How Diets Make You Gain Weight
I grew up with the belief that good health is about moderation in all things.
Pippa Middleton ‧ English socialite, author, and columnist
Nobody said life was fair. After weeks of deprivation on some crazy diet - again - and minimal weight loss - again - you lost control and ate like nuts for a week, and now you’re even fatter. Again... But quit banging your head on your desk for a second and listen.
Pleasure Principle Of Weight Loss
Life doesn’t have to be quite that unfair. Some of the trendiest diet bloggers have been talking lately about the pleasure principle of weight loss. It’s pretty simple. If you get more pleasure out of other things in your life, you can learn to stop obsessing over food.
You may be subconsciously thinking that pleasures like a facial or a holiday or just a ten-minute from work are treats you don’t deserve because you aren’t perfect yet. But not until you learn to give to yourself in ways that don’t involve food can you break down the obsessive mind-body patterns that keep you stuck in the diet cycle of indulgence and penance.
When you’re obsessed with depriving yourself, food is all you’ll think about. There’s no better recipe for tumbling off the wagon. It’s like the old cliché: if I tell you not to think about a white bear, what do you think about it?
TIP: When you’re obsessed with depriving yourself, food is all you’ll think about. There’s no better recipe for tumbling off the wagon.
Giving Yourself Permission
If I tell you to think about the nice massage you have scheduled for Thursday, however, or a walk in the park next time, it’s nice out - you suddenly have a different perspective on what lies in your future.
If you’re worried about the massage therapist squeezing your muffin top or the people in the park starting at your thighs, I’ve got a new motto for you:
Stuff 'em if they can’t deal. If they have a problem, they have a problem. Not you.
But they probably don’t. The fact is, most people don’t notice other people much. The massage therapist is probably much more concerned with her enormous nose than she is with your love handles.
And you’re never going to lose weight for good unless you give yourself permission to receive comfort, nurturing, and pleasure in a way that is not self-destructive.
Related: Craving Crusher Cheat Sheet
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CLAIM YOUR FREE CRAVINGS CRUSHER
Are cravings holding you back from losing the weight in a healthy way? Do you struggle with saying "NO" even when you know you should?
Diets But In Moderation
Receiving comfort from food is fine, in moderation, like everything else. But using that comfort to punish yourself is as bad for your spirit as it is for your cardiovascular health.
Punitive, restrictive diets and the idea that some foods are angels and others are devils don’t help you lose weight. They only help whoever is selling the diet to make money.
Nine chances out of ten, the model in the ad doesn’t even follow the diet. She’s probably a gym rat with a lucky metabolism, set there with her perfect abs to distract you from how cruel the regime she’s selling will turn out to be.
Diets that restrict carbs, for instance, leave you with no energy. How are you going to work out? It will be miserable. You won’t stick with it. And exercise is a much more entertaining and mentally healthy way to lose weight than eating like a bird.
Ditto for low-calorie diets. The diet plans in the magazines are completely insane. No one on Earth can function properly till dinner after a 300-calorie lunch, except for toddlers.
TIP: Ditto for low-calorie diets. No one on Earth can function properly till dinner after a 300-calorie lunch, except for toddlers.
And although low-fat diets were debunked a decade and a half ago, the grocery stores are still trying to sell you fat-free yogurt. All fatty acids are necessary for the body. And when you skimp on them - especially healthy fats - your brain goes into survival mode.
It’s not your fault when you tear into an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s after a week of this nonsense. If mammals weren’t programmed to feast after a famine, your ancestors would have never survived the Stone Age.
When they say you can’t lose 100 pounds in two months in a healthy way, what they really mean is that you can’t lose it in a mentally healthy way. When your body goes into starvation mode, your mind follows steps behind.
The Bottom Line
Feed your mind, and weight loss will follow. Maybe not as quickly as you’d like, but once again: Life’s not fair and you can’t control that. But you can control how well you treat yourself.
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