We all know a lot about diets and dieting. We’ve tried and failed at so many that by now we’re real experts.
Diets are universally dreaded. Diets conjure up images of deprivation and of sad longing for favorite foods.
Yet, we cling to them like life rafts as we bob along in the open sea of dissatisfaction with our weight.
With the precision of a drill sergeant, we’ve scrutinized and tweaked our food choices, counted calories and measured portion sizes. We’ve eaten fewer calories than ever before.
But still, our diets fail us.
Is there anything left to do that can actually create sustainable weight loss?
Well, yes, there certainly is.
I’m excited to explain why you don’t need a “diet” to lose weight and keep it off and what you do need instead.
Diets are a temporary fix not a long term solution.
At the beginning of every decision to diet, I was highly motivated and always hopeful that this time would be different. I was game to try almost anything to lose weight except drugs. Never did try fen-fen or other stimulants but no judgement here.
I was confident I could tough out any diet program long enough to lose weight. And when I was younger, I could. When the diet was over I’d sigh with relief, so eager to eat my favorite foods again.
Of course, I promised myself that when I returned to “normal” eating, I’d be more conscientious about my choices, portion sizes and control my desire to over eat too much of any good thing.
Although whatever diet program I tried worked in the short term, to one degree or another, keeping off the weight felt like trying to roll a boulder uphill. I didn’t do that very well.
What I didn’t realize was how my ingrained behaviors and thought habits were getting in my way.
I made every diet about calorie and micro-nutrient control, trying to reduce or eliminate certain foods or food groups and ramp up others. I was dependent on willpower to white-knuckle my way through temptations, urges and cravings. The calories in/calories out equation ruled.
My whole concept of diets and dieting was dominated by rules for good/bad behavior and good/bad food designations. There was a self-critical voice in my head ready to call me out on my missteps and failures.
I didn’t understand that my habits around thinking about eating and food set me up for failure every time.
Diet mentality comes loaded with many limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are those well-worn thoughts that undermine your efforts to realize your dreams and goals. From years of conditioning, your brain, in an effort to conserve energy, offers up many well practiced default thoughts.
These limiting beliefs hold you back from going after what you want. They are hard, although possible, to dislodge.
They inhibit you from thinking new thoughts that support and encourage you to embrace whatever shifts and changes are required to achieve new goals.
Diet mentality is fueled by a nagging inner critic that demands your attention.
After years of disappointing diets, it’s hard to be hopeful when you imagine trying again.
In a misguided effort to conserve energy and protect you, that nagging inner critic tries to stop you from making changes that will challenge its limiting beliefs.
They seem so true.
Does it try to discourage you from trying again by warning that this time won’t be any different than the last?
Do you find yourself thinking, “Who am I kidding, diet’s don’t work. Why bother?” Or, “Diets are nothing but months of deprivation and starvation. That’s no way to live.” Or, “What’s the point, I’m only going to gain back the weight anyway.”
Years of discouraging results have ingrained a litany of limiting beliefs in your brain. These default thoughts are at the ready to douse any tiny flickering flame of hope that this time might be different.
But let this time be different.
Drop the Diet mentality and cultivate an Intentional Eating Lifestyle mentality instead.
I use the world lifestyle for a reason. Diets connote a temporary condition with a finish line. Lifestyle connotes a way of life that becomes second nature. It has no end point. It’s the way you design the life you want to live.
An Intentional Eating Lifestyle mentality focuses on the integrity of your physical and emotion health and well-being for the long term.
It’s not tied to any idealized body size, shape or weight. Instead, it stresses cultivating a nuanced awareness and understanding of your habits of thought and behaviors around food and eating so you can shift them into new ones that better serve you.
An Intentional Eating Lifestyle mentality is one you build by one intentionally chosen thought after another. By one intentionally chosen action after another. By one intentionally built habit after another.
It gives you space to experiment, learn, evaluate and adjust over time. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a sustainable fix.
This Intentional Eating Lifestyle mentality is the approach I used to groove many new habits of thinking and behaving that became the new foundation of my relationship with food, my body and my weight.
No diet ever did for me what creating an Intentional Eating Lifestyle has done.
You don’t need a diet to lose weight.
You don’t need someone telling you exactly what to eat, the right portion sizes and points or calorie to count.
Once you learn how to harness the power of your brain’s natural inclinations and the basics of metabolic science, you will have a set of skills and tools to develop the lifestyle you need to support weight loss.
Your power lies in becoming aware of your current thinking, behaviors and habits around food and eating.
Your control lies in recognizing them and deciding whether they are helping or hindering you.
I can help you learn how to lose weight without a diet.
I can help you create a sustainable Intentional Eating Lifestyle that integrates into your real life.
Let me know it’s time for us to talk by scheduling an appointment for a free Strategy Call so you can see what’s possible for you to accomplish.
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