How to break free from your diet mentality
January is long gone and so are our New Year’s resolutions. The endless cycle of dieting and overeating has reached its peak. And if that isn’t enough, you haven’t gone to the gym in like a week. Talk about feeling guilty!
If you recognize yourself in the above scenario, you may be suffering from something called the diet mentality. The thing is that your restrictive negative thinking about food prevents you from enjoying it. Instead of savoring every single bite (that is going to nourish your body!), you think about the number of calories and the fastest way to burn them.
The diet mentality is a form of negative circular thinking. During the first stage, you decide to start a new diet. You lose a little weight and you feel good about yourself. Then, the second stage, you suddenly start to crave foods that have been stamped ‘bad’ or even ‘forbidden.’ You feel awfully guilty and try to burn the extra calories off with exercising. And lastly, the third stage, you just give up until the cycle starts again.
What do you need to do if you want to break free from your diet mentality? I’ll give you a few tips. You can implement them in your everyday life immediately.
- Allow yourself to eat. Quit judging yourself, seriously! Remind yourself that your body needs food to function. Find out what kinds of food make you feel your best. Maybe a green smoothie in the morning?
- Stop labeling your food. Try not to think of food in terms of good and bad. Instead, think of food as something that will give you energy and will keep your body healthy.
- Trust your body. Learn to listen to the signals of hunger and satiation. It takes some time to get used to—as it is called—intuitive eating but your body will let you know.
I know it can be difficult but the key is to trust your body. You deserve to enjoy your food. Remember that your body needs a healthy amount of calories to thrive.