THE COUNSELLING CENTRE MAYNOOTH

Conselling and Psychotherapy Services  - For all your Counselling needs

Blog

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.

Categories: Weight Loss & The Life Change Therapy Model