It is the end of the year, which means that the season of accuracy is near. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions in general – to me, most of them seem to reinforce the false and dangerous notion that we are not good enough as we are, and that self-improvement is the key to happiness – but that I particularly hate diet decisions.
why? Because while healthy eating is definitely important, a good relationship with food and your body matters as well. Research the short and long-term effects of dieting Shows it can be Some Very harmful effectsMore experts are encouraging clients than ever to quit dieting and come to terms with food and their bodies instead.
Ultimately, you are the boss of your body, and whether or not you choose to diet is entirely up to you. But before you commit to renewing your eating habits in the new year, here are some very compelling reasons to ditch the diet for good.
1. Dieting does not actually lead to long-term weight loss for most people.
In the first few weeks of the diet – which can include counting calories, eliminating a food or food group, following a strict meal plan, etc. – most people lose weight. But research shows that Dieting generally does not result in long-term weight loss. Many experts believe this occurs thanks to a combination of mental and physical factors.
First, it is difficult to stick to diets. He said, “We have a body of research indicating that dieting can lead to a preoccupation with food.” Kathleen Meehan, A registered dietitian in Houston. Restricting food makes you want it more, which is why most people fall off the cart in the first month or two of the diet.
Even if you can stick to your diet, your body will still struggle with the weight loss. “Our bodies consider diet a form of hunger,” Meehan said. “As a survival mechanism, our metabolism slows down, and the hormones that regulate appetite and satisfaction change.”
2. Diet separates you from what your body actually needs.
One of the big problems with dieting is that it teaches us to eat according to arbitrary rules of food, rather than tune in to our cues of cravings and hunger.
He said, “Diet undermines our inner wisdom about food.” Aaron Flores, Registered Dietitian in Calabasas, California. They say, ‘Do this, don’t do this. All this and not that. Your body is wrong and here’s what we can do to fix it. But when we reject diets and diet culture, we learn that our bodies have amazing inner wisdom. They can tell us how much to eat, when to stop, and which foods make us feel most energetic. “
If you are looking to connect more with your inner nutritional cues, many experts recommend reading Intuitive eating And use the book’s principles to stop dieting and start trusting your body instead By being attentive while eating. Working directly with an expert, such as a dietitian or dietitian, can be really helpful, too.
3. Dieting makes you more likely to binge or overeat.
Have you ever started a diet with the best of intentions and behaviors, only to find yourself sneaking in a handful of crisps or ice cream bowls in a few weeks? Overeating has been shown to be a common side effect of dieting.
He said, “Ultimately, your body realizes that it is deprived of food and reaches out to get nourishment and energy in any way possible.” Amy Severson, Registered Dietitian at Prosper Nutrition and Wellness in the Seattle area.
The fact that most binges involve both sweet and starchy treats is no coincidence. Severson said, “I often hear from customers that they feel addicted to carbs or sugar.” “When we are deprived of food, our bodies often reach the fastest and surest form of energy: simple carbohydrates, sugar also known as AKA.”
What’s worse, this can lead to a vicious cycle of kleptomania. Severson said that due to the increased cravings for carbohydrates, they often feel the need to restrict carbs more consciously. Which – you guessed it – will likely lead to another party.
4. Dieting labels some foods as “good” and others as “bad,” and that’s not how you work.
While it is true that some foods are more nutrient-rich than others, the idea of ”good” and “bad” foods is risky. For starters, eating a variety of foods is linked to better health, so eliminating foods the diet tells you are “bad” may mean losing certain nutrients.
Additionally, these food labels lead to feelings of guilt about food, which can negatively affect your mental and emotional health. When you diet, Severson said, “There is a lot of guilt and shame about eating the“ wrong way. ”This is much more pressure than anyone needs. We have so many sources of stress, so why does it have to come from food, too? “
5. Since diets fail, following a diet can make you feel like a failure.
Severson said most people blame themselves when their diets fail. They will fall off the diet wagon, gain weight and end up where they started. “It’s bad because the science shows us that this happens to a large percentage of the population,” she said.
