Did you spend all of December munching every tasty treat you could get your hands on because you were cutting them all out come January? Are you always on the lookout for that perfect diet that will help you drop kilos effortlessly? If so, you might have what we call a ‘diet mindset’.
But despite the focus on dieting and losing weight, this approach can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts.
What is a diet mindset?
Put simply, a diet mindset is a type of belief system when it comes to food. Some of the thought patterns and habits of a diet mindset include:
- Restrictive eating
- Jumping from one trendy diet to the next
- Excessive exercise
- All or nothing approach – you ate that cookie, so now you may as well give it up and eat the whole box
- Labelling food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’
- Beating yourself up when you eat anything on the ‘bad’ food list
- Feeling like a failure or blaming lack of willpower when you inevitably fall off the diet wagon
Does this sound like you? If so, you’ve picked up a diet mindset somewhere along your journey.
It might have been from your mother, from the mean girls in high school, or simply from the constant media focus on women’s bodies and weight loss. But it is often the #1 reason why women can’t lose weight and keep it off long-term.
Why would a diet mindset hold you back from achieving your weight loss goals?
A diet mindset might be the default for a lot of us, but it’s certainly not the healthiest approach.
The original meaning of ‘diet’ is the food that you eat. But in modern culture, diets make us think of deprivation, starvation, punishment and weird gimmicks that promise the world (but usually just make you poop your pants!) Think the Lemon Detox Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Military Diet…
What do these have in common? None are sustainable. And nobody is going to want to come over for a dinner party while you’re following a restrictive fad diet!
But the biggest reason why they don’t work is that they don’t teach you anything about your habits around food. There’s no education about what contributed to your weight gain in the first place, let alone ways you can maintain your weight loss after the diet is over.
If that wasn’t enough bad news, dieting can sabotage your metabolism. When you put your body through an extreme calorie deficit, it fights back by clinging desperately to your fat stores. It can break down your muscle tissues to use as fuel, which drops your basal metabolic rate (the energy you use each day when at rest)
So what happens when you stop the diet and go back to everyday life?
- You put the weight straight back on because you haven’t changed your habits
- You pile on even more weight because your body is stockpiling energy to protect you against the next self-induced famine
- To top it off, you feel like a failure and beat yourself up
- Food continues to be both your worst enemy and your secret obsession
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the exact opposite of what we want on a weight loss journey!
So how can I lose weight if I’m not cutting calories?
It’s all well and good to talk about the downsides of dieting. But what’s the alternative to a diet mindset?
This was something I struggled with on my own health journey. What finally made a difference – a difference of 19kg that I’ve maintained over the holiday break – was uncovering the foods that worked for my body.
In June 2020, I had hit rock bottom physically and mentally. Despite knowing what I did about hormones, energy, fat storage and metabolism, I couldn’t get my hormones under control. No matter what I did, I felt bloated, puffy, irritated, and I was the heaviest I had ever been.
But in July, I started my Metabolic Balance Program. And the results shocked even me.
Although weight loss is a benefit of a Metabolic Balance Program, it’s not a diet. You are given rules and foods to follow at first, but these are there to guide you towards eating intuitively long-term.
Intuitive eating is a way of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals.
As I moved through my program, I was able to recognise and feel these hunger signals, rather than mistaking thirst for hunger. I also developed a sense for foods that were compatible with my body and its needs.
So now I don’t need to ‘diet’ because I instinctively eat in a way that maintains my weight loss.
What about counting calories?
It doesn’t happen because it is not the solution for weight loss or overall health. Instead, we focus on nutrient-dense wholefoods that fuel your body.
If you had a handful of raw almonds or a chocolate biscuit with the same amount of calories, which would be better for you?
Clearly, it’s the almonds. Yet many people following a low calorie diet would choose the chocolate biscuit (because they’ve restricted everything else yummy in their diet already!) But then they would wonder why they could not lose weight (and had pimples!)
Choosing food that is full of nutrients is a far better approach than the old calories-in-calories-out diet mindset. That’s why Metabolic Balance is changing the lives of my clients every single day.
I had tried other ways of dieting over the years, shakes & intermittent fasting and yes you might lose weight in the beginning but they aren’t sustainable long term and the weight always came back plus more.
Metabolic Balance is a life changer, I have a new appreciation of food and what foods work best for me, you start to listen to your body to determine what foods work with you and what works against you. This program is not a fad or a diet to me, it has now become a new way of life.
Do you want to lose weight and keep it off for 2021 and beyond?
Don’t suffer through another year feeling tired, blobby, cranky and old.
If you want to finally take back control of your body, book a discovery call here.