Say No to Diets!
Summer is coming, and it's time to get ready to show off your beach body! Are you ready?
For most people, that statement elicits moans and groans, and not a dash to the mall for a cute new swimsuit. Summer preparations involve crash diets to lose those last 10 (or let's face it, 20) pounds. Inevitably these diets fail, and you find yourself with all the weight you lost plus a few extra to go with it.
If yo-yo dieting is a familiar part of your life, you're not alone. In fact, according to new science, diets are damaging to the body and will only make weight problems worse. Here's why, and what you can do instead.
Your brain controls how much you weigh
There's a reason why you struggle so much to reach your ideal weight. Your brain controls how much you weigh, and when it detects a large downward fluctuation it fights to bring the weight back up. That's why you are so much hungrier and so much more aware of food in your diet.
It can take a year of dieting for your brain to adjust to a new weight, and it may never accept your new weight as “normal.”
On top of this, anxiety and stress over food during a diet can farther stress your body, which signals the brain to store more fat around the abdomen. This is why it is so hard to lose weight, and so easy to gain it all back.
Give up on dieting: Practice mindful eating instead
Many dieticians are recommending that instead of dieting, you simply become more mindful of your eating practices. You can eat what ever you want, when ever you want, and as much as you want. All you are changing is your mindset on food. Here are the rules for mindful eating:
Eat with others, at specific places and times.
Browsing throughout the day is a form of mindless eating, so is eating in front of a TV. Take your meals with your family, away from the TV, and at specific times.
Make nutritious food readily available
Eating for comfort is a natural response to the stress in our lives. Our first reaction is naturally to reach for a doughnut or a piece of pie when we're in destress because it makes us feel better. While it is okay to eat that doughnut or have that piece of pie, we should also pay attention to why we are feeling the need to comfort eat and to resolve those root problems.
Dieting is not the answer, but if we pay attention to our bodies and eat right, we can maintain a healthy weight that is right for us.