With millions of people dieting right now, and most people failing at those diets…and making themselves go crazy about it, it’s time to realize that losing weight is much more than just willpower to eat less.
Going crazy on a diet
I remember when I was a chronic dieter, weighing and counting out every morsel while willing my brain to stop thinking about food. I went from being a sociable, fun and easy-going woman to the hangry-lady who’d lash out at friends for taking a casual bite of my pre-planned, exactly measured and desperately anticipated meal.
I’d collect recipes. I’d save up calories for social gatherings. I’d binge. I’d be ashamed. I’d restrict even more. I’d talk about food. I’d read every food label. I’d think about food in meetings. I’d lose weight. I’d put it back on. I was exhausted…and exhausting.
Exhausted to Liberated
I had no more space in my brain for anything other than dieting. It was boring to be around too.
And then I said, “Enough.” I stopped dieting. Hell yes, it was scary. It was also liberating. It gave me space to do useful things with my life, fun and adventurous things. It gave me back my confidence and personality.
You see, when you put yourself on unrealistic diets, you’re not only fighting against your body’s powerful biology to keep you alive and healthy. Your body has a specific set point weight, which is your ideal healthy weight range. It’s regulated by your brain and when you lose too much weight and go below this healthy range, alarm bells go off as your brain thinks it’s entering ‘starvation mode’, and your body works hard to bring you back by releasing hormones to manage your hunger and fat storage. It’s like a thermostat in your house, regulating temperature. In this case, controlling your natural healthy weight range.
Welcome to Fight Club!
It’s a scrappy game between your body and you. You always lose eventually- not the weight, the fight.
The more you restrict your food, the messier the fight gets, and your mental and emotional energy takes a beating.
Dieting can make you do crazy things like:
- Make you obsess about food and your body
- Trigger intense cravings and food binges
- Chip away at your self-esteem
- Ignore your natural hunger-fullness signals
- Make you more stressed out
- Affect your relationships, work, and social life
- And yes, make you gain more weight.
If you’re ready to close the door on dieting and start to trust your body again to become an instinctive eater, where you eat what you want, when you want by listening to what your body needs, why not try my new short courses How to Make Peace with Food (bonus: it’s on sale right now).