The diet industry has erased our ability to eat intuitively. We are hyper conscious and scared of the ‘wrong’ food. Eating is now a moral dilemma.
The challenge of course for many people is the ‘fat’ that just doesn’t seem to shift and there are many individuals who would like to lose weight, for many reasons. Many people believe that the only way to lose weight is to control calories, eat ‘the right’ foods and diet.
If you feel that you are overweight and have tried dieting in the past, have you ever considered that dieting has made you overweight?
Pretty much all diets work (low carbs, high carbs, magic carbs, high fat, no fat, what fat…) if you are in a calorie deficit. Yet, statistically if you diet you are more than likely to gain back any weight you have lost and more after. So why bother?
When I was 17 I started in the fitness industry working out most days, learning about nutrition and how the body works. My motivation at the time was to lose weight. Being a typical teenager girl, I was body conscious and plighted by pesky comparisons with my peers and influenced by beauty standards. Many will resonate with the social pressures to conform to beauty ideals, and I believe it has become worse for teenagers – comparisons are not on a global scale and your worth can essentially be measured by number of followers and likes, but more on that another day.
So I began my first diet. As a result, I gained weight due to uncontrollable eating after calorie restriction. I became unhappier. Of course, the weight gain only spurred me on to diet harder, resulting in a pattern of yo-yo dieting through my early 20s.
I know many will resonate with my story. The good news is, I no longer diet ever. Yet I happily maintain my weight, eating what many would say is ‘bad’ foods everyday. You don’t have to diet either. In fact I strongly recommend you do not diet and stop immediately.
Here is my approach to helping my clients have freedom from dieting and find happiness in their body and lifestyles. This can simply be summarised as behaviour change using NLP techniques:
- Stop any sort of restriction or diet
- Change the associations of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods
- Address and overcome body normative ideals and comparisons
- Overcome judgements
- Develop self esteem through multiple areas of life (rather than through body image)
- Shift attention away from food, diet and body image to more enjoyable life activities
The reality is many of us know how to eat well to nourish and fuel our body. It’s impossible not to know what food are supposed to be better for you than others because of the diet industry and lifestyle culture having become so popular over the last several decades. Eat green stuff, eat less processed foods … etc.. bore… etc.. We know how to do it, yet so many still struggle to do it…
When you address the associations and meaning attached to food, body weight and eating habits, an individual has freedom from the external pressures of normative beauty ideals, freedom from the moral decision of eating right and wrong foods, and freedom to live life without dieting. Honestly, it was the best changes of my 20s.
So many of us are stuck in diet mindset because we still believe this is the only way to lose weight and be happy in our bodies. Yet we also know it doesn’t work and does the exact opposite. Behavioural change and a mindset shift is the alternative. That of course is scary, because you have to relinquish control over your eating and diet… but are you in control anyway?
Of course, you still have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight! But how much more fun does it sound to not be thinking about that calorie deficit and instead just enjoying life, eating well, what you want, when you want…
The objective is not to lose weight. The objective of this is to get you to a point where you just don’t care about your body shape, image or eating. The paradoxical beauty of this shift is very natural and sustainable weight loss. The less you think about food, the better.
I’m taking on 5 new coaching clients for 3 months to do exactly this. If you are interested, or know someone who is, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.