You can’t turn on the TV, go to a party or open a magazine without being confronted with our hottest obsession: weight. Diets are a billion-pound industry; companies spend millions and millions luring you to try the latest diet (low carb, high protein, low fat, no fat, 5:2, you name it) with promises that this will (finally!) be the solution—your shortcut to a thinner body. Advertising efforts also deeply affect our children, who develop distorted body images and are often on diets as early as nine or 10 years of age.
Our culture touts diet pills, celebrity workouts, convenience foods and trendy diets to help us achieve our desired weight, but these quick-fix solutions have backfired. The number of people with obesity in the UK has more than trebled in the last 25 years. The condition is reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions.. Diets steer us away from our common sense and dip deeply into our pockets while eliciting few, if any, lasting results. Why?
- Diets don’t work because each person is unique, with different needs based on gender, age, ancestry and lifestyle; how could one diet be right for everyone?
- Diets don’t work because they are extreme solutions. As in physics, if a pendulum swings to one extreme, it has to swing equally to the other. A diet might work for a short amount of time, but research shows that almost all diets result in a 10-pound gain once off the diet.
- Diets don’t work because they are too restrictive. People who fail on diet plans are not flawed or weak. Diets by nature require discipline and restriction at levels that are unsustainable by a healthy human body.
- Most people are disconnected from why they gain weight and see diet as the only culprit. For example, ignoring or discounting emotions is often the first thing to cause weight imbalances.
In our fast-paced world, we have lost sight of many aspects of life that truly nourish and balance our bodies, such as slowing down, eating a home-cooked meal and spending quality time with loving people. Eating consciously and making simple lifestyle changes will create positive results and release you from the endless cycle of dieting.
Given half a chance, your body will balance out by itself, but this is only possible by getting out of the diet mentality and listening to what you truly need. Imagine taking all of the outward energy you expend on diets, fads and gimmicks and turning it inward, so that you can listen to your heart and inner wisdom. There is no such thing as a quick fix; you already have everything you need within you. With careful thought and loving reflection, you can feed yourself in a nourishing way.
What does work is adding in new Healthy Habits slowly…
- Understanding our triggers
- Noticing how different food & drink make us feel
- Supporting ourselves with foods & factors which give us energy
- Being aware of our mindset
- Crowding out the things which no longer serve us
- Working on loving ourselves as we are now, not waiting for when we are thinner, fitter (you fill in your own blank)…
- Being Curious & interested in understanding how we feel & what we do, not criticising & judging ourselves
- Self Care & kindness to ourselves in our own heads when we look at ourselves in the mirror
- Acknowledging that you are human and if you are moving forward, that’s progress
- Accepting that perfection doesn’t exist
- Having an accountability partner
Working with your body rather than against it will bring you increased energy, stabilised weight and sustainable health. I know you can do it!