If you are considering losing some weight, and you don’t want to make yourself completely miserable in the process, a shift in approach is essential.
Traditionally, diets are incredibly restrictive and involve denying ourselves food when we are hungry and going for runs when we really don’t want to! More often than not, it’s impossible to stick to these diets because they make us so miserable. And even if you do stick to them, generally, the weight creeps back on as we return to our normal routines.
The mindset with which you approach things is absolutely essential if you want to achieve your goals. There should be a focus on small changes that are easily achieved, as well as remembering to keep listening to what your body needs.
Some mindset shifts to think about are:
- Rather than having your goal be to lose weight, set smaller, more achievable goals. This will most likely have the side effect of weightloss. For example, you might have a goal of cooking one meal a week from scratch, getting your eight fruit and veg per day, or attending one fitness class per week.
- Rather than ‘rewarding’ yourself for eating salad for lunch with a cake later on, or ‘punishing’ yourself for eating said cake by going for a run, try thinking about your diet as a way of looking after your body. Approach your decisions with that in mind, and you will find that you are eating more healthily.
- Forget timescales. Thinking about weight loss as something that has to be done by a certain date is unhelpful and adds pressure that you don’t need. Instead, think about making healthy choices and enjoy the results of those choices.
The idea behind intuitive eating is learning to listen to your body and what it needs. If you are hungry, then eat! Don’t deny yourself food as a way of losing weight; that only leads not only to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which will intensify your food craving, but it leads to terrible mood swings too. Why do it to yourself?
Try taking a moment when you eat to think about whether you are hungry or eating out of habit. In the same way, when you have eaten, stop to appreciate what it feels like to be full. Being aware of yourself in this way will help you to make better decisions.
Ditch the unhelpful rules
As soon as you make something a rule, you want to break it! Rather than saying things like ‘I won’t eat any sugar at all,’ instead, try positive things like ‘I will eat more fruit.’ This will naturally help you to cut down on processed sugar without needing an obsessive rule.
Governing your eating with obsessive rules is one of the symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia. If you are concerned that your dieting is becoming unhealthy and your eating is becoming disordered, then it’s really important that you contact your physician as soon as possible or speak to a specialist eating disorder recovery center such as Eden Treatment.
Move for the fun of it
Moving more will help you to lose weight, but rather than thinking about it as a chore, try to find a way of moving around more that you find fun. Going for a walk outside or dancing around your kitchen to your favorite song count, you don’t have to be going for miserable five-mile runs!