It’s the New Year. Time to make those resolutions. Another promise to yourself to get healthy. Another promise to go on that diet. Right? What if I told you that you are better off not dieting? Would I be your new best friend? I’m here to share with you today 5 Reasons to Give Up Dieting This Year.
The diet industry is a mutli-million dollar industry in this country. Gym memberships sky rocket this time of year. Someone is promising that they have the next “miracle” diet that will solve all of your health and weight issues. But I am here to let you off the hook this year. Dieting is NOT good for you. It actually is unhealthy, and I urge you to resolve to give up dieting for your New Year’s resolution. And here are 5 reasons why:
#1 Dieting damages our metabolism:
Having a healthy, nourished metabolism is crucial for every function in your body, including healthy hormonal balance. It is not uncommon for folks who have dieted for long periods of time to suffer from insomnia, poor digestion, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, and hormonal imbalances. See THIS or THIS to learn more about healing and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
#2 Dieting actually increases weight gain in the long run:
Long term deprivation and restriction leads the body to believe it is “starving” and triggers it to hold on for dear life to those extra pounds. A study in Finland showed that dieting itself, independent of genetics, is significantly associated with accelerated weight gain and increased the risk of becoming overweight.
And that feeling of hunger that arises from restrictive dieting is actually your body signaling you that you are deprived of essential nutrients. No wonder binge eating is common during times of dieting.
#3 Counting calories is useless in achieving AND maintaining a healthy weight:
Your body knows what it needs. When we eat nutrient dense, whole foods with adequate amounts of good quality fats, carbs, and protein the body receives all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs. You will feel full and satisfied and not have the urge to over eat. The opposite is true, as well. With a diet of processed foods lacking in enough fats, carbs, protein, and calories, the body will feel hungry. Your brain knows that your nutrient requirements have not been met. Counting calories leads to this restrictive kind of eating and in the long run is NOT a sustainable way of eating. A calorie is NOT realistic or useful way to measure the value of food. It does not tell you whether the food contains essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the body. Healthy eating is about quality, not quantity. Focus on real food that is unprocessed and nutrient dense. Your body will thank you.
#4 Dieting creates an unhealthy relationship with food:
Eating is supposed to be enjoyable. It involves the sense of taste, smell, and sight. When we get into a cycle of guilt and punishment around the foods we eat, our relationship with the foods we eat is altered. Feeling a sense of shame or stress around food can lead to digestive issues and increases in stress hormones that can lead to other health issues. Imagine if we were OK with eating fats and carbs. Read more HERE about why saturated fats are actually good for you.
And we haven’t even discussed the issue of body image that plagues most women in our culture. What would it be like if every woman could love her body? What would it be like if the standard of beauty was not an unrealistic ideal? Read more HERE about learning to love your body.
#5 Dieting only addresses one part of the equation when it comes to vital living:
Dieting makes food the focus of maintaining a healthy weight. Yes, what you eat has an impact on weight loss. But what about exercise, stress management, and proper sleep? Being healthy involves a lifestyle change, not the next miracle diet. Taking a look at all the factors that affect our bodies is key. Did you know that you will die from lack of sleep before you die from starvation? How many of us get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Did you know that stress increases your risk for putting on the pounds? Increased stress hormones like cortisol are associated with increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and weight gain. What do you do in your life to manage stress? And are you moving your body? Regular, moderate exercise decreases blood pressure, relieves stress, reduces body weight, improves mood, and builds self-confidence.
Need some resources to getting healthy without dieting? Check out these great books for loosing weight naturally, nourishing your metabolism, staying fit, and healthy detoxing:
- Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too by Danelle Wolford
- The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling
- Real Fit at Every Age by Julie de Lagarde
- 3 Weeks to Vitality by Mary Vance
So, I’m here to let you off the hook this New Year. Let’s all resolve to give up dieting for good.
Want to learn more? Check out these great posts on why dieting doesn’t work:
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