If you’re like most people, the idea of not dieting is scary. You believe that once you stop you’ll gain a large amount of weight and that you won’t be able to control yourself around those once restricted foods. But that’s not the case at all. Almost everyone around you is on a diet or looking to be on one, but not you. Not anymore. Here are 3 reasons why you’re afraid to diet and how to conquer these fears.
“I’ll never stop eating if I stop dieting”
In the first few weeks of mindful eating, it is normal to overeat and even eat large amounts of the foods that you once had on a ‘do not eat’ list. But this fades over time, where you only eat these foods when you crave them and learn to listen to those internal hunger and fullness cues.
Overeating can be normal in our every day lives in moments where we get sidetracked and multi-task. But overeating in the sense of dieting commonly happens because of restricting heavily and following a set of ‘rules’ that make you feel deprived. It is a normal response when you feel like you are starving and need to eat as much as possible to fill that void.
Overeating when you are paying attention to your hunger and fullness hardly happens, and most of all- when it does you don’t punish yourself or feel guilty but instead move on. These signals guide you along your journey of mindful eating, which helps you understand that once you lose the dieting mindset your eating habits become much easier on your mind AND your body.
“I’ll gain weight”
The fear of gaining weight is normal for so many people and can last a lifetime for some. But your bodies natural response when listening to your fullness and hunger cues is to maintain a natural weight for your body.
It’s not that we fear gaining weight, but we fear that we won’t be loved or even liked if we gained weight.
Weight fluctuations are completely normal in our everyday life. We lose and gain weight as a matter of activity, digestion, calories in vs. calories out, water retention and so much more. But we cannot gain peace and clarity in our eating habits and become a mindful eater if we are weighing ourselves every day. Instead, mindful eating is best done when a weight-related goal is put away (yes, I mean putting that scale in deep storage or throwing it away).
Your body won’t fail you and you certainly won’t spend months overeating on types of food. Because once you lose the restriction and negative view you once put on certain foods and your body, you gain control and clarity. There is no more power struggle over what you eat and how people may view your body. Instead, you eat for you and what feels best for your mind and body. That is the beautiful part of being mindful.
If you’re currently tracking your calories in a deficit for weight loss, please do not start your mindful journey here. Instead, reverse diet to your maintenance calories and once you’ve been there for a few weeks- then start mindfully eating. This is the best way to allow you to listen to your hunger and fullness cues at a natural state.
“I don’t know how to eat for my body”
If you’ve been a constant dieter for years, or even a closet dieter where you regulate food in your head and on your plate, choosing foods by what your craving and for overall health can be hard in the beginning. There is no doubt about that.
Once you become a mindful eater, it’s not about eating all the food but instead eating based on your individual response and cravings. You feel lost and confused about eating without a plan because you’ve never ate without a plan.
It can be scary in the beginning to eat naturally without following a list of foods to eat or not to eat, tips from the latest magazines and articles on the best foods for weight loss, and being surrounded by social media with constant updates of those who you follow that are dieting. But you’ll never learn how to eat, if you never learn how to eat without someone else telling you how to.
As a mindful eating coach, I encourage my clients to read up on nutrition. Not for the sake of weight loss or any weight-related goal, but for overall health and learning how to listen to their body. As you become more in tune with your body’s internal signals, you become more mindful of your body’s responses. You’ll be able to choose foods based on how they make you feel and if they help fuel your body. But you’ll also be able to be around food that is for the sake of emotional health.
Dieting isn’t meant to be a long-term
Although following a diet can help you reach your physique goals, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be eating in a restricted way for the rest of your life. If you are a chronic dieter and ready to stop dieting for good, mindful eating can be an amazing journey to not only discover what it’s like to no longer feel controlled by food, but also feel at peace and trust your body.
If you’re looking for a program that helps you become a mindful eater with the support and accountability you need at the beginning steps of this new journey, head on over to apply to the 8-week Mindful Eating 1:1 program: https://www.tiffanymoule.com/courses/becoming-mindful