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Diets Don't Work: When Healthy Eating is a Disconnect




Diets don't work.


Many people still haven't made the connection between what they eat and how they feel. They don't understand that nutrition is a pillar of health, not just a vehicle to weight loss or a skinnier body.


My goal is always to help you arrive at a deeper understanding of the effect that food has on how you look, how you feel, and even who you are (or think you are).


What you eat today not only affects your health right now but has long-term effects.


Over the years, people always ask me questions like: "What's better to have in my water - lemon or lime?" "What's the exact amount of protein I should consume each day?"


Don't worry about those kinds of small details. They distract you from what you really need to be asking. Ask the bigger, more powerful questions that genuinely will make a positive impact. "How am I feeling now, after eating that?" "What am I going to do differently next time?" The answers all lie within ourselves.


WHAT DOES HEALTHY EATING MEAN?


People with the best intentions often do all the wrong things. It's hard to know which guidelines are truly healthy and which ones are just trendy. I don't know about you, but I have been disillusioned (for decades) and exhausted with all the different advice and diets out there. Which ones or whom do you trust? It's enough to drive even the most logical person insane.


Health no longer means salad three meals a day or chicken and rice with no flavor. It has become more "aesthetic" and superficial over the past few years and therefore harder to navigate. Thirty years ago in a health-food store, the person working there probably wore a sweater made of leaves, was chewing on wheatgrass, and looked a little bit ill.


Health isn't "weird" anymore. It's mainstream, it's trendy, it's at the forefront of the "influencer" movement. Wellness has become a powerful industry - which can be hugely positive if people are embracing the right messages. However, when they are being sold something damaging, it can be dangerous for their health.


Be aware of people dressing up disordered eating with green juice.


They've just found a different and more sophisticated way of saying "Obsess over your food," and it's giving others an excuse to justify such obsessions. This new flowery language of food empowerment often runs on nothing but shame and guilt. Constantly asking yourself, "What am I going to eat?" "Did I eat too much?" "Is it [fat/sugar/carb/calorie/sodium] free?"


Only balance works. The minute you begin to compulsively weigh your food, become burdened by tabulating calories or beat yourself up for going out to dinner or to a birthday party/wedding/celebration -- you're back in diet mentality.


Healthy eating rules can go too far. Rules are made to be broken. More importantly, the human body doesn't respond well to rules. We are more complicated than that.


Remember only one rule: Be kind to yourself. That should drive every choice you make. Beyond that, what works for one person won't work for another. So rather than going on a restricted calorie diet, or only eating bananas, or force-feeding yourself yet another boring salad --- tune into your body and find foods that work for you. Your body will thank you for it and return to its natural state of "vibrant living."


WHY DON'T DIETS WORK?


Diets depend on denial. If I tell you not to think of a red car, a red car instantly comes to mind. Similarly, if I say not to eat cake, most people reading this won't be able to stop thinking about it until their diet ends and they can eat all of the cake - yes, all of it.


What you resist persists.

So, rather than fighting your cravings and making it a battle, simply let it go.


The key is not focusing on what you can't have. So often, fad diets focus on giving things up, when they should be telling you about enjoying amazing food that improves how you feel. Once you've experienced that, there's no going back. You might "fall off the wagon," but nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.


Instead of going on a diet, how about deciding to be kind to yourself and completely changing your life? Being kind means letting go of shame and guilt. Your past does not equal your future.


"Failure" is feedback.


Are you still thinking about the red car? Now you are. That's why diets don't work.


Nutrition is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the best ways to look after your overall health is to change your behavior surrounding food, rather than signing up to another diet. Fundamentally, if you want to embark on real, deep change, you have to work with your body. If you're constantly working against it, wellness becomes a burden, not a lifestyle.



 


 


 



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