In the US, dieting and weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s a never-ending stream of income for those who are selling the dream of being thin. It’s never ending because 98% of those who diet gain back the weight they lost.
Yes, you read that right. Only 2% of people who diet actually keep the weight off.
Can you imagine any other industry being able to survive with only a 2% success rate? Of course not. So why does the diet industry continue to thrive? Because they’re not really selling weight loss, they’re selling the dream of weight loss.
Nicely wrapped into each diet pill and every weight loss regime is the promise that if you were thinner, your life would be better – you would be happier – you would have that perfect relationship or the most satisfying and high paying job.
Each diet is selling the idea that we aren’t okay just as we are. In fact, the diet industry is too often profiting on our lack of self worth and our disdain for how we look and how much we weigh.
So where does that leave you if you still want to lose weight? What are you supposed to do if you aren’t feeling good in your body, and yet you know that diets don’t work?
It’s time to go beyond dieting.
Stepping beyond dieting and out of our long-term diet habit is a radical act!
- Stepping beyond dieting means saying goodbye to the outdated belief that if only you just ate less and exercised more you would lose weight. If that truly worked we certainly wouldn’t be facing the collective weight issue that has us doing the same strategy over and over.
- Stepping beyond dieting means letting go of the myth that all will be well in our world if only we could lose weight.
- Stepping beyond dieting means letting go of the self-hatred that makes us feel that we aren’t good enough as we are.
Eating high quality, fresh foods are certainly a very important part of the equation of self-care, and having a body you love. But loving yourself, being happy in your own skin – and enjoying your life fully – requires stepping beyond dieting.
If you’d like to truly walk away from the endless diets that inevitably fail and leave you in the gutter of shame and failure, you need a new recipe.
You need a recipe that’s full of enjoyment and pleasure versus punishment and deprivation. You need a blend of self-acceptance and relaxation, instead of self-hatred and stress. Because the thing that the diet industry is not telling you is that the stress that you carry with you about your weight – or sticking to your latest diet – is actually making it hard for you to reach your optimal weight.
Here’s how it works:
The body produces a hormone called cortisol when we’re stressed. Any type of stress causes cortisol to be produced. It can be the stress of an upcoming exam or family event, and it can also be the stress of hating your body and wishing it were different. Any and all stress increases cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are high, the body slows down digestion, assimilation and calorie burning. The bottom line – stress turns down the volume on our metabolic rate. Stress keeps us from releasing weight.
You may be thinking “but life is stressful! That’s the reality of everyday living! How can I ever lose weight if life is always stressful?”
Yes, that’s true, life is filled with stress. However, we have the choice of how we respond to the stress in our lives. We can either meet life’s stressors with our own internal stress or we can meet it with a centered and relaxed attitude. If we meet life’s stress with our own stress, we’re in that high cortisol, low calorie-burning state, which we want to avoid. So the trick here – and this is the real key to step beyond dieting – is to equip yourself with habits that help you stay centered and relaxed.
When you are ready to go beyond dieting, when you’ve had enough of failing and feeling bad about yourself, it’s time to move into this new (and yet ancient) approach of relaxing into your life. Because it’s as we relax that our cortisol levels drop and our metabolism really starts to hum.
Our body is much more able to release weight when we invite it into a state of love and acceptance.
It may sound counter-intuitive to love your body when you’re wishing it would change. But, from a purely scientific point of view, the stress of hating your body is not helping you change your body at all.
Practices such as:
- gentle yoga
- slowing down
- self-acceptance and compassion
- any movement that makes you genuinely happy
- connecting to life’s joys and pleasures
…all support you to step into a relaxed state.
These practices help shift you out of the fight or flight stress response that so many of us live in chronically.
These self-care practices improve your body’s ability to assimilate, digest, calorie burn, and properly regulate appetite.
So, if you are ready to step beyond the controlling and stressful experience of dieting and into a joyful and healthy relationship with your body – slowing down and relaxing is the way to go.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training, or any of our other offerings please sign up for our free information packed video series called “The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough” here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014
P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information packed video series – The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough – you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public – Transform Your Relationship with Food™ HERE.
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