Diet. Even just the word itself is often a source of anxiety. It can stir up feelings of guilt and shame and kick our negative self-talk into high gear. But we can approach weight and wellness in a healthier way. A shift in perspective may be required but it’s absolutely possible!
Why does dieting stress us out so much?
No one feels good when restricting themselves. Thanks to social media, we also feel more pressure than ever about body image. Dieting is a double whammy. We stress and obsess over the specifics, calorie counts, and ingredient purity. And we also get hit with all those body image issues. Dieting is stressful and often counterproductive for many reasons, e.g.
They aim a temporary fix at a long-term concern.
The whole idea of a diet is to “go on” it until you stop. This could be because you reached your goal or simply gave up. A healthier approach to weight and wellness would involve a big picture view of eating habits.
You must allocate so much mental energy.
The time and energy needed are exhausting. Turning something natural into a rule-laden sacrifice requires us to expend energy in very unproductive directions.
There is a lot of bad information out there.
It was bad before the Internet. And now? There is far more bad and dangerous advice than anything useful. Everyone is an “expert” and credentials are virtually impossible to verify. How can this not lead to dieting anxiety? We can’t morph into nutrition experts overnight. Find an experienced, qualified mentor.
Why is it important to maintain healthy eating habits?
It would be wonderful if we could condition ourselves to reject all imposed body standards. We’d no longer conform to society’s demands and eat whatever we want. Thinking for yourself is a wonderful idea. Eating whatever you want is another story.
Our bodies (and minds) require us to pay attention to what we consume. It’s not just about calories and sugar content. To feel our best, we must take responsibility for our lifestyle choices. Again, a great place to start is to find a mentor.
A Few Healthy Ways to Approach Weight and Wellness
It’s not a trend or fad. It’s not something we do for a month before our sister’s wedding. Taking responsibility for our eating habits is a lifestyle change. We tweak it and re-evaluate it, of course, but it’s still a long-term decision.
Burning calories goes hand in hand with counting calories. Our body craves movement. Movement keeps us lean, flexible, and functional. This is another reason why “diets” stress and fail. They don’t address the need for activity. Step away from your phones and laptops and go try a spin class at RIDE Oakland!
Practice portion control
This is a good bit of nuts-and-bolts advice. One of the hardest parts of changing our eating habits is reducing or possibly eliminating foods we love. Don’t start with that challenge. Instead, go with portion control. Commit to eating a small amount less at every meal. In no time, you will have seriously decreased intake and proven to yourself that yes, you can change. Tackling this change will make it easier to then address dietary content.
If you’re thinking, “Sure, I’ve heard all this a million times…”
It’s common to hear people bemoan how “there’s something new each week” when it comes to diet. Things can get confusing and therefore, demoralizing. As touched on above, weight and wellness is a loaded combination. Ideally, we can get input from someone who understands the emotional and physical factors—and how those factors combine. At Healing Happens Therapy, we help clients take a look at the whole picture. We address this challenging issue from the inside out.