Why is dieting so bad? As I’ve mentioned previously, most of us are born with the innate ability to know what our bodies need and when. We slowly lose this ability through social conditioning or for other reasons. Some of these reasons being:
- eating because we are stressed or bored;
- eating convenience foods that are fattening because we don’t have time to prepare healthy meals.
One of the main reasons we lose touch with the deeper wisdom of our body is through dieting. Most diets advocate eating certain foods, cutting out other foods and eating at certain times. This often forces you to go against what your body needs, eat at times when you are not physically hungry or to feel deprived after cutting out foods you like for a long period of time. The more you do this, the more out of touch with your body you become and the less likely you are to know when you are hungry and when you are full and what foods to eat to nourish your body.
The truth is that your body has different needs on different days and in different season. If you are going to follow a raw-food diet in the middle of a cold winter, your body is going to feel cold on the inside and probably start craving warm baked foods. If this craving overtakes your will-power, you might find yourself binging uncontrollably on warm buttered bread, then feeling deflated and angry with yourself for breaking your diet.
Food has an energetic quality, just as your body does. If you don’t balance your body’s energy with the energy of your food and environment, you won’t feel good. By food energy, I’m not referring to calories, I’m referring to its qualities to warm, cool, invigorate or calm.
Dieting can make you feel worse about yourself because you start to judge your success by how well you follow the rules of the diet. When you break the diet, you feel like a failure and this might make you eat worse and more than you did before.
Eventually you become judgemental of all food, seeing it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. This goes completely against the mindful eating principle of non-judging. You also judge this food according to what the diet says, and not what your body is telling you.
If, like me, you have been on multiple diets, you will know this cycle all too well. You will know how it feels each time you put your hopes into a new diet to help you gain control of your weight and then feel a failure and more out of touch with your body each time you can’t maintain the diet. You lose control and put on all the lost weight, until you find the next diet. And so the yo-yo diet cycle continues.
How do you stop this cycle? How can you lose weight and gain control of your eating without dieting? The answer is Mindful Eating. Let’s look at some of these mindful eating practices that can help you.
Mindful Eating Practices
Keeping the principles of mindful eating in mind, let me introduce you to some mindful eating practices you can start putting into place. Don’t try and change everything at once. All habit changes take time. It’s better if you choose one new practice at a time, once that practice is feeling more natural to you, try adding the next one. Give yourself at least a week of consistently incorporating each practice into your daily life.[Read More…]