Do you feel like you’re always on a diet but never getting anywhere? Are you tired of the endless cycle of restricting, binging, and feeling guilty? It’s time to break free from the diet mentality and focus on changing your habits for good. In this blog post, we’ll explore why diets don’t work in the long run, and provide tips for making sustainable changes to your lifestyle that will help you achieve your health goals without sacrificing your sanity.
DIET VS HABITS
Let’s talk about habits. The word habit comes from the Latin habitus and it means ‘’condition, state, I have, hold, keep’’. By this definition we can start seeing the difference between diets and habits. A habit stays, it holds with you, while a diet is meant to go away.
Understanding that and focusing on eating habits, here are some characteristics that differentiate this terms:
A diet has an expiration date, even by some clinical studies there are negative implications on doing certain diets longer than the recommended time. A habit is meant to become part of your life, routine and schedule and such are the results.
When we’re on a diet it is usually for a specific goal in a specific timeline, it could be a wedding, a family event, a trip. These are short term goals that only focus on the physical aspect of health and even weight loss. And this is easier than thinking about long lasting goals, because you know they take time, effort and even a shift from your comfort zone. Habits are not built from one day to another, it could even take years, but the results are continuous and sustainable.
· RESTRICTION MENTALITY
Another characteristic of diets is that they usually restrict a lot of foods and allow you to eat from specific sources or even brands. This restrictive mentality can lead to anxiety or binge eating.
On the other hand, when developing new habits, you know you have the permission to eat whatever you want, when you want, as long as you balance your meals, work with portion control and enjoy everything while still working for your health.
HOW TO STOP THE DIET CYCLE
Here are some tips to not relapse on diet culture:
·Run away when a new method means choosing only certain brands, and is mostly not whole foods: There are so many methods out there that promise you x or y result if you start drinking this tea, or this powder or a new pill, while you only eat cucumbers and chicken. A complete and balanced diet should always rely on whole foods, natural ingredients and ultimately food that is just that, food.
· Avoid miracle diets: we’ve heard of so many methods that will make you lose 20 pounds in one week if you only go through a mega calorie restriction. And bear with me here, because I know maybe it's true and some people did lose that weight, however nobody explained to us how incredibly dangerous that is for our health, because usually a sudden major weight loss often translates as muscle mass loss, something that should be very precious to us.
· Be aware of express results: I know it is tempting, but it’s a mistake, one that is very related to the last point. If the method promises a quick result, it's most probably because the restriction is even bigger, and the weight rebound will also be fast.
In conclusion, when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, changing your habits is more effective than relying on diets. Diets are often based on restriction and deprivation, which can lead to feelings of guilt and shame when you inevitably ‘’cheat’’ or fall off track.
On the other hand, by focusing on making small, sustainable changes to your habits, you can create a healthier and happier life by yourself. By making healthy choices a natural part of your daily routine, you won’t have to rely on willpower alone to stay on track. Remember changing habits takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. So instead of looking for the latest diet fad, focus on building healthy habits that will support your health and wellbeing for years to come.