Are you currently on a diet to lose weight? And if so, has your diet lasted for more than a year, 5 years, 10? It's not unusual to be a long-term dieter. I, for instance, dieted for over 40 years, until I woke up to the fact that dieting doesn't work. If it did, why had I been dieting for so long? If a diet truly worked, you would diet once and be done with it, but instead we lose the weight and the next thing you know, for most of us, we've gained the weight back. Research shows that 98% of dieters will gain their weight back and then some within a year. That's not particularly encouraging news.
When we diet we're constantly thinking about the goal of reaching a certain number on the scale or fitting into a particular pair of jeans, not about our health - the scale rules the day.
What we dieters don't seem to realize is that when we diet, we are restricting ourselves by always counting something - calories, carbs, fat grams. There are a number of reasons as to why counting isn't a great idea, but mainly I don't believe we were designed to restrict our food, or ourselves, in that way.
When counting calories, we are assuming that our bodies require a certain number of calories and anything over that amount will turn to fat. This concept is based on the notion that each and every body is designed exactly the same, that we all need the exact same number of calories, and that we all have exactly the same metabolism - which we don't.
Did you know that we don't really know how much we're supposed to weigh? That's because we are each unique. My lifestyle is different from yours, my experiences are different from yours, my likes and dislikes are different from yours. This all makes a huge difference in how our bodies metabolize the food we eat.
Learning to eat by knowing what our bodies need and are asking for allows us to drop out of the dieting game and be the weight we are naturally meant to be.
If you have been dieting for more than a year, ask yourself if your diet is working for you. I know when I asked myself this question, I was a bit surprised to learn that dieting had failed me for 40 years, that my focus was on the scale and sadly what the scale read informed my day.
You and I are not on this earth to restrict ourselves. Ask yourself how dieting has served you and be prepared to be surprised by the response.
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