What should I eat? When should I eat? How much should I eat? These are all questions that likely float around in your mind every single day. The “what, when and how much” of eating have been implanted in your mind as result of a lifelong dependency on dieting as your only hope towards losing weight and achieving the body you love. But this is a misconception. Diets don’t work and will end up leaving you with two things: long term weight gain and self-doubt. I think you can agree that having to worry about what, when and how much to eat before and after every meal and snack is exhausting. Despite the exhaustion, it is difficult to come face to face with the truth that diets don’t work because, after all, dieting has become the major theme surrounding all of your eating patterns, even if you aren’t consciously aware of it!

Let’s take a look at the unhealthy aspects of dieting that are preventing you from successfully losing the weight for good. There are thousands of diets being advertised to consumers, but they all share a similar “restriction” approach to weight loss. All diets expect you to eliminate certain foods or entire food groups, which results in a calorie deficit and a lack of essential nutrients. The reason why this method for weight loss doesn’t work is because restriction puts your body in “starvation mode”, causing your metabolism to slow down and lead to intense and often uncontrollable food cravings when presented with the opportunity to really eat. Food cravings are a natural biological response to starvation and food restriction, therefore, following a diet causes a “tug of war” between deprivation and cravings.

If you are a chronic dieter, this ongoing battle between you and the diet has caused a rollercoaster of weight loss and weight gain, which in your mind translates to successes and failures. Dieting can be very debilitating on a psychological level. Diets teach you that when you eat “bad” foods and give in to your cravings you are wrong, which instills a sense of failure and worthlessness in yourself that you are so “out of control” of your eating. It may be hard to come to terms with this, but for as long as diets have been in your life, food has controlled you; it has controlled your thoughts, your actions and your behaviors. In a broader perspective, dieting has affected a multitude of areas of your life including your job, family, social life and personal relationships.

Though the negative side effects of dieting are obvious and might be so clear to you, getting off the diet roller coaster is not easy.

Here are 3 ways to get you started:

1. Make a commitment to stop dieting. If you hold on to any thoughts that a diet will help you lose weight forever, you won’t be able to get out of the diet-deprivation cycle.

2. Have patience. Lifestyle changes take time. When you diet, you have a deadline, an end date. When you embrace a non-diet approach, it is forever.

3. Seek support. As a chronic dieter, it’s hard to give up dieting without the support of others. Join a support group or work with a registered dietitian nutritionist who embraces an intuitive eating approach.

These tips offer you a basic foundation for getting yourself out of the chronic dieting cycle. It is important to remember, however, that weight loss and making permanent lifestyle changes can be complex, and unique to each individual. Like I said, getting off the diet bandwagon is a process that takes time, so be patient and don’t get discouraged!

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller is the Founder of DietFreeZone.com. She helps chronic dieters break free from the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love by giving them the 3 things they really need to succeed - a healthy mindset, caring support and nutrition education. Get a free copy of her e-book 5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting at http://DietFreeZone.com.

Join her free support group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/intuitiveeatingsupport/

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