For the “Serial Dieter”

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If you’re a “serial dieter,” chances are you’ve had your share of disappointments. The fact is that over 95% of people who lose weight on diets gain it back plus more in a relatively short period of time. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who’ve gained weight as a result of dieting and they all wonder why they’ve failed. They’re discouraged, frustrated, and this chronic dieting behavior chips away at their confidence, their self-esteem and their health while doing little to create the body they want.

If you’re like these people, I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them. You didn’t fail, the diet failed you. It failed you because diets don’t work. Diet means deprivation and the more we deprive ourselves, the more we encourage binge type behavior. In fact, dieting is the best way to gain weight! trans

Picture a rubber band. If you stretch it as far as it can go, it will snap back with force but if you tug on it gently, it will gently stretch. When we diet, it’s as if we’re pulling that rubber band as far as it can go. When we eventually let go (like we do when life throws us an unexpected curveball, when we haven’t planned effectively, etc.), it snaps back in the form of a diet-induced binge, encouraging us to eat all the foods we’ve temporarily given up.

Lasting weight loss requires a gentle tug on the rubber band; enough of a pull to make a change, yet reasonable enough to ensure lasting results. It requires the mindset of adding healthy, delicious, nutrient-rich foods which give us satisfaction, health and results vs. the feeling that we’re taking away foods that do little to fuel or nourish us. That’s the difference between dieting vs. making lifestyle changes, and it’s the only way to go to ensure lasting results.

What healthy eating changes have you made? I’d love to know, comment and share!

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    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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August 2011
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