If you are fed up dieting, questions not telling will be the thing to help you break away from this diet cycle
I’ve said it before, diets will never work in the long term. You are getting this new way of eating, which may be alien and weird to you. It could be so far away from the way you normally eat that you have to make yourself fit around this new way of being. Imagine if I said to you, instead of driving to work you have to take a train. Now this train is better for you because you can read and relax on it. This new way of travelling is ok for a short while, but one day you miss the train. Another day you need to go somewhere different so now you need to use the car. However, now imagine that if you used the car you turned it around onto yourself that you were a bad person, you weren’t very good at this new way of travelling, and you thought it was your fault you needed to use the car. That is what we go through each time we go on a diet and inevitably we fall off and we think it’s our fault, so what we do is we jump right back on the train again thinking this is what will fix us. It is no wonder we are fed up of dieting. If we can’t see the cycle we are on, it can be hard to break. But here are some questions you can ask yourself. Questions are the thing that help us seek the answers that we have inside of ourselves.
How many times have you been on a diet in the last 6 months?
If you have been on a diet more than once, that suggests that something is not working for you. If a diet was doing as it should have, you probably would not need to go on a diet again. If you are dieting more and more, there is something emotional driving you to eat. If you are thinking negative thoughts such as; diets don’t work for me, I am not good on diets, I can’t stick to diets. I am going to shout at you to STOP…. Stop that right now. It’s nothing you are doing wrong. Diets are not designed for the long term.
Am I dieting to fix something or learn something?
Chances are you are going on a diet to fix something. Your weight is creeping up, so you need to do something about it. Ahaa a diet will fix it. Only we are expecting a diet to fix it forever. Nothing will do that. When you did your last diet, what did you learn about yourself? The purpose of a diet is to give you guidelines to correct your eating on healthy foods and the amount to be roughly eating. Do a diet to learn how much your eating is off from the diet. In this observation can you learn what your poor habits are. We are looking to learn something to make changes long term. What little positive habits can you do that will help your eating that doesn’t mean you have to stick to a diet?
If you have eaten something you perceive as you shouldn’t have, do you go all out and eat whatever you want, almost binge on forbidden foods?
If you do then this mentality is keeping you stuck in the diet cycle. Getting rid of your diet mentality will help. It’s the all or nothing mindset that keeps you going back to a diet, restricting and then bingeing. We are giving ourselves permission to only eat limited amounts of foods and then of course that restriction is not going to last so we want to eat something nice that we usually want. Whenever we are restricted, it’s human nature to want the thing we are not allowed to have. Think of a rubber band. The more we stretch it, the quicker it pings back. That’s like us, the more we restrict, the more we want to ping back to what we know. The first way to get out of this is by allowing yourself to have any foods that you want. Use your normal way of eating an exercise in observing what you eat.
Do you turn to foods to relieve an emotion such as stress, boredom, anger?
You may know this because if you look back at times when you have overeaten, it could be because of an emotional reason. If you are a serial dieter, then I would say you are a definite emotional eater. Rather than keep going on another diet, STOP and instead look at how you can manage and deal with your emotions. Food does not cancel out your emotions. It just distracts us from them. No diet ever is going to fix or stop your emotions. It is no wonder we get fed up of dieting then. Our emotions will always be there. Though you can manage their intensity and the triggers that cause you to have an emotional response.
If you have eaten something you again perceive you shouldn’t have, do you believe you have done something wrong and the way to put it right is to go on an even more restrictive diet?
This is us punishing ourselves for something that we have perceived that we have done wrong. What have we done wrong? What, we’ve eaten some junk food, sugary food? This is not wrong or bad, it’s just not good for our health. Imagine there was no good or bad. Now ask yourself – why are you punishing yourself? What’s the real reason. If something is not going right in your life, punishment is not going to put that right. A lot of the time this comes from our childhood when we do something wrong we are punished by our parents. Did it put our behaviour right? Often no because we were just being children. Understanding, support and encouragement is what is going to help correct your behaviour. All of these you can learn to give them to yourself and surround yourself with understanding and supportive people.