Only around 16% of people manage to maintain weight loss in the long term following a weight loss programme.
This is a real statistic.
Many people who talk to me recognise that dieting isn’t a happy way of life and they desperately want to part company with obsessing over food so that they can focus on the things that really matter to them in their lives – their purpose, passion and people that they love.
It’s quite difficult to build trust in yourself to be able to eat intuitively when you have been following a prescribed meal plan for some time. I have a few theories on why that is and some thoughts on what you can do to prevent this happening to you.
Life-skills Needed to Stop Dieting for Good
Get your emotional health in check….
Quite often people can pin a lot of emotional hope on weight loss. Have you ever thought to yourself ‘I’ll be happier when I lose weight’, ‘I’ll get a partner when I lose weight’, those kind of things?
The truth is there is no doubt that losing a few pounds might make you feel better in yourself, but the truth is, not much else is going to change. You still have to deal with the issues and challenges in your life that may have caused you to overeat in the first place. Getting your emotional health in check is so important and learning a few skills to manage any thought processes and resulting feelings that might be causing you to eat emotionally is an important skill to learn.
Learn how to eat ‘off plan’, without rules, long term
When we have been on a diet we might be used to following quite a prescribed meal plan which can leave us a bit lost when we decide to come off the diet. Making sure you have some basic nutritional knowledge, specifically around how to manage your blood sugar levels (something that can lead to weight gain) is a good thing to learn. Get carb smart, which in simple terms means: cut back on refined sugars, go for whole grains and pulses over white pasta, bread and rice products and learn to get good at combining your carbs with protein, good fats and a variety of veggies in every meal.
Learn to tune in to yourself more
Slowing down when you are eating and learning how to tune in to your natural hunger and fullness levels is a great way to manage how you eat. When you sit down to a meal just eat! Put the phone down, turn off the TV and limit distractions so you are aware of what you are eating and can enjoy the experience. Eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full – give yourself permission to leave food when you’re full, even better, learn to serve up smaller portions that you can eat comfortably without feeling bad about leaving food.
When you’ve reached a goal weight and there’s nothing and no-one around anymore to keep you motivated – how do you stay motivated? You need to learn how to do it yourself! Use post it notes, reminders on your phone and little visual reminders to yourself of how well you have done and continue to set goals for yourself. Recruit friends to exercise with you and keep you going. Use a journal to note down how you are getting on, what you are grateful for and any ideas you have to keep you going.
When you’re dieting, sometimes it can end up being all you think about and you are worth SO much more than that. It is absolutely possible to feel good, manage your weight and be healthy without it taking over your life. Instead of focusing on dieting, focus on building these skills that will serve you so much better over the long term.
Do you feel confident enough to quit dieting for good? Let me know in the comments.