How many times have you heard someone say “I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet”? A lot, we know. Diet culture is everywhere and is used far too much in western society. From keto dieting to extreme windows without eating, the obsession with being thin is at an all time high. The term ‘diet’ essentially means, restrictive of certain food groups. So if you feel guilty about eating certain foods then you may be experiencing a form of ‘diet mentality’, which we all need to shift from. Renowned Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Sophie Guidolin says, “If you can’t make it a lifestyle, you shouldn’t start it”. This is so true because if it is something you can’t see yourself doing in the long run then it isn’t sustainable and will cause your body more harm that good.
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Diets slow down your metabolism
When you restrict you certain food groups and even eating in general, over time your metabolism slows down, because your body thinks you’re in starvation mode and begins to preserve energy to keep you moving. Under eating may work in the short term, but in the long term it can cause disastrous effects. Your mood, energy levels, performance and even weight loss can suffer. Over time, metabolic adaptation occurs where you simply struggle to output the energy required to keep your weight loss going, and even causing it to stall!
When we deprive ourselves of certain foods or categorise foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ it increases our chances of binging on foods that we don’t need. Allowing yourself to indulge in your favourite foods, like chocolate, pizza or cake every so often will keep you from binging on an excess amount later. In the famous words of Gigi Hadid “eat clean to stay fit, eat a burger to stay sane’. Making peace with food and letting go of ‘food rules’ is vital in creating a healthy relationship with food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, always.
Dieting can restrict you from social experiences, a lot of the time you tend to isolate yourself from certain events because you know that you are not allowed to eat a lot of the food there. This is an unhealthy mentality to have and it can ruin relationships with family and friends. You should see food as a time to bond with family and friends and not something to avoid. Pick a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy social outings, being with friends and family and enjoy food!
A lot of the time, when you are on a diet, you are left hungry and you usually try to suppress this feeling not eating intuitively and eating foods that won’t fill you up. You should try listening to your body, thinking about what it is that you’re craving and eat when you are hungry. It sounds obvious but it seems to be a reoccurring thing that we skip meals to lose weight.