Ditching the Diet Mentality

First Principle of Intuitive Eating

By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis

Eating like cavemen, eliminating all inflammatory foods, starvation juice fasts, good foods and bad foods- all while eating no carbs and fat.  Just thinking about it might make you want to curl up with an ultra-soft blankie and hide.

These “diets” aren’t awful when used as a template to guide healthier choices. You may find that not eating certain foods improves your energy, heals your digestion or changes your body composition. The false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and forever…. that is where diets fail us every single time.

Rejecting the diet mentality is just that. Getting rid of the false hope that the next latest greatest diet around the corner is what will save you from needing to be on a diet in the first place.

Ever feel like if you stopped dieting you could gain more weight but if you continue dieting it will ruin your metabolism AND you will gain more weight? Stuck between a rock and a hard spot. How do I eat if I am not dieting? I won’t stop eating? I will be out of control!

Rejecting the diet mentality is the most unusual and difficult of all  the intuitive eating principle’s to wrap your head around. Rejecting this mentality takes a paradigm shift in how we look at food. Changing the way we think is the only way we can begin to rebuild a healthy relationship with food and our bodies. Physiologically, dieting is a form of starvation and as a result it does several things to the body.

Why dieting doesn’t work:

  • Teaches your body to retain more fat when you start eating again
  • Super low calorie diets double the enzymes that make and store fat in the body
  • Each diet attempt slows the rate of weight loss
  • Decreased metabolism with each diet
  • Food restriction triggers the brain with increased cravings to eat more

Dieting is Physiologically and Emotionally Taxing

  • Regardless of body weight, dieting is associated with feelings of failure, struggles with self-esteem and social anxiety
  • Weakened confidence and self-trust
  • Eating disorders

The physiology and psychology of rejecting diets makes sense. Diets don’t work because weight is not the problem.  Weight is not the root cause of the problem. Our relationship with food is the trick.

Am I hungry? Do I want it? Will I be deprived if I don’t eat it? Will it be satisfying? Does it taste good? I deserve to eat without guilt. This is the non-diet mentality Intuitive Eating is all about.

Step off the scale and see how Intuitive Eating gets results.  Progress comes when you start becoming more compassionate with yourself. Trusting that weight will normalize as your eating choices are based on hunger, satisfaction and eating without guilt. Focusing on exercise energizing you and helping to alleviate stress.  Trusting that your weight will normalize when you are tuned into internal eating signals.

Intuitive Eating is not a diet, it’s a pattern that teaches you not to be crazy about food. Doesn’t that sound as dreamy as curling up with an ultra-soft blankie, taking a deep breath and relaxing?