Weight Loss Without Dieting

April 7, 2007 · Filed Under Weight Loss 

I know. Everyone thinks that the only way to lose weight is by going on a diet. When we think of dieting we conjure up visions of cottage cheese, rice cakes and celery sticks.
Today, there are many different diets to choose from, some of which are interesting and sound challenging. All these diets have a common denominator. The common denominator is DEPRIVATION and allowing an outside force to determine what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. Gone are the days when a person could count on their body to inform them when it’s time for a meal. Gone are the days when a person could be counted on to make the right food choices. We are now in the era of diets.

One of the reasons diets are so popular is that they give people that renewed hope that this time they can have a fresh start. This may be THE diet that will bring them to the “promised land”. The pounds will come off and stay off forever. Dream on. Diets fail, not because people are weak willed. Diets fail because they are set up to fail and they just don’t work! A person cannot live with deprivation and restriction forever. Usually dieters will get to the point that they just want to get their food back, even at the price of going off the diet and not losing the weight. This puts the dieter into the vicious cycle of failure. Every time you go off your diet you feel like a failure and the recriminations begin. All the wonderful motivation from the beginning of the diet melts with the difficulty in adhering to the strict rules.

There is a strong trend today moving away from dieting and towards “intuitive eating” and “non dieting”. These methods deal more with teaching people to trust themselves again as opposed to undermining their self trust and imposing outside rules. Intuitive eating is very freeing because it enables you to take back control of your life. With this method you learn what the habits and secrets of naturally thin people are and how to incorporate them into your life. Habits like – wait till you’re hungry for food and stop when you’re full. I know it sounds pretty basic but when you are on a diet, you usually eat at mealtime and the amounts you consume are often determined by the Diet (with a capital “d”). If you are allowed two cups of salad at lunch, you may find yourself stuffing that salad into the measuring cup just to get some extra lettuce. Intuitive eating allows you to eat what you really, really want to eat, whether it’s salad or some squares of chocolate. By eating what you really want you will also feel more fulfilled and probably won’t need to go grazing for something else.

With intuitive eating you have to work on changing faulty beliefs so that you don’t run to food every time things don’t go your way. You also have to work on self love and nurturing yourself. You eventually find yourself eating foods that are natural, wholesome and nutritious for your body. You don’t want doughnuts and potato chips when you know about what the trans fats do to your body. This is a continuous process throughout which alot of internal work must be done. But, the journey is a very empowering one and along the way you can learn alot about yourself. The best part, though, is to be able to trust yourself again around food. You never have to be afraid of a chocolate cake again!

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