“Reality Check” is an article series which looks at common mistakes people make when they begin dieting for weight loss. We’ll check out some ‘thought adjustments’ that will help you make better choices on your journey. The articles include tips, new ideas to try, strategies to follow, and encouragement to keep you moving forward.

Your relationship with food is key

“I feel so guilty all the time. Every time I think about eating, all I can think of is how badly the food will affect me. Nothing is healthy anymore. It’s like I can’t eat AYTHING if I want to lose weight.”  

What is a dieter’s biggest battle? Figuring out WHY they eat too much, and why they have a poor relationship with food. The guilt and anxiety that comes with a poor relationship with food often ends up creating an unhealthy downward spiral: Eat badly, feel guilty, eat for comfort, feel more guilty… you can guess where this ends? Feeling miserable the next time you get on a scale.

A bad relationship with food can take various forms, but there are two primary ones:

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The first is that people eat to try to fix their emotional frustrations – a slab of chocolate and a bottle of wine become the “saviours” of a bad day.

The second issue people struggle with is that after reading enough diet material, you’ll begin to think that there is almost no food that you can eat on a diet, because EVERYTHING is unhealthy in one way or another. These people generally say ‘to hell with it’ and carry on eating poorly, because they can’t see a solution in all of the information-mess.

Both of these problems have the same solution

You must make peace with food. You need to decide what you’re going to believe and what you’re prepared to follow, and then stick to it. The bottom line is that almost every diet WILL work, if you stick to it.

The question you have to ask is: “Which one suits my lifestyle best?” Once you’ve decided on a diet, don’t stop until you’ve done at LEAST three months of disciplined work on it. If you’re not satisfied with your results, then research another diet. But don’t get overwhelmed by all the information. Find something that speaks to YOU, do it, and ignore the distractions.

You also need to find other ways to deal with your frustrations, anxiety and stress.

Developing healthy coping skills will make choosing healthy food way easier. If you’re getting a serotonin rush from a good workout, or a long walk on the beach, or a great night at book club, then you’re going to crave far less comfort food!

You are the one in control of your relationship with food. If you’re not, I’d advise a rethink of your situation. Take charge, and stop believing that you’re powerless.

 

Read more in the ‘reality check’ series below:

 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.