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The Lifecycle of a diet Overview

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:55

The lifecycle of a diet: -

Why is it that diets fail? Research tells us that you have a 95% of failing on a diet. That means you only have a 5% chance of succeeding. Yet the dieting industry is a multi billion dollar industry. As long as there is so much money to be made from this industry new diets will continue to come on stream and 95% of you will go back again and again trying out something new.

As our population gets heavier and unhealthier, we desperately need to change our approach to dieting.

Health wise we must reduce body size, which does involve changing our eating habits and exercising. This is not a new concept, most people are aware of this fact.

In order to change your lifestyle, you must first understand what happens to you as you attempt another diet. There is a pattern. If you can understand what is happening and what you are going through, it makes it easier to overcome the different stages when dieting.

Once you know where you are, you in the dieting lifecycle, it is easier to use specific tools and techniques or put in place particular supports to guide you through the journey of dieting.

Stage One – Euphoria I am back on a diet and in control of my eating.

When you decide to diet, be it for health reasons, or because you are unhappy with your shape or size, or maybe it is connected in with your self esteem and sense of self worth. When you commence a diet, motivation levels are invariably high. This motivation feeds off your desires and expectations. When you feel good and confident about achieving something, your chances of success are high.

Stage Two – Grief and loss - what am I doing? I miss living and being happy, as this is so horrible living without my beloved favourite foods.

Every high is followed by a low. Once the initial motivational period passes, you hit the hardest part of your diet. It is during this stage that most people fall off their diet. It is important first to recognise that the way you are feeling is normal and to be expected. Allow yourself space and time to feel sad and grieve the loss of your way of eating and living. Grief needs to be expressed. Grief needs nurturing understanding and support. As you recognise yourself in the grieving process, plan some treats that are non food related to send the message to yourself that you deserve to be minded and loved particularly at this time. Try taking one step at a time. Free up as much time as you can for yourself and surround yourself with loving supportive people if at all possible. Listen to soothing music or supportive CDs to help nurture and guide you through.

Stage Three – Denial I don’t need to be on a diet, I would rather be happy and overweight than slim and miserable.

If you find this time too difficult get professional help. If you had a physical injury you would seek medical assistance. This emotional injury deserves as much assistance as you can get. You physical body responds directly to what is ingested. Your physical health is of paramount importance. You deserve all the help that is out there to get you through.

Remind yourself of your original goals. Re evaluate your dietary plan. Is the diet too restrictive? There are many diets out there. Find one the suits your taste buds and lifestyle. Enlist the support of others who are on the same journey. Sometimes talking to someone who has been at the stage that you are at will be enough to help you overcome any doubts you may have.

Stage Four – Slip Ups – When you have a binge or eat something that is not on your diet.

A slip up is a danger point in any diet. Rather than seeing a slip up for what it is – a temporary blip – dieters use this as the catalyst to abandon the diet completely. When you have a slip up shower yourself with love and understanding. Recognise that it is part of dieting and develop as many self-nurturing healing responses to get you back on track.

Stage Five – Acceptance -  I actually do want to be healthier and feel better. I can manage this. I can learn tools and techniques to deal with my emotional eating. My taste buds are adapting. This is the way forward. I remember why I am doing this.

Many people report losing weight to be the easy part, I personally never it found it easy to lose weight. Once you have the weight off, it is a whole new challenge to keep it off. When on a diet your total focus is losing weight. Imagine arriving at the point. Are you prepared for this? Have you planned how you intend to continue on your healthy eating journey to avoid weight gain?

This stage involves a lot of emotional re adjusting. Arm yourself with as much knowledge about your eating responses and practice new ways of soothing your emotions. Has your attitude changed in relation to food and enjoying your meals? Or was the diet a temporary thing one which you will abandon once you get to your goal weight? Know yourself first.

