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Ditch Your Diet

a different view of dieting

I know that this probably sounds crazy to you, but refusing to “diet” may just be the best way to actually lose weight.

The term “diet” immediately conjures up images of bland food, naked lettuce leaves, and a general sense of misery. Now consider it: if the word makes you feel this way, how can you actually succeed at “dieting”?

I think it is time to stop using this dirty word and to change the way that we think once and for all.

The truth is that very few diets ever work in the long term. They are also associated with a fear of failure, poor body image, and other emotional problems.

Here are a few tips to change the way that you think, and change your life for the better:

Stop beating yourself up:

Diets put us into an “all or nothing” frame of mind. This means that if you have a bad day, or give in to temptation, you will beat yourself up about it (I know I have). This does you no good. Try to go through an entire day without saying or thinking anything negative about yourself. If you catch yourself being negative, stop and immediately give yourself a compliment instead.

Would you expect anyone to be successful if you constantly put them down? Well the same goes for the things that we say to ourselves.

Take your own advice:

If you have a bunch of unread diet books sitting around, get rid of them. The same goes for any of the fad diets that your coworkers or acquaintances are constantly encouraging you to try. Instead, educate yourself about healthy eating, managing stress, and getting exercise, and create your own “get healthy” plan.  Then treat yourself to a trip to the local farmers market, or go buy a cookbook filled with healthy recipes (instead of another diet book).

Don’t set yourself up for failure:

It is very important to be realistic. Drastic weight loss is not healthy, and you aren’t being fair to yourself if you set unreasonable goals. This is another place to change your thinking. Instead of deciding that you must lose 6 pounds in the next two weeks, try declaring that you will go for a 30-minute walk every other day for the next two weeks. Or that you will try to only have healthy snacks.

Make well being your priority:

Losing weight may be important to you (and this is great), but realize that being healthy goes so far beyond the size of your waistline. Making healthy food choices, and getting fit can improve every aspect of your life, physically and emotionally. It should not be a constant struggle or something that you dread. Try to think of it as an exciting challenge, a new adventure, and an investment in yourself. And what could be more important than that?

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