There’s certainly a change in the wind around dieting and weight loss with fad diet programs and theories that rocked the 80’s finally being laid to rest.
Let’s face it, most of us know what we should be eating – but so often we get this wrong with beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and past behaviours standing in our way.
Many of us, often fall into the trap of
- Deciding to lose body fat
- Reduce food intake and limit certain food groups
This sounds good in theory and looks great on paper but for lasting change, understanding the system on how to achieve this is super critical. There is no doubt, for a shift to occur in dieting behaviours awareness reigns king and this is where non-dieting modifications reign supreme.
Non-dieting means shifting the focus from weight management to health promotion. Being more in tune with the body’s internal cues help individuals avoid obsessive food consumption and harmful dieting. It focusses more on behaviours and the reasons why something is passing through our lips.
So, forget about what’s on your plate for a moment and take a step back. It’s time to focus on the decisions and choices you make around your eating preferences.
There can be confronting moments when we are coming to terms with why current habits exist. Without even realising, each day we are giving our thoughts, patterns and ambitions jerseys simply because we have repeated the same actions before. To create the change, we need to intervene in the mindlessness.
Within my Health Coaching practice, this is probably the most important area I focus on. Understanding underlying motives and reasons can help release what is perhaps years of yoyo dieting and unsuccessful weight loss attempts. By gaining an understanding of why you do what you do, then that’s one feather in your weight loss effort cap.
Here are four ways to help.
- Reduce mindless snacking. This comes from having a conversation with oneself as to the reason it is happening (am I hungry, bored or acting out of habit).
- Being mindful of sugar intake. This is something that can easily creep up and become an everyday norm. A nibble of a bikkie here, a piece of chocolate there… if this is happening a couple of times a day then it’s time to bring awareness back. It’s helpful to see if perhaps stress as a source. Slowing down helps.
- Focus on meal portions. Dieting teaches us to disconnect our minds from what we are feeling. “Do I really need to finish everything on my plate?” or “What do I really feel like eating” are helpful questions in finding satiety from our meals.
- Understanding why alcohol plays a big part in your life. What fuels its existence? Is it simply attached to a cue (arriving home from work, socialising etc) Look for ways to eliminate the cue or replace actions that bring positive results?
Non- dietary habits are the most powerful tools you can have in any lasting weight maintenance effort. Another example of why it’s not just about the food on your plate but the patterns we mindlessly repeat.