The Lifecycle of a diet (1)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:55

Stage One – Euphoria

 

 

 

Whenever you embark on a new healthy eating regime, you enter the lifecycle of dieting. For some, this just means making good choices when deciding what to eat, possibly increasing fruit and vegetables. This might also include exercising more. The word diet might never cross your mind.

 

A person who is at this point and maintains a healthy weight through sensible eating is very in tune with their body and their eating wisdom. This person is usually in control of their emotional eating. This is the person I am always aspiring to be. I am not there yet but I have come a long way.

 

 

Before I start on a new way of eating and an exercise regime, something has gone on in my life that has brought me to that point, it might be a binge or a series of binges, it might be an ordeal at the store while trying on clothes and nothing fitting, or I may feel unwell and sluggish from eating foods that do not agree with my body.

 

My return to healthy eating this time was brought about for health reasons, I was diagnosed as a diabetic, this propelled me to take control of my body and what I put into my body. This diagnosis really spurred me on to change my way of eating to control my blood sugars and lose weight to also help control the diabetes.

 

I entered the euphoric stage after a couple of days of planning and research. I had to first learn about diabetes and what diabetic people recommend eating. I was delighted to discover that it is possible to successfully manage blood sugars through diet and moderate exercise.

 

The first part of beginning a healthy regime is to ask yourself the following:

 

Why do you want to lose weight and/or become healthier?

 

What are your goals?

 

What suits your body?

 

Do you have a plan to follow?

 

Do you think this plan is sustainable?

 

Do you need help with this new way of eating?

Do you need to remove any foods from your house?

 

Do you need to shop for any food items to follow your plan?

 

How great do you feel at this time?

 

When you have control over something like a way forward to healthy eating, you feel empowered. Welcome to the euphoric stage.

 

 

The Lifecycle of a Diet (2)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:50

Stage Two – Grief and Loss

Once I go through the first stage of dieting, I invariably enter the grief and loss part of my journey back to healthy eating.

As a serial dieter, I went through many cycles of dieting before I become aware of patterns appearing throughout my dieting journey.

I discovered that the time frame for each stage varied, it was intrinsically linked to the diet of choice, if my regime was very severe and involved attending a weight loss class that involved naming and shaming, I experienced grief and loss at an early stage.

If my diet of choice incorporated many foods that I normally eat, and the exercise component, which I always include, was enjoyable to follow, stage two would not be too obvious. I might only feel like I am missing out on special occasions or nights out.

I also noticed that when I felt that I had no alternative but to follow a certain eating pattern like when I was diagnosed with Diabetes, this stage was particularly severe.

The key to overcoming these feelings of grief and not succumbing to temptation is simply to recognise that it is normal to grieve the loss of foods you associate with pleasure or release to tension.

Allow yourself to feel this loss and know that in a very short time, this feeling will pass.

Stage two is a good time to try an alternative way of soothing or nurturing yourself that does not involve food. Maybe using some of your senses;-

Smell – scented baths, candles, burning aromatherapy oils. Brew coffee.

Sight – take a walk in nature, or visit the ocean. Drink in the beauty.

Touch – Gather up pretty stones, use stones to interrupt cravings. Try tapping to sooth away any stresses or tension. Play a musical instrument. Make something crafty and enjoy seeing your creation coming to life. Physical touch is as important to nurture and sooth the soul. Animals such as dogs or horses really respond to the touch of a loving human.

Hear – Listen to music that inspires you. Phone a friend, or connect with someone that makes you laugh. Seek out noises that sooth you, the sound of the ocean on a stormy day, children playing in the park laughing and having fun.

Taste – Fill up on life and the joys of living. Nurture your thirst and hunger with good experiences.

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (3)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:50

Stage 3 - Denial

 

Stage three of dieting, denial, means you are at a critical point of your dieting journey. It is a make or break point. Following on from grief and loss is our natural instinct to look for a solution.

 

You do not want to feel bereft any more. Sure enough those doubting thoughts start forming in your head. ‘I don’t actually need to lose weight or get healthy,’ 'I don’t really care that I am this shape, size, unfit.’ These thoughts create a window of opportunity, the opportunity to start feeding your emotions again with foods that sooth.

