As a recovering chronic dieter, I know the struggle.
You’re constantly drawn to new diet trends like a moth to the flame. One month you’re doing a master cleanse, the next month you’re drinking powdered meals and eating a salad a day.
But nothing seems to really get you to where you want to be: weight loss and weight loss that last.
That was me for a while although I didn’t quite see it that way. Being the geeky, science nerd, hippie that I am, I was constantly reading up on and trying new holistic cleansing methods for weight loss.
I was a vegetarian after I read somewhere that meat allegedly caused weight gain. When being a vegetarian didn’t work out right, I became a vegan. And when that seemed to also stall my weight loss, I went raw food vegan. I saw my diet hopping as lifestyle testing.
See, my train of thought during this time was eat less to see results so I was drawn to holistic methods that required less and less food. Soon after being a raw food vegan, I found myself doing master cleanses and juice fasts to lose weight. Those were even harder to stick to and I jumped on to some other “holistic” method.
Sound familiar? Well here’s the secret to ending serial dieting: stop dieting and start living. Sounds cliché, I know, but it’s really that simple.
When I finally realized I could not starve to get the weight off, I found a lifestyle to stick to, that satisfied me, and made the most sense to my geeky, science nerd, hippie self.
Here are the steps I took to end my 15-year serial dieting:
Step One: Get out of the mindset of “quick” weight loss
The first thing I had to do to change my diet into a lifestyle was to quit expecting quick weight loss. In expecting weight loss to happened quickly, I wouldn’t stick to a diet for very long or I would think I needed to make changes.
Instead of giving a routine time to work or my body time to heal, I would move on to something else to see if I can make weight loss happen quickly.
Step Two: Educate yourself on what is truly healthy eating
In retrospect, this was a tough one. EVERYBODY swears they know what healthy eating is. They’ll swear their methods are backed by science and guaranteed. Even in the holistic and wellness communities. I’ve too been fooled. But as a science and research methods nerd, I eventually came across nerdy information that has worked like a charm.
I suggest starting by going to websites that discuss the paleo diet by Googling paleo. I’ve found that these paleo communities do really well with breaking down misconceptions and myths surrounding health, weight gain, weight loss, and how modern foods affect our bodies. Get lost down the rabbit hole for a bit. It’s a trip.
Step Three: Implement and be easy on yourself. It’s a journey.
Lasting weight loss and a healthy body is a journey without an end destination. Yeah, you’ll reach your goal weight, but you’ll still have to maintain. Along the way, you’ll make mistakes and that’s totally ok. You might even fall off and gain weight.
Forgiving your self, learning how to improve and moving forward are the best methods. Not only for weight loss, but also for practicing self love. Along the way, it’ll get easier to implement your new, healthier lifestyle and the “mistakes” will come less often. And maybe not. The important thing is to keep trying, starting with baby steps if you need.
At first, I found myself disliking me for not being able to stick to my new healthy lifestyle. But I eventually realized that each time I made a mistake, I learned and grew from that mistake.
I did, in fact, get stronger although I thought I was weak. There was nothing to dislike, just a lot to love and enjoy about the transition.
Recovering from serial dieting took ditching the gimmicks, educating myself on food and being easy on myself. Remember, this is a journey with room for mistakes.
Mistakes are where the lessons are and when the growth happens so don’t beat yourself up. On this journey, you’ll realize that you feel much better without the mistakes and you’ll learn how to avoid them.
End your search for the next best diet and end serial dieting in your life with knowledge, simplicity and self-love. You’ll do just fine.