Do you have the right motivations for starting a diet?
There are so many reasons to improve your eating habits. While there’s no doubt that changing your diet can bring about a major improvement to your health, there are also many questions you should ask yourself before dramatically changing eating habits.
Many people want to lose weight. There’s no doubt that people are doing more exercise, but they also get caught up in fad diets and other unhealthy behaviors related to food. A recent study suggested that it’s not dietary restriction per se that causes problems — indeed, following a legitimate, evidence-based program can be safe and effective for losing weight. It’s the extreme, fad, or unhealthy dieting practices (which tend to flourish via social media platforms) that can be problematic and contribute to shame and stigma surrounding one’s body.
Before You Go on a Diet, Answer These 5 Questions
If you’re debating whether or not to go on a diet, the decision is ultimately yours to make.
According to statistics released in 2020 by the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 17 percent of Americans report following a special diet, most typically a weight reduction or low-calorie diet, on a given day (CDC). And in 2018, over half of American adults made an effort to reduce their weight, citing CDC statistics (PDF).
Despite what diet culture would have you believe, everyone has a unique optimal eating routine. At the end of the day, it comes down to nourishing your soul, mind, and body via your diet.
She recommends eating in a manner that is both physically and mentally nourishing, which includes being at peace with the things you consume.
If you want to improve your life by making adjustments to your diet, how can you avoid becoming sucked into harmful diet culture? Take a look at these five questions that specialists recommend you ask yourself.
1 – Why am I on this diet and what do I hope to achieve?
Weight loss can be a tricky thing. Even if you have a specific goal in mind, like losing 20 pounds, the likelihood of hitting it is slim . Worse yet, if weight loss seems like the only thing that’s motivating you to change your health habits—and getting closer to your goal–you may find yourself feeling less motivated by the end of it — especially if losing or gaining is slow or doesn’t seem to be making much progress even though you’re working hard.
2-Does My Size Make It Impossible for Me to Achieve My Goals?
Do you know why most diets fail: they do not take the emotional component of weight loss into account. If you want “healthier” or “more disciplined” results then dieting is not the solution. People fail on their diets because they aren’t able to change other behaviors, including eating habits, with the same amount of focus and energy as they put into dieting.
Your mind may have been telling you all along that your body was “wrong” or “broken,” but you didn’t realize that was because of a specific diet. There are tons of ways to lose weight — some easier than others. If you’re getting started in the right way, then you might be reading this article right now because you know your relationship with food can be problematic. You might want to work on these issues before you even start eating differently, though
3-The next question is, “What is your idea of health?”
Do you want to improve your lung capacity? Feel energized after waking up in the morning? You may be thinking about trying to lose weight or at least improve your body image. But this is not just about “willpower.”
Your reasons for pursuing weight loss may be valid. It’s okay, for example, if you simply don’t feel comfortable in your current body weight and want to make a change. But take time to really dig deep and ask yourself what you really want out of this behavior change you’re pursuing. “Try to honor your health first. Do you want to improve your lung capacity? Feel energized after waking up in the morning?” she asks.
Are you starting a diet for the right reasons? You might be thinking of making a positive change in your life and losing weight. You want to improve your lung capacity, feel energized after waking up in the morning, have more energy at work or on the weekends, or even just feel better every day. But do you know what’s really driving this behavior change?
4-Does this diet make you hungrier?
Does this diet make you feel worse about food? Are you preoccupied with what you can’t have when following a restrictive diet? Or is it about tracking your food — either for calories or macros — and thinking about what you will eat tomorrow or next week?
When a diet isn’t working for you and you decide to make changes, one of the first things you need to do is evaluate your diet. Are you overcomplicating things? Do new foods feel good or have negative effects on your health?
Diet changes can be hard on the body and mind. Implementing a new diet or making any sort of change is always an adjustment period. Luckily, with a little thought and guidance, you can make sure this time is as smooth for your body as possible.
If you suddenly feel like all you can think about is food, it might be time to take a step back.
5-Why should I lose weight, doctor?
This is not a question to pose to yourself, but one to ask your doctor if they propose you go on a diet to lose weight. There is some really valid data to show that losing weight is associated with better health outcomes, and that’s one reason why your doctor might suggest at your next appointment that you go on a diet. For example, losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can help prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes, according to the CDC.
When you go on a diet, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one trying to lose weight. But the truth is that not everyone cares about their health or the future quality of their life; they just want to look better at this moment in time.