You know how it goes. You go on a diet. Soon you feel deprived of the foods you like. Then you cheat. Then you go on a more extreme diet, cheat again and feel even worse about your failure. As the cycle continues, you feel increasingly unhappy with your body and out of control with food. The extra pounds don’t really decrease but your self esteem takes a dive.
Here 5 steps for breaking the diet cycle and starting a healthy, new relationship with food:
1️⃣ Redefine Health
Start to measure your well-being by how you feel rather than by what number you see on the scale. Are you strong? Do you have energy throughout the day? Can you walk up stairs without being out of breath? How is your cholesterol level and blood pressure?
2️⃣ Choose a Realistic Target Weight
Are you shooting for a weight that you have had since high school? Take an honest look at your beliefs about your ideal weight. Do you think it will result in a prefect body and a perfect life? Recognize the difference between your fantasies of weight loss and a reality.
3️⃣ Make Sure the Timing is Right
If you are facing multiple stressors or looking for short-term results (that upcoming reunion or wedding), move slowly. Real change take long-term commitment and a supportive environment. By taking small steps you will avoid becoming overwhelmed and sabotaging long-term success.
4️⃣ Take Baby Steps Towards Better Choices
Instead of giving up pizza altogether, try ordering one with chicken rather than pepperoni, or go lighter on the cheese topping. You get the idea.
5️⃣ Set Different Goals
Make physical activity – not dieting – your priority. Again, take small steps so you feel successful, rather than trying too much and setting yourself up for failure.