 

Denial blocks your original goals, denial argues reasons to get off the diet. Denial beckons you to abandon your control over how and what you eat. Denial is just a stage in the dieting lifecycle.

 

It is important to prepare yourself in advance for this stage.

 

Recognise the many guises denial takes on.

 

One thing I caught myself doing in this stage was to seek out friends who were in denial about their own eating issues and I colluded with them over how ridiculous it was to moderate our food intake in any way, my favourite saying was life is too short not to enjoy food. I ended up having to radically curb sweet things though my Diabetes diagnosis, I did not take control of my eating habits soon enough.

 

Now as I follow a very healthy eating regime which includes exercise, I see denial coming at me every now and again and I am prepared as it approaches.

 

 

I listen to the arguments it presents but am armed with the reasons why I eat now the way I do. My goals and reasons for this particular approach are at the forefront of my mind. If denial sparks some feelings of grief and loss, I treat myself to something nice, I give myself the choice of making that treat food based but also put up an alternative that is not, I usually choose the non food treat as I stay away from I cannot have or it is forbidden. Forbidden makes something very attractive.

 

Recognise what denial looks like and how you can prepare yourself for it when it approaches. Know what works best for you.

 

The Lifecycle of a diet (4)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 2:45

Stage 4 Slip Ups

Nearly everyone who has ever dieted has had a slip up at some stage. Slip ups are part of dieting. Slip ups are not usually received well. They are normally viewed as failing or not being strong enough. Slip-ups usually feed your feelings of lack and worthlessness. But the reality is that slip ups happen. They happen with everything in life, including when you are trying to lose weight. Sometimes you are caught off guard by a new situation that leads to a diet slip up. At other times, you make mistakes with your new healthy eating patterns and sometimes you make mistakes in life in general. When you have a slip up, it is important not to throw in the towel. While a slip up may temporarily side track you, the reality is they are a wonderful learning opportunity to create growth and change, just recognize and understand the situation.

Some important points to remember after having a slip-up

1. Do not throw in the towel

2. Use the experience to learn

3. Catch any negative thoughts and use thought stopping techniques to change them

4. Love yourself even more than ever

5. Wrap yourself in a blanket of love

6. Forgive yourself and others, if needed

7. Move on, ready to face the world

The more you prepare for a slip the smoother the transition through this dieting stage is.

Slips up are natural, negative thoughts about slips do not serve you in any positive way.

Once you recognize and negotiate slip ups, become your own best friend and nurture yourself through every glorious stage of the dieting lifecycle.

Slip-ups remind you to change or negative thinking about ourselves when you respond to a challenge. You deserve to be in control of your eating. You deserve to be in control of your emotions. As you take out judgment and shame, it gets much each to control your life. Positive reinforcement keeps you on track. Welcome the slip ups.

The Lifecycle of a diet (5)

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 0:10

Stage Five – Acceptance

 

You have been following a eating regime and are successfully negotiating all the different stage of dieting. You are able to follow an eating plan and manage your emotions. Your weight might have reached a point that you actually do want to be healthier and feel better. I can manage this. I can learn tools and techniques to deal with my emotional eating. My taste buds are adapting. This is the way forward. I remember why I am doing this.

 

Many people report losing weight to be the easy part, I personally never it found it easy to lose weight. Once you have the weight off, it is a whole new challenge to keep it off. When on a diet your total focus is on losing weight. Imagine arriving at the point. Are you prepared for this? Have you planned how you intend to continue on your healthy eating journey to avoid weight gain.

 

This stage involves a lot of emotional re adjusting. Arm yourself with as much knowledge about your eating responses and practice new ways of soothing your emotions. Has your attitude changed in relation to food and enjoying your meals? Or was the diet a temporary thing one which you will abandon once you get to your goal weight? Know yourself first.