Hello everyone, welcome to another Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup where Nicole from Fitful Focus, Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, grabbing our button and linking up with a healthy living post of your own.
Last week I shared my personal journey of becoming an intuitive eater and as promised, over the next few weeks I will be walking through the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating so that you too can start eating mindfully and enjoying life instead of worrying about food.
I feel like this post couldn’t possibly be coming at a better time. It’s only January 4th and the number of blog posts I’ve seen about starting the Whole 30 program or the conversations I’ve heard at the gym about detox diets is outrageous. The fact of the matter is, diets don’t work!
I know what you’re thinking – they work sometimes. We’ve all heard the stories. Your sister-in-laws friend who lost 20lbs in a month on this diet or your co-worker who dropped 3 dress sizes on that diet. But it’s important to look at the long term. Did that person keep the weight off or did they gain it back…and more.
The research cannot be clearer on diets. It doesn’t really matter what type of diet you choose — low-carb, Paleo, Atkins, etc. they all result in short-term weight loss. However, in the long term, the weight comes back and often brings more with it. Plus the yo-yo pattern of weight and intake can have significant effects on your health, your hunger signals, your metabolism and your mental status.
So in order to start down the journey of Intuitive Eating you need to take the first step — Reject the diet mentality. You have to accept and believe that diets don’t work. This step is critical to intuitive eating because the second you start to believe that this diet might be better, you will fall right back into the yo-yo pattern. This step is scary. We live in a culture obsessed with diets. Between your friends chatting at work, magazines showing you how to lose weight quick or your social media feeds of transformation pictures, getting sucked back into yet another diet is easy. But it hasn’t worked in the past. And it won’t work in the future.
Rejecting the diet mentality also goes further than giving up dieting. For me, aside from my food restriction phase in junior high, I’ve never dieted. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a diet mentality. The diet mentality includes looking at foods as good vs bad, having guilt when you eat certain foods, believing that you have failed if you eat certain foods, believing that you don’t have enough willpower to resist temptation, etc.
The first step to stop these thoughts is to acknowledge them. Negative thoughts around food can become so ingrained in us that we hardly notice we have them. So start by being mindful of your thoughts and opinions around food. Stop yourself when you start to have negative thoughts. So if you’re looking at a doughnut you might think – oh I shouldn’t eat that, it’s bad for me. Stop yourself and re-frame your thinking. Think that doughnut is just food. What I need to decide is whether or not I will eat it by asking myself a few simple questions. Am I hungry? Will it satisfy me? How will I feel after I eat it? (more on this to come in future principles).
I think getting rid of the diet mentality is the hardest step of intuitive eating. It’s hard not to believe a diet might work. Or to see someone’s body and think if only I could follow this plan, I would have that. But it’s not true. It’s this first step that will set you down the path to a healthy and happy relationship with food, so I hope you take it.
In what ways do you have a diet mentality? Do you still believe diets work?
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