10 Ways To Free Yourself From Yo-Yo Dieting
The “diet” industry is huge — with a market value capping at billions of dollars! Yep, you heard it right. Billions!
What’s crazy is that many people successfully lose weight following a diet plan; however, they quickly regain what they lost or more when they go back to eating like they used to.
Why? The main reason being that a diet is technically a temporary plan. For true change to happen and be permanent, we need to shift our focus from temporary to long-term.
So, how do we do that? One of the best ways, I have found is through intuitive eating.
An intuitive eater by definition is a person who makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness, and fully enjoys the pleasure of eating.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTUITIVE EATING?
One of the greatest benefits of intuitive eating is that it is better for your psychological health!
Studies have shown that intuitive eating can improve the overall quality of life by helping with depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Sounds pretty great! Doesn’t it?
I have found intuitive eating to be so freeing in my own life!
Starting at a young age, I analyzed everything I ate. I felt guilt and shame when I ate something that was considered to be “bad”.
If you can relate and have struggled with food, give intuitive eating a try. I have a feeling it may change your relationship with food and eating forever — it did for me!
10 WAYS TO FREE YOURSELF FROM YO-YO DIETING
Doing something new can be hard and confusing — especially if you don’t know where to start.
To make it easy for you (and to minimize the overwhelm) I am going to break it down and share my Top 10 ways to start eating intuitively.
Change does not happen overnight — it takes dedication and consistency!
Work to incorporate all of these into your life regularly. If all ten feel overwhelming, start with five that speak to you and then go from there.
1. SAY NO TO THE WORD “DIET”
By saying “no” to the word diet, you open your mind to the idea of focusing on nourishment instead of restriction.
Diets are about everything you cannot have. When nothing is off limits, but you eat for health and wellness, you easily and naturally make better choices.
2. HONOR FOOD WITH GRATITUDE
Each time you eat, take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you truly.
Give thanks for not only the food and the nourishment it will provide your body, but also think about all those who touched the food before it made its way to your plate.
3. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL HUNGER AND EMOTIONAL HUNGER
This one can take some time to master because, for many of us, we eat out of habit or routine.
If you listen close enough, you will hear your body’s natural cues — a growling tummy and feeling irritable are two of them.
Just as you need to tune into your natural hunger signals, you also need to pay close attention to the times you turn to food when you are not truly hungry.
Sadness, stress, or boredom can cause you to use food as a coping mechanism. Find beneficial ways to cope with emotional hunger that you enjoy, such as going for a walk or meditating.
4. AVOID GETTING HANGRY
You should not eat when you are not physically hungry, but do not let yourself get so hungry that you become a ravenous, crazy person. This leads to poor food choices and overeating.
5. STOP LABELING FOOD AS BAD OR GOOD
Society has taught us that certain foods are bad, and certain foods are good. The reality is that food is neutral!
Shift your mindset away from good or bad. Focus more on how the food will nourish your body, make you feel good, and give you the energy you need to accomplish everything you want in your day.
6. LOVE YOUR BODY
Truly love your body, respect it, and trust it!
Stop the constant negative critiques! Instead, honor your body and what it is capable of doing.
One thing I recommend to others is mirror work — it can be one of the most challenging things to do but also one of the most rewarding.
And the best part is that it is super simple! All you do is stand in front of a mirror, look in your eyes and bring attention to each part of your body, head to toe, and tell yourself out loud all the things you love.
7. EAT SLOWLY AND MINDFULLY
When you sit down to eat a meal, avoid rushing through it.
Experience not only how the food tastes, but how it smells and what it feels like in your mouth. Try using all of your senses!
If you are sharing a meal with others, tune into them, and truly engage in the moment!
8. COOK YOUR MEALS AT HOME
There is something to be said about cooking your own food.
While cooking for yourself or your family takes work and intent, it is so much more enjoyable and rewarding. It is a labor of love to cook a beautiful meal to enjoy yourself or to share with others.
9. STOP EATING WHEN YOU’RE FULL
It can be so easy to overeat, but by slowing down and tuning in, you will instinctually know when you are full and satisfied.
I bet many of you have had a family member tell you that you could not leave the table until your plate was clean.
The mentality of eating everything on our plates can lead to overeating later in life. I always tell my son to stop when he is full, and instinctively he knows when to do that.
This one can take a little time, but stick with it and it will become easier. I promise!
10. STOP OVERTHINKING INTUITIVE EATING
Eat what sounds good to you!
The more you eat intuitively, the more you will be able to truly listen to your body and know exactly what it needs.
If you really want to eat a piece of cake once in a while, do it! And, do it without judgment or regret. Instead, enjoy and savor it!
GIVE IT A TRY
You know how the saying goes, “You don’t know until you try.”
If you have been struggling with food or want to free yourself from yo-yo dieting, I say give intuitive eating a try and see what you think!
I bet you will find a freedom you have not experienced before!
We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and personal experiences on intuitive eating in the comments below.
For more on Katie, head here!