Why can’t I stick to a diet?

Have you been on a diet, come close to your goal, and then found yourself going backward?

You’re not alone

This is a very common phenomenon for dieters. Going on a diet can sometimes feel a bit like a race. You have an end-goal in mind and you make changes to reach that goal, but the changes don’t become habits. At Well-Balanced Nutrition, we call this the finish line mentality.

Why does this keep happening to me?

We are not going to try and diagnose you, but it is important to know that there’s nothing wrong with you. This is not unusual or uncommon. In fact, I bet you could ask a friend or coworker and they would explain this has happened to them too. Going on diet-after-diet can start to feel like a wild roller coaster ride. At times it’s fun and exciting, but more often it leaves us feeling frustrated and defeated.

A few years ago, I had the wonderful experience of participating in Toastmasters. My mentor in the group encouraged me to earn the competent communicator title which required that I give 10 speeches. It was quite exciting. I was time planning, practicing, and presenting a new speech nearly every month. I felt more confident and competent by the end of that year. Then I stopped going to Toastmasters… Luckily for me, I still enjoy practicing and doing public speaking events; however, I stopped gaining new skills and feeling as confident as I did while attending the meetings. This is an example of reaching the “finish line.”

Maybe, you thought this time is different and you’re not just going on a diet but making a lifestyle, yet you fell off-the-wagon anyway. Whenever someone takes on a new way of eating we remind people that wellness is an ongoing journey. Making small, attainable changes that can turn into long-term habits is the best approach to reaching your health and wellness goals and that requires continued effort and growth.

 What to do instead?

Not surprisingly, we recommend the Well-Balanced Way. This includes a few steps you can start today!

  1. First, assess if you are falling victim to the diet mentality. Take this quiz to find out if you’re relying on willpower or healthy habits.
  2. Second, it is important to make the decision to ditch the diet approach and go another way. It may seem silly, but stating it out loud and/or writing down your goal is a very important step in the journey.
  3. Third, I recommend telling someone about this decision. Specifically, somebody who is encouraging, who will offer support or just a listening ear as you take the next step of your journey.

Food for thought:

A diet is not like an antibiotic. You do not go on a diet for a period of time to cure yourself of “fatness.” Instead, to honor and respect your body we encourage people to make the changes and choices that are going to serve them over the long-term.

Ask yourself:

  • Who do I need to become in order to achieve this goal?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Who will be on my team?

Would you like a nutrition coach to help empower, educate, and encourage you? We are here to help.

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Posted in Wellness Wednesday.

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