Questions to ask yourself to find out if you are still dieting by mistake:
If you have tried to lose weight without dieting before and it didn’t work for you then chances are you were holding on to a lot of diet ‘baggage’ without realizing it. So often people think they have stopped dieting but just because they have physically stopped, doesn’t mean they have mentally stopped. You can’t stop dieting with a diet mindset. You have to change the mindset first! Then comes the good stuff. The steady fat loss, the freedom around food and the healthy relationship with yourself and your body.
When you have been dieting on and off for most of your life, there are a lot of mindset shifts that happen over time that can hinder your weight loss rather than help it. Then when you try to stop dieting, it can be really difficult to know how to proceed because you have adopted a lot of beliefs and feelings around certain foods, often without even realizing it. Getting out of the diet mindset can be really difficult and take a long time. This is because you have to let go of a lifetime of beliefs and habits. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The first thing that tends to send serial dieters into a tailspin when they try to stop dieting is the lack of control they feel around food. A lifetime of trying to count calories and control food leads people to feel lost and like they will gain weight as soon as they loosen their grip on what they eat. The thought process that has been slowly wired over time to restrict food kicks in and causes panic.
The whole idea of not dieting feels like you are saying “ok eat all the pizza in the world”. When really you are saying “If I want pizza I can have it”. If you have dieted forever you more than likely have an all-or-nothing approach to food that you don’t even realize. You think that if you are going to have pizza you want to eat it ALL. In the beginning this can certainly be the case but it is important to consider where these feelings are coming from. You can have a leftover mindset of this being a ‘treat’ and the trouble with that is it feels naughty. You are still demonizing foods by considering them ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
When you find that balance of having a trust in what you eat then the ‘binge’ mentality also goes out of the window. When you stop seeing foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘treats’ then you will naturally eat the amount of that food that satisfies you.
In order to stop dieting you have to really understand the process. You have to dig down and figure out what your hidden diet beliefs really are in order to challenge them and form new and more supportive ones! Do you think carbs are the devil? Do you think you are greedy? Do you think you will never have control if there aren’t some restrictions in place?
Diets unfortunately teach us how to ignore our emotions, beliefs, values and bodies. They try to make us override everything that makes us, US! They create mindset patterns that are hard to break such as the all-or-nothing approach and they cause us to stop believing in ourselves and our ability to have the healthy life we want. They wire us to think we need them and cause more problems than they solve.
Stopping dieting without the right guidance can be so difficult because they cause us years of emotional damage from countless failures over time. If you want to stop dieting and start being healthier then the most valuable thing you can do is to figure out what your relationship to food really is so that you can repair it.
What common diet beliefs are you still hanging on to?
If you are ready to stop dieting or to try to stop dieting again, then I would love to hear more from you about which aspects you struggle with the most!
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