Acknowledging that diets don’t work is the first step in shifting from dieting to intuitive eating. Reflecting on your dieting history can help to recognize that even if some of your past diet experiences had resulted in weight loss, chances are it was temporary, inevitably leading to a weight gain afterwards and bringing you to a higher weight than you had started from before going on a diet.
Not only diets are ineffective, but also harmful. Decreased metabolism rate, intensified hunger (triggering bingeing), disorder eating and preoccupation with food and weight, increased risk for eating disorders, elevated stress and emotional strain are some of the negative effective of dieting on our health and well-being.
In challenging times like now, it’s important to preserve your internal resources for coping with stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Since diets suck up so much of your mental energy, taking you on an emotional roller-coaster, dieting will deplete your already limited resources, leaving you with low resilience to get through these stressful times.
Here are some steps you can take to help yourself moving away from the diet mentality:
- Unfollow weight-focused social media accounts, that glorify thinness, promote weight loss or suggest that your body is wrong and has to be altered.
- Ditch the scale. Waving this dieting tool goodbye can bring the liberation from linking your moods and hopes for a day and your self-worth with the number on display.
- Wardrobe spring cleaning. Contrary to a widespread belief, keeping outfits in smaller sizes than your current body is at, is not a good motivator for self care, but a big trigger for self hatred.
- Avoiding complimenting someone for a recent weight loss or complaining about how fattening the food you are eating is – are some examples of refusing to engage in body shaming / food moralistic talks.
- Surround yourself with weight-inclusive body-positive folks, building a community you can count on, when the diet culture tries to sneak into your life.
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