- Have you been on and off diets for most of your life?
- Do you struggle to lose weight and then fail to keep it off?
- Are you lacking motivation, accountability, and consistency?
- Do you want to end the emotional eating, toxic guilt and negative self-talk?
- Would you like to attain and maintain a healthy weight for life, but do not know how?
If you answered "Yes" to the questions above, then you are what I've termed a serial dieter. Serial dieters are people who have been on and off diets for years even decades yet they still can not attain and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. For serial dieters food, cooking and eating feels nothing at all like a source of pleasure, instead it's a source of complex decisions and emotions that cause confusion, anxiety, dread and self-doubt. The good news is that there is a way to end the yo-yo-ing weight, to enjoy food again and live healthy for the rest of your life. While some aspects of reaching your goals do vary for each individual, below are three steps that every serial dieter can take to begin the process of ending the serial dieting cycle right now.
As a former serial dieter, I can tell you that healthy changes in your life and in your relationship with food and exercise will not happen until you take responsibility for your actions. Not the actions that have lead you to where you are, but the actions or lack of action that is keeping you there. Yes it's easier to eat fast and processed foods, yes it is difficult to work out 3 to 4 times a week and yes it is challenging to eat healthy most of the time. No one said the journey to healthy living would be easy. Stop making excuses, take responsibility and get it done. This is not about quick fixes, but a real commitment to a lifelong change for the better. Think of the all the years, even decades that you have been overweight, unhappy, and frustrated. Are not you tired of it? Are not you ready for a real change. Stop making excuses and finally take responsibility for your health, weight and well-being.
2-Stop "Going on a Diet"
I remember, in elementary school, being taught the definition of the word diet as the foods a person normally eats on a daily basis. I am a vegetarian, so my diet consists of fruits, vegetables and grains. But for the majority of people, the word diet has become synonymous with a calorie restrictive diet in which we reduce the number of calories we consume, or eliminate total food groups from our daily regiment. Being on a calorie restrictive diet is a self-limiting, surface level change because when you reach your goal weight you stop the diet and return to the unhealthy eating habits that you started the diet with, the weight returns and the cycle begins again. The goal is stop going on a diet and instead learn how to make healthy weight management a part of your daily life with a plan and strategies that vary as priorities, environment, circumstances and needs change.
3-Have a Plan and Get Support
Let's be honest, most of us spend more time planning a special night out than we do planning our wellness goals. And for the majority of us telling others of our endeavors is just another avenue for criticism and disappointment. How many times have you declared "Starting tomorrow I'm going to start or stop .." with no clear plan and no support or accountability. I say this respectfully, but if you know how to lose weight and become healthy by winging it and without support and accountability you would not be in the unhealthy cycle you are currently in. Having a plan can consist of restocking your kitchen with healthy food options, journaling your progress and working with a personal trainer. Support can come by way of recruiting a friend with similar goals, joining a weight loss group or working individually with a wellness coach. The journey to your success needs to be planned out and you must have support and accountability. Honestly, there is no other way.
Breaking the serial dieting cycle is not easy and will not happen overnight, but you can do it by taking responsibility, eating healthy and having a plan and support. Do not let another week, year or even decade (s) go by being overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Take action right now to end your serial dieting cycle.