Why I'm ANTI Dieting
Every January before this one, I made one of my goals 'Lose weight - at least two stone'. That started when I was 15 and continued for seven years, until I was 22. This year, upon turning 23 and ready to enter 2019, weight loss was a priority thanks to a health warning from my doctor. No set amount, however, and strictly no 'dieting'.
Because over the last couple of years, I've become quite "anti diet". I hate the word, what it means and I absolutely despise all the crappy fad diets that entice vulnerable and insecure women into their clutches with promises of extreme weight loss in minimal time.
I think - in fact, I know - that it's possible to lose weight without going on a 'diet' so to speak. Without depriving yourself of your favourite foods, without starving yourself and without living off appetite suppressants and shakes. I know, because I've done it - and so have so many other people. Dieting sucks and if you're considering making 'dieting' one of your resolutions for 2019, I'd urge you to think again... and I've got some pretty good reasons why.
If it's about getting healthy, then it's about more than dieting.
If you want to diet to get healthy, you're going about it the wrong way. Being healthy is a lifestyle. Everyone should be encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle, and it's so simple to do - eat correct portion sizes, enjoy everything in moderation and get at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. Walk to work, take the stairs, go for a stroll in the evening, do a workout - whatever takes your fancy. It's recommended that most people aim to walk 10,000 steps a day minimum, so maybe start there.
You can eat food you want, if you eat in moderation. But that's not to say you can't over indulge! We all have days where we eat a large pizza, share bag of Doritos, down a bottle of coke and finish it off with some party rings (Just me?) and that is absolutely okay. Food is there to be enjoyed, so it's only right that we... you know, enjoy it! If you are worried about the weight you may put on or about any negative impact on your health, make sure you do additional exercise. Go for an hour long walk instead of half an hour, swim ten extra lengths, do an extra workout.
But if you're not fussed, that's also fine. Sometimes you just want to enjoy food because it tastes so damn good, and that's great! Normal! Totally okay!!!
Healthy lifestyles might take longer to achieve than a quick fix diet but they are more manageable, allow you live a more fulfilling life and are easier to maintain. Living healthy has so many more long term benefits than doing a quick shake diet before your summer holiday in a desperate bid to get a 'beach body' (ugh).
Your physical health is important but so is your mental health
It's great if you're in good shape, but not if you've destroyed your mental health to get there. Constantly counting calories, feeling guilt for eating certain foods and disordered eating are damaging to your mental health and can result in eating disorders that can require medical intervention/assistance.
Dieting is terrible for your mental health. It creates food fear, food anxiety and generally an unhealthy relationship with food. Healthy lifestyles allow you to enjoy all the foods that you want to whilst making sure you exercise enough to maintain a healthy weight, without having to stress about how much fat you're consuming or how many calories are in a Krispy Kreme donut. You can enjoy food with peace of mind, and that's important.
Your mental health can be so strong - but it can also be so fragile. It's important to look after it, and not to destroy it by succumbing to societal pressures in regards to losing weight and trying to be a certain size.
There is more to life than being a certain size
On your death bed, what are you going to regret more - all the delicious food you missed out on or the size of your thighs?
This world is full of so many incredible places to visit, exciting things to explore, delicious cuisines to try. You can do so much, opportunities are endless - and yet life is so short. So much to do and so little time, don't you think? Do you really want to spend that time worrying about your size, your weight or what you're eating?
Life is seriously too short to spend any of it dieting. Eat well, move enough and you should be healthy and happy! It's so simple, and so much better for you than any kind of diet.
Diets just don't work
Plain and simple. Sure, they work in the short term but - and it's an important but - depriving yourself of calories, and essentially starving your body of any proper nutrients - is not good for you. It's not healthy and it's not sustainable either. There is no way anybody can permanently maintain a certain diet and be healthy.
Your body literally needs food to survive which means you have to eat. Appetite suppressants and shake diets (even if it's only one shake a day!) are a big no - no! Realistically, no one is going to be on a diet every single day for the rest of their lives, which means one day you're going to break the cycle and come off that diet. What's going to happen? You're going to slip back into old habits now that you're 'free' and it can lead to binge eating. In fact, studies have shown a crazy statistic that claims that almost everyone who goes on a 'diet' ends up actually putting weight on - because they just don't work!
Sure, they work in the short term, but that's all they are - a short term fix!
Furthermore, yoyo dieting (trying different diets with breaks in between of "normal" eating) really wreaks havoc on your metabolism, which is no good at all.
Diets. Don't. Work.
If you want to lose weight, that's fine. Go ahead and lose weight. But do it healthily. Do it properly. Do it in a sustainable way that you're going to be able to manage for the rest of your life. Be realistic with it.
Stick to portion sizes. Eat a balanced diet. Walk 10,000 steps a day. Exert yourself a couple of times a week. Eat a little less, move a little more. Enjoy food, enjoy exercise and enjoy life.
Because no one enjoys a diet.