Have you ever been on a diet or program, diligently watching what you eat, counting your calories and/or carbs and turning away any desserts, drinks, and/or "unhealthy" items offered to you?
Chances are you have. And even bigger chances are, you did great with it.
You lost weight, drop a few sizes and stuck with it for as long as you could. Then you splurged, had one cookie or piece of cake, and found yourself spiraling off of your diet and straight into all of the unhealthy items you had been deprived of. You may find yourself gaining even more weight than you had lost, going up a few sizes and even bingeing on more food than usual.
The reason this happens is because of the stress you put on your body and yourself to keep to a perfect, strict dietary protocol.
When you diet, in any form, you can easily feel deprived. This doesn't include food allergies, intolerances, religious.moral beliefs or addictions here, those are a different story. This is more about diets that cut out all sweets, forbid grain-filled carbs, swear off meat and cheese, and never allow you a latte or glass of wine. it is also the diets where you spend all of your time counting carbs, fats, points and calories with each snack or meal.
Diets like these can leave you feeling like you are missing out on something. They can make you feel restricted and then you are more likely to not just splurge but to full on binge and fall off the wagon for day, months, or years at a time. These are the things that can make you boomerang back to the weight you were before your diet, and maybe even a bit more.
And you know why? Because they stress you the heck out!!
When you are stressed two things usually happen:
1) You reach for comfort foods all day and all night. Then you feel guilty, you restrict yourself more, and then you start the cycle all over again. Binge and restrict, binge and restrict.
2) Your body perceives stress as a threat and holds onto as much as it possibly can. Ever wonder why you gained five pounds over one super stressful weekend, even if you didn't change your eating habits? Probably not from the food, but form the stress. For me, I balloon up fast when I am stressed. Way back in the day, stress meant famine, lack of food, and war. So our bodies were made and adapted to hold onto food when the signal was sent.
So what to do instead? Stop stressing and dieting, and instead cut yourself some slack.
When you cut loose and ditch the diets, you have no restrictions. You are free to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. When you allow yourself to eat anything at any time, those indulgent choices stop being such a big deal. Your strong cravings will disappear after awhile and you find that you are making better choices naturally. And when you do want a cookie or a glass of wine, you can have one because you know it won't lead to much more.
That little indulgence might be the thing you need to keep you "on track." Not a little indulgence every meal, every snack, and every day. But a glass or two or wine here and there, a cookie when a friend bakes them for you, or a treat at a party.
It also takes the stress out. If one night you want to just have fun, you might actually bring your spirit up for days, reignite a spark, and find you have more to live for than just food. The less stress you have, the better you can feel, and the more you'll naturally incorporate healthy, satisfying choices into your life, without feeling like you have to "diet" forever.
If you are ready to give up on dieting forever, leave a comment below with your goal or schedule a free session to discuss your health and wellness goals and struggles.