We’ve all wanted to lose weight at some point or another. Whether it’s 5 lbs., 25 lbs. or maybe 50 lbs. Well, today I want to bust one of the big myths surrounding weight loss: Diets don’t work!
Why? Because diets ultimately create restrictions in order to lose weight. When we feel restricted, we naturally feel deprived and deprivation leads us to feeling as though we’re missing out on something. And when we feel like we’re missing out, we feel bad. It’s like being the kid at school who is the last one chosen for a team. You ask yourself, “how come everyone else got picked first and I didn’t?” Or in the case of a diet, “why does it seem to work for everyone else but me?”
Tweetable Let’s talk about diet in a way that it’s about our daily food choices vs. restrictions. @staceycrew
Here are the 5 mistakes people make when attempting to lose weight:
1. Not asking for help — If your current food choices are not helping you achieve your weight loss goal, then what do you choose to eat? Consult with a trained professional to provide recommendations based on YOU. We’re all built differently and have different likes and dislikes. This person would be someone who understands many dietary theories, not just a single diet. For example, paleo may not be right you and Gluten-free may not be necessary. A trained professional will take into account what you’re currently eating and help devise a specialized plan that’s unique to YOU!
2. Trying an off-the-shelf “diet” — “Diets” were created to encourage people to follow a strict regimen and count calories. Simply by crowding out carbonated drinks, fried foods, and packaged or processed food-like products and incorporating more water, fruits and veggies, you will by default shift how you feel and naturally lose weight.
Tweetable The biggest myth surrounding weight loss is that you have to be regimented in what you eat. @staceycrew
3. Not allowing oneself to have a set back — NO one is perfect! We all struggle with issues and this is why it’s important to treat yourself just as would the people you love the most. Next time you catch yourself saying in your mind “Oh, you suck. You can’t do this. Blah blah blah,” remind yourself that you wouldn’t say that to a loved one. Be kind, caring and compassionate with yourself. Know that set-backs are inevitable. Just get back in it and try again.
4. Shame — This is the killer of any joy you will experience in your life. Eliminating the shame surrounding how many times you’ve tried to lose weight is so important. Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Hate to break it to you, but if you haven’t done something shameful by mid-life, you haven’t been living. It’s all part of life. Work through what’s holding you back and know that we’ve all had distress over foolish behavior. You’re a beautiful work in progress!
5. Cheating — When attempting to lose weight or simply get healthy, it’s important to maintain integrity. When we cheat, we are only circling back to shame because we are hiding what we’re doing. As mentioned above, setbacks are normal. In fact, calling it what it is will actually make you feel empowered. A “cheat day” (this type of cheat is ok because it’s intentional!) will remove any guilt and shame associated with jumping off the wagon temporarily. Just get back on and continue to do your best. Eventually you’ll make the choice to stay on the wagon because it usually feels better.
So I want to help you reframe how you think about health & nutrition to a perspective of simply “making better choices.” Consider re-defining what the term “diet” means to what we choose to eat on a daily basis. Then we are empowered to do what we know is right for our body, mind and spirit. No one likes to be told what to do, so take back your power and no longer be at the mercy of anyone else’s judgment.
Your body will thank you for giving it nutritious food.
Do you think diets work? Have any particular diets worked for you in the past? And what works for you today. Let’s get the conversation started below.
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