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Dangers of Chronic Dieting

ScaleWhile many people can admit to dieting at some point in their lives, there is a difference between wanting to lose weight the healthy way (slow and steady) or relying on fad diets that promise quick fixes.

The problem with fad diets is that they will most likely last just as long as it took you to lose the weight.  Instead of losing weight gradually over time and being able to maintain the weight loss, these short-lived diets will actually end up costing you more than you bargained for.

Because of their quick-fix results, many people unfortunately get caught up in the cycle of dieting for a specific event, gaining the weight back, and then trying a new fad the next time.  This is known as chronic dieting.

While these may work in the short-term, there can be negative long-term effects such as:

Slowed Metabolism– When dieting consists of a drastic decrease in caloric intake, your body will compensate for this “starvation mode”, which will slow the rate of your metabolism.  While many diets claim to speed up metabolism, they are actually doing the opposite.

More Challenging to Lose Weight– Over time, after numerous fad diet episodes, it will be harder for your body to lose excess weight, and even harder to gain back the lean muscle mass that you have lost.  After a quick-fix diet, youhave lost mostly water weight and muscle, so when you do gain weight back, it is not muscle, it is fat.  Therefore, although you may lose initial weight, the chances of you gaining even more fat back after your success is extremely high.

Altered Mood– What happens when you get hungry?  You get angry!  Not having the appropriate amount of food in your system can affect your mood because of hormonal changes and a lower level of blood sugar.  With less energy being consumed, the more tired you become as well. Is losing weight in an unhealthy fashion worth being tired and in a bad mood for?

Nutrient Deficiencies– Some diets restrict certain nutrients such as carbohydrates or complete food groups, such as dairy.  When you aren’t eating well-balanced meals, you are likely missing some essential nutrients that can lead to deficiencies and disease.

The next time you hear of a fad diet that is too good to be true, it probably is! There are many ways to lose weight fast, but they certainly are not healthy and over time can lead to further health complications. Eating well-balanced meals and letting your body guide you while incorporating consistent exercise is the true way to long-term weight loss and a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Your turn to take action:  What will you do to finally step off the diet roller coaster?

Here We Go Again-Another Fad Diet

Woman on scaleJust a mere couple of months into 2013 and Americans have latched on to a new “magic bullet” called “The Fast Diet.”  To summarize, the “Fast Diet” recommends limiting your calories on two, non-consecutive days during the week to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men.  The other five days you are free to eat whatever you want.  The creator of the diet, a doctor from Britain, claimed that following this plan resulted in his own 20 pound weight loss in two months, as well as reduction in his blood sugars and abdominal fat.

However many experts are skeptical due to the lack of human testing.  Without proper research, it is unethical to make a statement to the public that this diet is safe.  Any diet restricting calories to under 1000 is suspect because no human being, no matter what their weight, should be consuming that little energy if they want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The up and down caloric patterns that occur on a day to day basis also throws off your metabolism and keeps it from working in a regular rhythm, something that could actually cause weight gain.  Another issue is it encourages erratic, mindless eating on the 5 days of the week that you are not fasting by telling people to “eat however they want.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to always eat “however you want”?  Well, that is what the iEat Mindfully™ program is all about, minus restricting calories and having to follow any rules!  Unlike the type of mindless eating the “Fast Diet” encourages five days a week, the iEat Mindfully™ program encourages you to eat whatever you want by honoring your true hunger and respecting your fullness.  It is not a diet, but rather a way of life.  There are no unhealthy restrictions on any day of the week.  You simply learn what your body needs, and have a mutual respect for it and the food that you consume.

Like fashion, diets are nothing more than trends.  They come and go with the season.  However knowing your body and living a healthfully is always in style.

Your turn to take action: What are some diet trends that have let you down?  Have you made a commitment to give up dieting?

Eating for Wellness, Not Weight Loss

When you are a child, there are so many exciting things to experience every day, and meals and snacks are just a part of the routine.  Life is not driven by your meals and snacks and whether or not you will eat the “right” or “wrong” food.  There is pleasure in the friends you are with and the joys each day brings.
When you focus too much on eating and dieting, food begins to control your life rather than being a part of your day.  You find yourself cancelling your lunch date with your friends because you are afraid there will be nothing on the menu that you “can” eat.  You find you are lacking energy to do daily tasks because you are eating very little calories because your plan “told you too.”  These are all food rules that you are following to hopefully lose weight and they are removing the pleasurable experiences from your life.

