5 Reasons I Don’t Diet (anymore)
After years of yo-yo dieting, the natural ups and downs in weight from having kids, followed by more dieting, 30-day challenges, and detoxes, I can finally say I don’t diet to maintain my weight.
The dieting mind-set is all about losing weight. It is a short-term band-aid focused on the results-how many pounds or inches or % body fat you lost. The result becomes more important than how you got there, if you can stay there, damage to your metabolism,if you lost muscle or lost your mind!
Since I was a teenager, I remember worrying that I was too fat. The first time I dieted, I was 17 and I did it with my mom. We did a very strict “lose 10 lbs in 3 days” plan. I remember one meal was 3 hot dogs and all the broccoli I could eat. Bleh! I also remember being really hungry and cranky, and though I did lose 8lbs, it was back on the next week.
In college, my weight ballooned up to borderline obesity and started to impact my health.
I lost about 30 lbs simply changing my eating habits, beginning to exercise and quite frankly, being too busy with school and work to over-eat. My health returned and I felt great.
Enter pregnancy, licensing exams, moving across country, and starting a new job. Yup, the weight I gained during pregnancy remained and began to creep up even more.
I did UltraLite, The Carbohydrate Lover’s Diet, South Beach, Eat to Live, I was a raw vegan and I did 30 day Paleo Challenges, I did it all and I lost weight, BUT I gained it all back.
Even though I have a medical education I believed that the answer
was ‘out there’ somewhere and I just needed to read
more diet books or blogs to find the right program, diet, or plan.
Starting about 1 year ago, I made the conscious decision to end all this craziness. I decided I would no longer diet, but invest this year into finding my own unique lean-lifestyle (my own “un-diet” or “don’t diet”)
I’m not saying I have it all figured out….I’m still learning, tweaking the program and adjusting, but I am making it work, my weight is maintaining, I’m not obsessed about food, my sanity is intact and I don’t diet!
Here are my top 5 reasons why I don’t diet anymore:
1. Diets are restrictive. I don’t want to give up my dark chocolate. I don’t want to give up my once a week NorCal Margarita. Putting any food on a restricted list, makes me crave it more! And it strains my willpower. Willpower can only last so long before it snaps. This is usually followed by binges, feelings of guilt, failure and often, we give up here and throw in the towel. Now, I don’t eat every thing I want every time I want it, but I can still enjoy a drink or treat without guilt. It’s no big deal. And the less I stress about what I eat/can’t eat, the less I find I gorge on those forbidden fruits.
2. They aren’t made for me (or you). What works for one person may not work for another. You are the only one of you and your unique food preferences, your metabolism, health issues, and lifestyle will determine the best plan for you. It could be 5 small meals a day, or maybe it’s easier to have two large meals a day. You won’t know until a try a few different methods and experiment on yourself but trying to shove yourself into a mold that doesn’t fit you, is like, well, trying to shove yourself into a mold that doesn’t fit you!
3. I gave away my power. When I diet and put my faith in a particular plan, I am surrendering to the belief that this doctor/nutritionist/fitness guru who has never met me, knows what is best for me and I am only along for the ride. If I lose some weight, the ‘diet’ worked, but inevitably when I re-gain the weight, I have failed. Enter the cycle of diet, fail, shame and remorse. I was frankly sick of listening to myself have the same conversations (in my head) over and over again about how I would ‘start again on Monday’. Until I took responsibility for my own choices and realized that the answer wasn’t ‘out-there’ in another 30-day challenge, I knew I would not be free. I dedicated this year to looking ‘in-here’ to why I was over-eating and finding my own, unique lean-lifestyle or “don’t diet”. It’s not quick and gimmicky, but it what works.
4. They don’t create a healthier lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is a result of healthy actions performed regularly. Short-term diets, cleanses, detoxs and challenges do nothing to change habits. They are a means to an end, and once at that end, most people lapse back to old habits.
5. They don’t work. It’s really that plain and simple. Study after study show that 95% of people who diet gain the weight back within 5 years (lets be honest, most of us gain it back in a few months). The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Diets, cleanses, challenges are short-term fixes. Just don’t diet. Though the ‘diets’ may have been varied, but by engaging in the “on” and “off” mindset I was destined to continue the same cycle of loss and gain.
Are you still riding this crazy-train?
These are the reasons I don’t diet anymore. If you really want to change your body and your health, dieting for a few months a year, followed by re-gaining the weight, isn’t going to have any impact. I have chosen to get off this crazy-train and don’t diet anymore.
Are you still riding? Or are you ready to “don’t diet’ too? I’d love to hear from you, comment and let me know what your plan for your “don’t diet” is.
Want to stay up in touch and get access to my most intimate and authentic information? Sign up below.