Are you stuck in a cycle of gaining-losing-gaining weight? Here are four simple steps to help you create a real change:
Why is it that when it comes to strict diet regimes people repeatedly fail, and yet they keep coming back for seconds? What causes everyone to start a diet every year at the same time (the beginning of summer or after the holidays), and then end up failing? The problem might not lie with us, but in the diets we choose.
How can that be?
The answer is somewhat complicated. You should think about being on a diet and eating freely as two separate worlds: a world that has rules and a world without any rules.
In the world that has no rules you can do whatever you want. There is no such thing as right or wrong, nobody enforces the law and everybody do as they please without taking a moment to think about consequences.
In the world that has rules, you know what’s right and what’s wrong. Everything is very clear, and there usually is more wrong then right. The big boss (our conscience) is watching and observing, and there’s no choice but to comply with its demands. The smallest slip and we get back to the world where everything is allowed.
In the first world everything is allowed. On one hand it feels very comfortable, but on the other hand it’s dangerous. It’s a messy world, with no kind of control that can eventually lead to unpleasant results.
On the other hand, the parallel world might offer strict organization, but it can also be stressful; forcing us to take responsibility and refrain from certain things, while knowing that only by following the rules we’ll be okay.
Being our own masters, we can decide for ourselves which world fits us best. The problem is when it’s hard to decide, and many times we go back and forth between worlds, which turns into a tedious excruciating and unending journey. That is, until you see things straight and look for a different way that brings the two worlds together.
How does all of this relate to dieting without a diet?
The literature about the failure of diets is endless, but this doesn’t hold us back from going back to what we know and where we feel safe – the world of diet rules. It’s a catch 22. People constantly repeat their acts by starting a diet filled with rules, declaring that “this time it will be different,” and after a while fail again. People start a diet (a world with rules) and experience failure (no rules) time and time again, even when they feel that this time will be different.
Yo-yo is bad? Yo-yo is terrible!
It’s time to reveal the truth: dieting isn’t the complete solution for a weight problem. It might be the most familiar way, might even be the easiest way, but unfortunately at the end of the road you’ll find it’s actually the fast lane for getting fat.
Humans are complicated creatures. We roam the world freely, go on trips, attend events, change our jobs, eat in restaurants, party and feel happy, get tired, and become stressed and busy. We’re real people and our world keeps changing. We’re always on the go.
Throughout our life, each of us gives according to our unique lifestyle, added meaning to food, which we get used to living with. We’re not even aware of some of those meanings. Some people find food reassuring, and some people go to food for love or company, freedom or rebellion, anger or hate, boredom or success, pride or disappointment.
This is the conflict: in our inner world food can be anything, but on the outside in reality, food is just plain food.
I want to lose weight, what should I do?
The answer is: don’t do. If the realm of diets has previously disappointed you and you’ve figured out it’s not the path for you, it’s time to relax, and untangle the rope you tied yourself into. Promise yourself: no more weight loss diets, the solution is dieting without a diet.
How does a diet without a diet work?
First, start by finding out your eating patterns. Investigate your relationship with food. When did it start? When did it deteriorate? What brought that on? Then you can start changing your eating pattern in 4 simple steps:
1. What do you eat?
Get to know what goes in your mouth. Many times we have no idea what we put in our body. Give yourself an exercise: write down everything you eat throughout the day at home, at work, and even in a holiday dinner. Do this for a week to find out what time you eat, where you eat, why you’re eating, or whether you only eat when you’re hungry? What makes you choose one food over another? How much do you eat? Know your eating.
2. How do you phrase yourself?
Start listening to the way you talk about food. What expressions do you use when describing your process of eating? Do you “devour” a pizza? “Grab” some cookies? “Eat” a salad? The language you use indicates the way you self-criticize. Eating – right, snacking – wrong. And here’s an important point: pizza and cookies are just as much food as any other. Start eating out of choice, and stop “grabbing”, “devouring”, “gobbling” or “snacking.”
3. What are you willing to change?
To answer this question, you can get assistance from a nutrition professional, like a registered dietitian. . By adjusting their recommendations to your requirements and not vice versa, you can achieve a true change.
For example, it’s known that eating five-to-six measured meals every two-to-three hours is correct, but not everyone can follow this recommendation. The formula is to follow this recommendation as closely as possible: don’t give up on yourself, but don’t give into yourself either.
4. Do you have time to be creative?
Come up with recipes that are healthy, interesting, tasty, and low in fat and sugar. Sign up for African dancing classes, start singing, drawing, or writing. Channel the energy you previously invested in eating (or in not eating) into different more interesting activities. Remember, the more liberated you become in your choices. the greater your chance of making a significant change in your life and in yourself.