 

Instead of focusing on your food as a tool for weight loss, focus on it as a tool for wellness.  Food is fuel.  It should not prevent you from living your life, but rather it should help you live your life.  For example, do not skip breakfast because you are worried you will overeat the rest of the day.  Have a hearty nutritious breakfast such as oatmeal with fruit and nuts or scrambled egg whites in a whole grain tortilla.  You will see how much energy you have to start your day and will find you are not “starving” by lunchtime.

 

Promise yourself you will not miss plans with friends because of the venue they are eating at.  Be mindful of your hunger, order something that you are going to enjoy, but honor your fullness and know when it’s time to stop.

 

By making food a positive force in your life, you will end that unhappy relationship and be on your road to wellness AND weight loss.  Your decisions will no longer be controlled by food, but what you want to do and what you want to eat.  As long as you keep the principles of intuitive eating in mind, you are good to go!

 

What is one food rule you live by that does not coincide with eating for wellness, and how will you change it?

Change the Tape that Plays in Your Head

tape 2It can be frustrating to not achieve the weight loss goals you have set out for yourself.  Often you might see this as a failure and a reflection of who you are as a person.  You therefore develop a negative internal monologue with yourself that tends to only perpetuate weight gain or the inability to lose weight.  Bullying yourself is not the way to long lasting weight loss, nor is it part of a healthy lifestyle.

Many times the roadblocks in the journey to weight loss are not a lack of nutrition education or even support, but rather they are barriers you put up in your own psyche that prevents you from moving forward.  Your emotional health is key to your physical health, and talking yourself down will not lead to success.  How many times have you eaten what you consider “poorly” or not in keeping with your “diet plan” throughout the first half of the day, and your inner voice starts bullying you saying, “You can’t even make it a few hours without eating unhealthy” or “Can’t you stick to anything?  You’re such a failure!  You’ll never lose weight!”  The disappoint that accompanies these thoughts almost always leads to more unhealthy choices throughout the rest of the day.

Instead of criticizing yourself, be your own cheerleader.  The day is not ruined if you chose to eat a bagel for breakfast instead of oatmeal.  Tell yourself it is OK and move on.  There are so many more things to the day than what you eat.  Food should only be a part of your life, not what controls it.  The more you can shift your mind from the negative to focusing on all the great things about what you do in a day, the more success you are sure to have on your weight loss journey.

Support from others is great and is a key piece in the weight loss puzzle, but the support you give yourself is equally if not more important.  After all, you are on this journey for you and nobody else, and while weight loss is great, achieving happiness and a sense of peace with the way you maintain a healthy lifestyle is even better.

Please share with me at least 1 thing you are proud of that you did today!

Still Waiting for the Next “Great Diet Miracle”?

quick fixWe are a society that is based on quick fixes.  Our lives and the technology that supports them are fast-paced, and so we expect our weight loss to be the same.  It is this principle that a majority of the weight loss industry is based on.  You are always hearing about the new food to eat that will speed your metabolism, the new supplement that will burn fat faster, or the newest fitness craze that burns more calories in 30 minutes than running does in an hour!  It is easy to get wrapped up in the advertising and buy into the marketing schemes of the people selling these products.

 

The truth is, weight loss that is brought to you by a quick fix or “diet miracle” is typically not the kind of weight loss that will last forever.  These supplements, workouts and diets come with a set of instructions.  They claim that if you follow the instructions, you will succeed.  But when the product runs out, or the diet becomes too cumbersome to continue, chances are you will gain back whatever weight you may have lost and then some, especially if the diet or supplement revolves around a very low calorie intake.

 

When weight loss is successful, it is because you have made your eating and exercise a part of a healthy lifestyle, not something you are following because you were told.  The decision to eat certain foods and exercise resides within you.  This is different than a product or a diet being what controls how you eat.  By honoring your hunger and respecting your fullness, you will know yourself better and know that you are above the fad diets and miracle products.

