Don't be surprised when diets don't work forever.
Believing that weight has anything to with our inherent worth and happiness is just going to keep us stuck in the cycle, looking for happiness from external factors, and wondering why we don’t feel the peace we were seeking.
Not only is dieting miserable and not fun, it’s actually bad for you. And no, that isn’t common knowledge, but that’s why I’m here to tell you what diet companies don’t want you to know.
Dieting is bad for your body, health, relationship with food, relationship with your body, metabolism, and really bad for natural weight stabilization. Of course we are not taught that. We are taught in so many ways that dieting works long-term (it doesn’t) and that losing weight is the simplest and easiest life enhancement we can pursue (it’s not).
I used to diet every January 1, atoning for my holiday cookie sins, thinking, “This is finally it! I’m finally going to be good, beautiful, and happy...forever”.
And it always eventually backfired. What I’ve learned since is that the backfire is actually biological. It’s not lack of willpower. It’s your body being fully wired to sabotage your diet attempts in an effort to keep you alive, nourished, and...not dying of this biologically confusing self-imposed famine.
Now I am a firm anti-dieter, and my life is so much brighter, more present, and fun. Not to mention that my weight is pretty constant now, no extra effort required (except for eating, of course).
So here is a list of all the reasons why dieting should not be a part of your New Year’s Resolution:
1. Dieting immediately makes your body think there is a food shortage, which immediately suppresses your metabolism.
2. Suppressed metabolisms make you fixate on food, slow down most healthy bodily functions, and biologically wire you to binge. Because of this, dieting and restricting aren’t healthy, even just a little bit — your body can’t tell the difference between restriction and famine.
3. Basically, dieting is going to make you more crazy around food than you already are.
4. In fact, dieting is already the reason you are dieting again.
5. Dieting biologically wires you to backlash against it. And dieting will lead to your inevitable backlash, binge, and weight gain. Just like it has before.
6. Dieting also teaches you and your body to rely on external cues that get you out of touch with your own hunger, intuition, and cravings, making normal eating very difficult.
7. Dieting encourages your body to gain back even more weight than you lost, often creeping up higher than before.
8. Dieting causes you to have higher stress hormones.
9. Dieting can make your blood sugar less stable.
10. Dieting also often confuses us into thinking that once we lose weight, all our problems will go away. This never ever happens. We are just setting ourselves up for disappointment.
11. And if I may say so from experience, a life that is focused on weight is a really miserable life. Believing that weight has anything to with our inherent worth and happiness is just going to keep us stuck in the cycle, looking for happiness from external factors, and wondering why we don’t feel the peace we were seeking.
12. It has been shown that hating your body is worse for your health than any other weight or dietary factor.
13. Dieting is often a distraction from what is really going on in your life.
14. Cultural dieting is a manifestation of us giving into society’s pressures. Liberate yourself! Rebel!
It’s important to note that even just a tiny bit of restricting can trigger the biological starvation response, which triggers all the biological reactions I listed above.
If this doesn’t convince you to #ditchthediet2016, that’s fine — try dieting again! Just don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work again.