I’ve been a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice for over 28 years now. Wow, hard to believe. And a lot has changed in the industry in the last 28 years. When I first got out of school and opened my business, I was mostly treating patients for medical conditions using nutrition therapy. These conditions included uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, gastrointestinal conditions, to name a few.
In most of these cases, except for some of the gastrointestinal conditions, weight loss was always a part of the treatment plan. I created a nutrition plan that included a meal plan tailored to the patients’ medical condition and weight loss goals. My patients were getting better and losing weight. It all seemed so perfect.
At some point, I asked myself what can I do to help prevent these illnesses or the complications from occurring due to their diseases. Again, weight loss was usually part of the prevention plan and my patients wanted a meal plan to follow, which I obliged to.
Yet, at some point about 5-6 years ago, I realized that these meal plans are actually doing a disservice to many of these patients. The meal plan turned into a diet for them to follow and they just didn’t know how to navigate certain situations in their lives when they couldn’t “follow” the meal plan I created. These included vacations, weddings, deaths, job loss and other events and circumstances. They then felt guilty, ashamed and upset that they just couldn’t “do it”. They lost total confidence and trust in themselves.
Can you relate?
This is when I turned my attention to helping people break free of dieting to learn how to re-trust themselves and their bodies again to make the food choices that feel right for them. Yes, this is where my intuitive eating work comes in.
But here is what I have found.
As I started talking about and spreading my message about giving up dieting, all of a sudden the internet was swarming with coaches doing the same thing. It caught on like wildfire! It seems like every other day there is another summit with ‘expert interviews’ telling you how to give up dieting.
I’ve been on these summits, and I do believe they can be very helpful. But I also believe that there comes a point where you need to stop collecting information and start taking action. That’s when the real change happens.
So, in theory, yes, giving up dieting is your answer to finally achieving the body and life you want without food restriction, deprivation and feelings of guilt after you eat. But, if you don’t begin to practice this, you will continue to struggle.
3 Tips to Help You Start Taking Action
- Stop signing up for every “end dieting” summit that pops up in your newsfeed. Choose 1 or 2 experts that you resonate most with and follow them (hint…I hope I’m one of them).
- Pick one action step and focus on that for one week. Self-assess each evening to see how you feel with your progress. When you are ready, add a second action step and so on. Don’t take on too many changes at once.
- See support to help you on your journey. These changes are tough! Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful! There is no reason to go this alone. An RDN coach can walk the journey with you and support you. If you’d like to see how I can help you, just contact me here.
I am excited for you that you have made the commitment to give up dieting forever. I also know how scary that thought is. Please don’t let that fear keep you in the “gathering information” phase. Start taking action today. I am here to support you.