Obesity and excess weight are popular topics in our society. People talk about their struggles to lose weight and keep it off. The media talks about the latest and greatest weight loss “fix.” And experts on every side of the issue weigh in (pun intended) with their two cents about superfoods, interval training, and the carb free life. But despite the wealth of information available to us and frankly, shoved down our throats (again, pun intended), the weight loss issue continues to dominate our thoughts and lives as a whole. But there has to be another way.
Not everyone struggles with making healthy food choices. Not everyone yo-yo diets and meticulously counts calories every second of the day. And not everyone eats to cope with emotional struggles. So how can you break the cycle, shirk the diet mentality, and work your way towards balance, wellness, health, and sanity? Here are some tips to point you in the right direction!
1. Have a Life
The first step in this process is to take an excessive focus off of food and meals. People struggling perpetually with diets and food failures tend to spend a lot of time thinking about meals and snacks – more than the Average Joe. This obsessive behavior is neither healthy nor effective, so keep yourself busy in between meals and snacks with real life tasks and experiences (i.e. work, shopping, chores, normal stuff!).
2. Detach Food from Personal Value
This is crucial. In order to break the cycle and start building better health overall, you have to get rid of the food stigmas you so readily embrace. In other words, realize that eating a cookie does not mean you are weak, and enjoying a pasta dinner in front of other diners is not a sin.
3. Go Back to Biology
By this we mean that you should tune in to your body’s natural signals and cue for hunger/fullness. People who don’t struggle with diets/weight loss understand what it feels like to be hungry (so they eat) and full (so they stop). Your body knows what it needs, so if you listen, you will fill it up appropriately and not to excess, and you will also begin to want to fill it with good stuff because it feels better.
4. Talk It Out
Instead of dealing with difficulties via eating, talk out your issues with a confidant or counselor. There are lost of ways to deal with personal struggle, but food is not one of them.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*
Story Credit: 5 Ways to Eat Like a ‘Normal’ Person (That Dieters Just Don’t Get) by Isabel Foxen Duke
Photo Credit: Lake summer salad by Matt Kowal. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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