 

I know that it can be unnerving and hard to be patient when you want to lose weight.  It’s much more tempting to lose a lot of weight quickly by following a diet.  The main thing to remember though is that your goal of weight loss should be to get healthy for life.  Not only is it unhealthy to have your weight yo-yo, but it is emotionally taxing to feel you have succeeded only to fail again.  Eating mindfully will put you on a track to permanent, consistent weight loss, with constant emotional uplift at the thought that you are in control, succeeding on the journey to becoming a healthy person overall.

 

What do you feel will be the greatest reward from a life without dieting and miracle products?

I am here to help you.  If you would like further support, click here for a chance to speak with me!

The Gift of Support this Valentine’s Day

Flowers and chocolates are great, but most of the time material gifts do not make us feel nearly as good as a compliment from a loved one.  Even better than a compliment is support.  You are on your own individual journey into mindful eating, but while you work on loving yourself this Valentine’s Day, ask for the gift of support from your loved ones.

 

This journey into mindful eating that you are on is very personal.  It can sometimes be hard to let others in.  But when you involve the ones you love in matters going on in your life, you may be surprised how much it helps.  Chances are they have seen you go on and off the diet roller coaster so many times and they will be excited to see you embracing a diet-free approach.  They don’t want to see you trapped by a “meal plan” and they certainly don’t want to see you disappointed and not able to reach your goals.

 

So this Valentine’s Day let your loved ones in on the new, diet-free you.  Ask them for support while you travel the road to mindful eating.  Ask them what is it they love about you and let this remind you of the wonderful person that you are.  Love and emotion is a powerful thing, and the support that comes with loving relationships will certainly help you succeed!

 
Let me know what your loved ones had to say about your new diet-free mindset!

What is Mindful Eating?

Diets are all about restriction.  Someone hands you a meal, or a diet book lays out a specific plan of what you can eat, when you can eat it, and how long you should follow this set of “rules” in order to reach your goal.  The problem with that is once the diet is “over” the weight has a tendency to come back, because there is no longer a road map to follow.

You may have read or heard the term “mindful eating” when it comes to weight loss, but it is hard to figure out what that term actually means.  Many of the issues that dieters face come from a lack of tuning into certain feelings and cues while eating.  Then they punish themselves for overeating and move on to another diet with a new set of restrictions.

Mindful eating is about paying attention to the act of eating, without judgment.  When you do this, you will find you eat when you are hungry, not for emotional reasons.  You will find that by giving yourself permission to eat, you only eat to a level of healthy satisfaction because you are tuned into your hunger and you honor it, rather than restrict yourself to a certain way of eating.  Food should be something that fuels you.  It should not be used to feed emotions.  The more attuned you become to your eating, the more you will be able to differentiate those feelings of hunger and feelings that relate to other life issues that are not meant to be handled with food.

The process of learning to become a mindful eater is a journey.  It is about taking steps towards becoming someone you love inside and out.  Becoming a mindful eater will end your search for the next diet road map, because through mindful eating, you will have already found your destination: a body you love, that you can maintain without dieting.

What are some things you can do to become more attuned to your hunger today?

Welcome to the iEat Mindfully™ Blog

Welcome to the iEat Mindfully™ Blog!  This blog will focus on topics related to incorporating intuitive and mindful eating into your life.

Yo-yo dieters are those who cycle between weight loss and gain and jump from diet to diet, but can never seem to reach the success they want.  They rely on following meal plans as some sort of road map for success, but never really correct the underlying reasons that led them to gain weight in the first place.  By incorporating intuitive eating into your life, you are learning to listen to the signals from your body as to when you are hungry and comfortably satisfied.

I am excited to use this blog to address certain concerns that arise for those of you with a diet mentality, and I hope that it will help bring you peace with food and a body you love.  Please feel free to post questions and suggestions for blog topics that you would like to see in future posts.

I encourage you to enter your name and email address on the right side of the page to receive my FREE guide 5 Steps to a Body you Love without Dieting.

If you have battled with your weight and have been on and off many diets, it’s time to get off the diet roller coaster.  Click here to read about the iEat Mindfully™ program.  If you would like to schedule a free Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session with me, click here.

Stay tuned for our next blog addressing what exactly is mindful eating!

In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know what’s on your mind.