Diets, diets… and more diets.
Over the last two decades, we have become inundated and overwhelmed with all the latest fads. Perpetuated by the media, fabulous bodies, wealth and good looks pumped through our televisions and devices 24/7. These obsessions have forced many into a never-ending quest to look and feel beautiful. We’ve developed an ally or enemy attitude with food. This ongoing desperation to be perfect has funneled millions into the Wellness industry. In fact, according to the Global Wellness Economy, the Global Wellness industry is worth over $4.2 trillion dollars in 2017. And, many will go broke trying to achieve the perfect body.
The Dieting Seesaw
If you are anything like me, you’ve spent a great deal of time and money dieting, failing and then dieting again. With over 70% of Americans obese, the vicious diet cycle is real for many. Here’s how my diet seesaw cycle went. A new exciting diet fad comes along. I would spend a week or so researching the program before trying it. After which, I would follow the program for a few weeks or a month. A few wonderful pounds would shed in the beginning, mostly water weight. The meal prepping will begin to become a chore. After a month, the weight loss will stall. Doubt will set in. Missed days become weeks then month. Ultimately, resorting back to old habits and ways. An embarrassingly endless cycle no matter what diet I’ve attempted. Embarrassingly, this is true for many who don’t know their bodies and what’s right for them. Approximately 75% of American women experience some sort of eating disorder behavior or have been diagnosis with an eating disorder according to a 2008 survey by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The culture of dieting has hampered people’s ability to develop healthy relationships with food without any rules or restrictions. Which begs to question, are any plans that counter the self-destructive dieting seesaw. Can we lose weight our way?
The Perfect Diet Plan?
As the old adage goes, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in the world of wellness. Reality reveals that there is no such thing as the perfect diet plan. If so, the Global Wellness Industry would not be a trillion dollar industry today. There are plans for everyone. However, there is no one plan that works for everyone. And, that’s OK. In fact, every plan has elements that are ideal. But, it is the right plan for you. Your perfect diet plan may be a combination of various plans. Or, maybe it’s not a plan at all. Maybe it’s just a different way of relating to food or a lifestyle change instead of a diet plan. Whatever it is, know that the perfect diet is what works for you. It may not be the most popular plan, it’s what works for you only. Through my countless attempts, I’ve learned that every plan has some good ideas. So, how can I create the perfect plan for me?
Forget About Dieting…
Why are people still overweight? There are hundreds of diets plan out there. Is it because diets just do not work? No, diets do work. There are many stories of people finding weight loss success. But, how to make a diet work for you?
Could it be the individual? Every individual is unique in their metabolism and body makeup, motivation, attitude and will power. With this in mind, why not just forget about dieting and simply start living? With an estimated 160 million Americans overweight or obese, conventional diet plans, eating less and exercising more may not be the best long term solutions for most. For chronic dieters, fussing over every calorie and macro-nutrients can lead to other emotionally health related problems and conditions like stress, heart disease, etc. What people should focus on is finding healthy alternatives to dieting; maybe something customized, new and practical.
People are becoming frustrated with idea of dieting.
The Anti-Diet / Intuitive Eating Movement
Since 2016, the anti-diet movement or intuitive eating are rapidly growing trends emphasizing better relationships with food and their bodies. This popular trend is ushering in a movement away from mainstream diet culture. No longer are people allowing the latest diet fads to create unnecessary emotional stress. The inspiration behind the anti-diet / intuitive eating movement is not a new one. In 1995, South California dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, wrote about intuitive eating after witnessing clients repeatedly fail on diets. The anti-diet/intuitive eating moving connects psychological needs and relationships with food by not prioritizing diets for a healthy well-being lifestyle. The movement encourages people to focus on their on physical/emotional state. Eat when hungry and remove all guilt associated with eating what you want. There are no rules. No foods are off-limit and there is no such thing as good or bad food. Eat what you want, when you want or how much of it. People are discovering that counting every single calorie and macro-nutrient or measuring every meal is not necessary to be happy and/or healthy anymore. Understand that eating whatever you want is not the answer. Neither is banning, restricting entire food groups nor freting over when, what and how much to eat is too. Developing a healthy relationship with foods, mind, body and spirit is crucial. And, loving yourself in spite of what the scale says is equally crucial too. So, stop beating yourself up when you eat something wrong.
It’s about gaining control over food and developing a healthy mindset and appreciation towards it.
In conclusion, there are no perfect, one fit all diets. They do not exist nor have they ever existed. If a diet is working for you stick with it. Just don’t beat yourself whenever you fall off track. Or, if you’re still searching, create you’re own personal diet plan. Take what works from a diet and combine it with other aspects of another diet. Personally, I combined aspects of the intermittent fasting of an eating window and combined it with aspects of the Slim Fast diet. It works for me. Don’t fixate on dieting, counting, measuring foods. Focus on just being happy and emotionally healthy. With all that said, learn to navigate the crowded sea of diet trends to find what works for you. Discovering what you’re eating, why you’re eating and the emotions behind it will create a more positive outlook with food.
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