Are you feeling defeated? Not losing the weight you after trying so hard?
Do you know that your eating habits are unhealthy, and feel you’re resorting to more drastic measures to lose the weight?
Another day, another failed attempt at losing weight. You’ve tried every weight loss fad, only to find you put the weight right back on. It’s consuming you, making you feel defeated, exhausted and down.
You may even be finding yourself in a vicious cycle – starting to restrict what you eat to try to lose the weight, or even binge eating. Did you know that weight lost through dieting, is often regained? (Curioni & Lurenço). This is because you’re doing all the right things to lose the weight in the short term, however if you haven’t changed your habits, you will instantly revert back to old ways after the diet ends. Dieting usually means that you are strictly following some dietary rules, which are inflexible and have you eating specific types of food.
So… what’s missing?
Short-term dieting doesn’t lead to long term change with your eating habits. That’s it. It’s a common thing for you to return to old habits and gain the weight again once you stop the strict diet. This is where many people then go and try another type of diet, and the vicious cycle continues. Further food restriction has shown to increase obsessive thinking about food.
Having such strict dietary rules can set you up to engage in binge eating. For example, if you tell yourself to eat no carbohydrates, you will instantly become preoccupied with thoughts of eating carbohydrates. This then leads to nutritional deprivation and hunger, increased medical risks as well as psychological and social consequences. You may also find yourself checking your shape in the mirror or having perfectionistic ways of how you need to look.
This physiological and psychological pressure to eat means you will inevitably break the dietary rules. This is known as a “black-and-white” thinking style. E.g. “Oh no, I’ve blown it anyway! I may as well eat whatever I want and start again tomorrow.”
Progress in the right direction
Having moderate sized, regular meals reduces the likelihood of resorting to binge eating and may even result in weight loss due to your increased metabolism. Having regular meals means you consume less calories than you would through binges.
There are ways you can establish a healthy relationship with food, with eating, and with your body. Breaking the cycle can be tricky, and you may wish to chat with a professional further on the importance of having regular meals and eating mindfully. Don’t go it alone, there are experts who can lead you in the right direction.
Written by Clinical Psychologist Chantelle Martyn – www.creatingchange.net.au