will burn fuel (food) efficiently. It will take the nutrients it needs, and eliminate toxins.  When you diet, you are messing with what we call “Agni” (or digestive fire) in Ayurveda.  The consequence?  You don’t take in the nutrients you need, and instead you build up toxins.  Obviously, when you are overweight you are not in balance.  But a restrictive diet won’t do you any favors – and will likely confuse your body more.

Diets Leave You Hanging: 
First, they don’t get to the root cause of why you need a diet.  IE:  Are you overweight because of bad habits?  Uncontrolled emotional eating?  Lack of exercise?  A medical condition (physical or psychological) that requires professional help? You won’t lose weight for good unless you address the underlying cause of “why” you are overweight to begin with.  This is why most people, 95%, will return to their pre-diet weight as they continue doing what they were doing before the diet.

Why getting healthy does work ….

When you focus on getting healthy, you are focused on the positive aspects of living.  Your commitment to health is a gift to yourself.  It’s that simple.  You’ve replaced self loathing with self love.  So start right now, and get rid of the scale, and please please please stop counting calories.  It will only drive you (and those around you) crazy.  Here are a few ways to get started ….

  1. Make eating a satisfying ritual.  Put the joy back into eating!  Is joy what you feel as you go through the McDonalds Drive thru?  Probably not.  Do you feel joy when you’ve put energy into preparing what it is your are going to eat, with people you love to share it with?   Probably!  And, yes, this can be done with simple foods and convenient cooking.

  2. Adopt healthy habits, start with food.  Rather than focusing on what you need to get rid of, focus on healthy habits you can adopt. IE:  Chewing your food, sitting down while eating, eating real food (this is food that doesn’t come in a box, can, bag or freezer – including restaurants which usually serve food that is in wrapping.  Healthy habits make you healthy. Unhealthy habits leave you unhealthy.  Which do you prefer?

  3. Exercise.  You won’t get healthy unless you exercise.  Bottom line.  Your body was designed to move, so move it!  Use it, or lose it.  It’s true.  We know exercise not only helps with weight loss, but makes it easier to keep it off.  It helps with depression, reduces heart disease, and on and on…. The best part, is that you will feel and look amazing because you will be happier.

  4. Get professional help if needed.  Some people do require medical supervision, psychiatric help or guidance from a holistic health professional to lose weight.  If you need help, ask.  Those who love you will appreciate your choice.

While the list of things you can do to “get healthy” is long, these core basics will improve your quality of life and hopefully leave you feeling better, looking better and living happier.

About Post Author

Jean Keese

I inspire people just like you to thrive in mind and body by incorporating Ayurvedic self-care rituals into daily life. I work with clients virtually - or, in my boutique Pilates & Ayurveda studio in McCall Idaho. I love to write, and help other like-minded businesses with their marketing and public relations. When I'm not working with clients or writing, I'm wrangling children or farm animals - or I'm out on a trail, river, or lake. I prefer to travel by bike or foot but have been known to also travel by horse, boat and ski.
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