Ah, it's 2018. We ate and drank ourselves silly through December holiday parties, vacations and family gatherings. We knew it was all in the holiday spirit and we would get right back on track as soon as January 1 hit. January 1 has now come and gone. If we are really lucky, we stayed the same weight from the indulgences of the holidays. If we are the average American, we gained 3-7 pounds. But now it's January, and it's time to implement those lofty health and fitness goals we swore we would start while chugging down a bottle of Rose on New Year's Eve.
You may have already "jump started" your weight loss with an expensive juice cleanse, joined a 30 day challenge, or are currently puking your way through a cayenne pepper and lemon water detox. After this lovely jump start, you will then choose a diet that will be restrictive and, in one form or another, will make you feel deprived of your favorite foods and even prevent you from attending social gatherings. After a few weeks of deprivation, you cave, and convince yourself you will give it another try *soon*.
This happens every year. To millions of people. And millions of people lose that initial hope and luster that they had merely weeks after setting that initial goal. So with that being said, I am just going to say it up front. I HATE diets. They don't work. Of course there is always a role for medical weight loss (I should know!), but that’s not what I’m taking about here. I’m talking about straight up dieting.
I have been in the health and wellness field for over a decade and I can safely say that the magic fad diet we have all been looking for just doesn't exist. If it did exist, we wouldn't have a 60 billion dollar industry of folks peddling the “quick” or “magic” answer to America's obesity epidemic. But seriously, kudos to everyone trying so hard to fight the never-ending weight battle.
The problem is Americans love diets. Why wouldn't they? Most of us feel like we have no control over our bodies and diets allow us to feel like we have control. We make up rules about what is a good food and what is a bad food. The issue is that we will succumb to eating that "bad" food and when we do, that control we so longed for feels as if it is gone and we give up on the diet. You are not alone. This happens to everyone who goes on a diet. It is a cycle. A vicious cycle.
Ok, now let’s focus on the POSITIVE news. The GOOD news is that it does NOT have to be this way. We can choose to not believe in diets and recognize that they just do not work. It is scary to believe this at first because that means we have to let go of our rules and restrictions that we put on ourselves with food. But it is the first step in the process of having a healthier, positive relationship with food.
We can choose to believe that our bodies have given us the tools, signals and awareness to allow us to recognize when we are hungry and when we are full. Some of us may have lost those cues along the way BUT, we can get these hunger and satiety signals back. Intuitive Eating, an evidence-based behavioral method, is a process -- not a diet -- that lets us start to trust our bodies again to allow us to make better decisions about our food choices based on how our bodies feel instead of how we think, which often is not based on facts or reality. Letting our bodies lead the way, instead of another fad diet, is what 2018 should be about. Goodbye to a lifetime of dieting and rules and hello to #nomorediets #antidiet #trustourbodies!