How to Ditch Dieting for GoodMar 03, 2022
By: Tedi Nikova, MPH, RD
Are you stuck in a diet mentality? Let me tell you, most people are.
If you are not sure, are you holding onto any of these thoughts when you are trying to lose weight?
“I have fallen off the bandwagon this week.. I will start the diet on Monday”
“If I just eat a little bit less and exercise a little bit more, I will lose more weight”
“The scale is not moving! This diet is not working..”
If you are holding onto any of these thought patterns you are most likely stuck in a diet mentality. So, what’s wrong with being in a diet mentality?
It only provides short term weight loss results, leaving long term weight loss success super challenging, which can be the cause of “yo-yo dieting”.
I want to share 3 reasons why diet mentality is taking you away from your weight loss goals, and what to do to GET OUT of diet mentality:
1. Dieting is short term. If you have dieted in the past, think about how long you dieted for, maybe a couple weeks, a couple months, maybe even a year. But what happened after? Like the word itself highlights, diets are very short term. So yes, you lose the weight .. to maybe gain it back a couple months later when you return to your normal eating patterns.
To lose weight sustainably, without any weight regain, you must find an eating regime that creates a balance between healthy eating and indulging. Yes, you can find the best of both worlds. Ditching diet mentality will start with ditching the next fad diet and working with a team of healthcare professionals to get to the root causes of your weight gain.
2.Promotes all-or-nothing thinking. Have you ever told yourself “I totally fell off the bandwagon” or “I had that cookie, I’ll start the diet tomorrow”. If so, you are guilty of having the all-or-nothing mentality. It is important to remember that no one is 100%, nor will your eating be 100% every single day for the rest of your life. So this way of thinking is already setting you up for failure when you go off plan.
So, I want to propose something: what if 80% was better than 100%, or what if 50% was better than 0%? It is important to start adopting this approach when wanting to lose weight to avoid getting caught up in weight cycling.
3.The scale is the ultimate verdict. Diet mentality places a large value on the scale. When you become fixated on the scale, you start to believe a number defines your worth. Let’s explore this in a scenario I had with one of my clients: the number on the scale increased by 3 pounds in 1 month, which caused thoughts patterns of “this is too hard, I am a failure”. These thought patterns lead to my client feeling distressed, and when you feel distressed do you really want to continue losing weight, or are you ready to throw in the towel?
If you are someone who relies heavily on the number on the scale. I challenge you to see if you can put the scale away and focus on other measures of success, such as how your clothes fit, how much energy you have, are tasks easier to perform, are you able to play with your kids or grandkids?
Imagine living a life without having to focus on what you can’t have, rather all the things you can have? Well, that’s exactly what our Best Weight Program entails. Ditching the diet mentality and choosing food freedom that will create lasting change.