Flores sees the same thing happening, and said that even if we try and fail on many different diets, we are likely to blame ourselves for every failure and pledge to try again in the future.
6. Dieting increases the risk of developing an eating disorder.
“Food restriction increases our preoccupation with food and dissatisfaction with the body – both of which are risk factors for developing an eating disorder,” according to National Association of Eating DisordersMeehan said.
Dieting is a risk factor for eating disorders, according to Mayo Clinic. “Hunger and weight loss may alter the way the brain functions in vulnerable individuals, which may perpetuate restrictive eating behaviors and make it difficult to return to normal eating habits,” the clinic says on its website.
7. Even if you do not develop a complete eating disorder, following a diet can lead to disordered habits.
Once you are on a diet, it becomes easy to slip into disruptive behaviors such as skipping in social situations because you will not be in control of food, obsessively follow diet rules, or over-exercise to compensate for “too much” eating.
“As a dietitian, I often see clients who have developed a deep fear or distrust of food after years of dieting,” he said. Harpstreet Road, Who is a registered dietitian on Street Smart Nutrition In Kansas City, Missouri. “This can range from a fear of gaining weight from certain foods, to self-diagnosed food allergies or intolerances.” One of the common side effects of dieting, she said, is compulsive exercise.
All of these disruptive behaviors are “generally due to a diet or attempted weight loss of some sort, where the person learned a strategy or advice that influenced their relationship to food or their body image,” Harbstreet said.
8. Diet reinforces the stigma around weight and the misconception that being thin is better.
Most people diet in the hope of losing weight. The thing is, losing weight isn’t always a good thing, and it isn’t necessarily a path to better health.
“The relationship between weight and health is very complex,” Meehan said. “ Weight as an indicator of health is a huge problem, as it is often misclassified [larger] People it is unhealthy. We have research to show that being in a smaller body does not automatically indicate better health. Studies also show that losing weight does not automatically lead to an increase in a person’s health and well-being. ”
9. Healthy behaviors, not weight loss or diets, are likely to lead to better health.
Dieting and losing weight will not necessarily make you healthier, but that does not mean that improving your health is impossible. In fact, adopting healthy behaviors without dieting is a great idea.
“People of any size can engage in healthy behaviors and adapt them to fit their lives sustainably,” said Harstreet.
These healthy behaviors can include things like exercising in a fun and active way, rather than as a way to lose weight. Eat delicious foods that make you feel good; Develop close relationships and a strong community around you; Avoid risky behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse.
10. There is no perfect diet anyway.
“Everyone has a way of eating that works best for them,” Meehan said. “This is explored both through individual experiences and personal experience.” In other words: we are all different, so it’s crazy to think one way of eating will work for everyone.
Learning to eat intuitively, in whatever way works best for you, is essential Severson said I feel your best. When you stop dieting and start to trust your body, you learn a lot about how different foods feel, both physically and mentally.
11. When you finally stop dieting, you may gain more confidence.
“Some good stuff [about stopping dieting] Improving self-confidence and self-esteem, ”Severson said. With dieting, the subtle message comes that once you reach a certain size or look a certain way, your life can finally begin. Severson said rejecting this idea means“ that you are more ready to live ” Your life the way you want it now. “
12. Your relationships may improve, too.
“Sometimes an obsession with losing weight and restrictive diets can lead to relationship fractures because you waste time on others,” Severson said. Think about all the time and effort that goes into dieting and instead imagine spending that energy on the people you care about.
“Giving up on dieting opens up opportunities to be fully with friends and family, and to form memories that don’t involve stressful or anxious thoughts about food or your body,” said Harstreet.
The bottom line: a pledge to stop treating your body as something that needs fixing.
Flores said your body is one of the only constants in your life. You should try to maintain a healthy relationship with her by treating her with respect instead of punishing yourself or limiting yourself.
“ The funny thing is, when we get out of our heads and stop obsessing so much about food and what we eat, we are actually doing more positive things for our body because we make decisions based on respect, compassion, and non-judgmental decisions, instead, ” Flores said.
If you have an eating disorder, call //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/ National Eating Disorders Association Hotline At the number 1-800-931-2237.