As weight loss specialist, I can hand on heart say, I fully believe diets do NOT work! They are not sustainable long term. How many diets have been the latest craze that we have all rushed to try? Suddenly we are over it, it has not worked and were intrigued by the next new shiny diet, because this time it’ll work right? Nope.
All diets do is make us miserable for a while until we give up. And when we give up the weight comes back, usually with little more too. So whichever diet we choose, we essentially restrict either a food group or the amount of food we are eating. When we restrict something from our diet, it becomes something we have to consciously focus on, in order to make the choice not to eat it. If someone tells you not to think about elephants… what is the first thing you think about? You cannot help it. So by bringing chocolate, or whatever you are cutting out, to the forefront of you mind, it is suddenly all you want! You then are left with 2 choices: firstly, you can do exactly what you intend to do and not eat chocolate. Great right?! For a few days yes. And then you become miserable and the more miserable you become, the harder and harder it is to keep it up and as many of us will know, emotional eating starts to creep in and nothing will make us feel better than that big slab of Galaxy! The second thing that happens is that the minute your mind focuses on not eating chocolate, you want chocolate. More than ever before and you have to have it now. You make it less than a day, you feel bad about yourself which inevitably drives you to want to eat – more chocolate! There is no way to win.
However if you decide you are going to eat what you want, when you want, the chances are, you don’t want all that chocolate (or whatever you are cutting out) half as much as you think. Instead you just forget about it. And if you do want it from time to time, you have it, you enjoy it and you do not feel guilty. All is fine as you continue to be happy and emotional eating is kept at bay. Just by taking the focus away and having the knowledge that you can eat what you want will help you to eat consciously.
If you are eating when you know you are not hungry or you are craving something you know you don’t really want to be eating, ask yourself why. Far too often, we use food to stuff down emotion that we do not want to deal whether we are consciously aware of it or not. If you find yourself going for the chocolate everyday with no idea why, write down your thoughts and your feelings each time. That way you start to identify triggers. So many people use food as a source of comfort and during my 10 week course, I have often found about half way through many people have ‘breakthrough’ moments where they suddenly realise exactly why they have been using food this. Whether we are subconsciously using weight to keep relationships at bay or because we don’t feel we deserve to lose weight and be happy, identifying those reasons is key to change.
So give up the diets. Focus on your mind. The only thing you should be restricting from your life if negative thoughts. Our behaviours are completely driven by our thoughts and feelings and a happy mind will lead to happy eating. Work on your mind and your body will follow.
For extra support please visit my free Facebook weight loss support group – think yourself thin.