Have you ever diligently followed a diet and lost weight, only to gain the pounds back again after you stopped the diet? Maybe you even gained back more than you lost in the first place. Why does this happen to so many people who are trying to hard to lose weight?
One reason people gain back weight after ending a diet is because the food restrictions were so severe that their bodies thought they were not getting enough food. When this happens the body slows down the metabolism rate in order to conserve energy. You lose weight while you are in the low calorie diet, but when the diet is over you gain weight because your metabolism is slower than before you started.
Strict diets can be very restricting. The popular plans often tell you what to eat and what not to eat. Some even set a specific meal plan that tells you exactly what foods you can have week by week. This may go well for awhile, but at some point we will want to rebel against these severe restrictions. We will want to be free from these limitations.
The good news is that you can lose weight more effectively by using a “no-diet” approach. This method is not based on telling yourself no. It does not require you to base your eating on restrictions and strict rules. On the contrary, it is a freeing approach this teaches you to listen to your body. The key is stop thinking about dieting. Instead you will focus your attention on making healthy choices and eating what your body needs. You will have the freedom to make your own decisions.
The first step in the “no-diet” approach is to stop dieting! Have you ever really craved a certain food that was not allowed on your diet? Maybe you really wanted to eat a bowl of ice cream. Instead you decided to have something healthy instead so you ate a banana, but you still wanted that ice cream. Then you started looking for something healthy you could eat instead. Several healthy snacks later, the ice cream craving was stronger than ever. In the end, you give into the temptation and eat the ice cream anyway and feel guilty. Does this scenario sound familiar? Try this instead. Give your permission to eat that one food that you love every day. Take the time to enjoy it and think about how eating that food makes you feel.
The next step is to spend time doing activities that you really enjoy. Start out by making a list of things that you really like doing. Eating can be enjoyable, but this list will consist of the activities you love that do not involve eating or food. Some examples of things you may want to add to your list include talking to friends, playing a game online, taking a bubble bath, or reading a book. Keep working on the list until you have written at least ten things you love to do. Now spend at least 30 minutes a day doing one of the activities you chose.
Once you stop dieting and start doing activities you love it is time for the final step in permanent weight loss. When you are hungry choose to eat foods that you love. Make sure you eat until you feel full. Be sure to choose foods that make you feel good while you are eating them and after you are done.
After you finish eating, keep yourself busy with activities that you enjoy. Do not eat out of boredom. Wait and eat again when you start to feel hungry.
You can lose weight and keep it off! Instead of starting another restricting diet, start choosing foods and activities that make you happy. Be learning to listen to your body and changing to a healthy lifestyle, you can reach your goal weight and experience a new feeling of freedom.
The above article is based on the book, “Winning Overeating” by Ofira Shaul. Ofira is a Naturopathy doctor. This experiential, self-development leader has devoted her life to finding the best natural way to obtain permanent weight loss while improving the total quality of your life. Her all-natural program does not require you to use any pills, count calories, or starve yourself.
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