What Is the MIND Diet and Does It Really Work?
The MIND diet, which is officially known as Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a diet that’s known for helping to protect followers against cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s or other brain conditions like dementia.
But another side to the diet is that it does help you to lose weight at the same time. The diet is also considered a heart healthy one as well. The diet is a mixture of two diets. It used the guidelines from both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet but relies on foods from those that are known to be beneficial for the brain.
It has a focus on specific groups of foods that are healthy such as vegetables, especially leafy green ones like kale and broccoli, fish and poultry, certain fruits, whole grains and more.
The diet also suggests consuming a salad every day. It does call for the use of healthy oils but wants users to stay away from certain other foods. Found on the list of foods to avoid are foods like cookies, cake, candy, foods that are fried or come from fast food restaurants, butter and red meats.
If you can’t or won’t avoid those foods, the diet suggests limiting them. Studies done using this diet showed that people who followed it did have a less mental decline than the study group that didn’t follow it.
But it also showed that another effect was that the study group shed unwanted pounds. The eating plan on the diet has followers eating vegetables, plenty of whole grains and consuming healthy snacks.
Dieters are also supposed to eat plenty of beans and berries as well as make sure their eating plan has a weekly serving of fish. The fat that’s recommended for meal preparation is mainly olive oil.
Because the MIND diet is a mix of both the Mediterranean and the DASH diet, you will lose weight even during the first week because both of those diets focus on weight loss while eating healthy.
The Mediterranean diet does have some allowances such as butter that the MIND diet suggests limiting. The key to success is found in tailoring your version of the MIND diet so that it fits your calorie and energy needs.
As long as you’re taking in less calories that you’re expending, you will lose. The diet is convenient so it’s easy to follow. You can create your meals from recipes that follow the diet or you can put together your own meals using foods that the diet suggests. You will be able to dine out, but may need to ask for special concessions such as making sure your foods aren’t fried.
Tricks on Choosing the Best Diet Plan for You
There are so many diets available to choose from that it can seem overwhelming when you look at them all. The trick to choosing the best diet plan is to pick one that suits you because your life isn’t like anyone else’s.
You need one that you can customize to fit around your lifestyle. You may have things that are deal breakers for you - such as diets that cut out every grain of sugar. If you know that’s not going to work for you, then you’d avoid that diet or tweak it until it fit what you prefer.
If you’re someone who eats meat, but not a lot of it, then a diet that pushes meat above all other food groups won’t suit you either. To find what works for you, look over the diet plan options and immediately eliminate the ones that you know you’ll have trouble following.
If you’ve had some success with prior diets, look back at those to remember what helped you to lose and what part of that diet plan that you really liked. If you ended that plan because you’d reached your goal, then it could be that you just need to go back to that diet.
Choose a diet plan based on whether you like to go it alone or whether or not you have better success in a community with other dieters. You’ll also want to choose a diet plan based on what you can afford.
Some plans don’t require much other than purchasing healthier food choices. Some call for you to buy expensive replacement meals. Other diets plans charge for meetings whether they’re in person or online.
You’ll have to make sure that you can afford the diet plan you choose and that you have the means to afford it for as long as it’ll take to reach your weight loss goal. Pick a diet that doesn’t rely on anything that’s a gimmick, or fad based.
A diet plan that calls for you to lose weight too fast isn’t healthy and you’ll only end up putting the weight back on in the long run. Diets that call for rapid weight loss can be healthy if they’re used because of a health problem, but these should only be done with a doctor’s approval.
Make sure that the plan you choose gives you some flexibility with what you can eat. You’ll want to be able to choose different foods rather than have a diet that’s so restrictive that you quickly get bored or frustrated and give up on it.
Your diet plan should consist of a healthy, well balanced meal plan. Ones that suggest that you take a supplement can be good diets but only to the point that they don’t require you to take a supplement in place of eating food.
Choose a diet plan that encourages exercise. If your diet is so restrictive that exercising would be too much for the calorie level that you’re getting then it’s not a good diet.
The Maker’s Diet Plan - Taken Directly from the Bible
The Maker’s Diet Plan is a diet plan that’s based on information taken directly from the Bible in the book of Leviticus featuring how to eat. It was created by Jordan Rubin after he discovered he had Crohn’s disease as a young man and treatment options didn’t work for him.
After he changed his way of eating and followed the guidelines in the Bible, he found relief from his symptoms. It focuses on helping to heal all aspects of a person’s life from their physical to their emotional to their spiritual selves.
The diet instructs users to eat foods that are organic and as close to all natural as possible. This means that foods that are not found as they were created should be avoided.
If a food has been refined or processed, it should be off the menu. Eating sugar is okay as long it’s natural sugar such as what you’d find in fruit or other food items. Many of the foods on this diet plan are low in carbohydrates, which also help with lowering calories so you will lose weight.
The diet also promotes the consumption of foods that contain a lot of fiber. These foods are also naturally good for your body and will help you to lose weight. Fats are allowed on this diet - including ones that some other diet plans urge followers not to eat.
On The Maker’s Diet plan, you can have foods such as butter and cheeses that are loaded with saturated fat. The oils that are on the diet are oils that are all natural. This diet follows certain phases during the weight loss journey and as you complete one phase, you move to the next.
The phases consist of two weeks per stage for a total of six weeks or 40 days. The first phase is the detoxifying stage intended to balance the body and some foods aren’t included, the second gradually increases foods that were previously not allowed as does the third phase.
After the phases, the dieters enter the maintenance part of the plan. When you first start the diet, you’ll have a lot of restrictions but as you progress, other food items are added back.
The purpose behind this diet is to help people lose weight by eliminating foods that aren’t as healthy but also eliminating the use of certain items that can cause toxins to build up within the body.
These are things like cell phones, fluoride toothpaste and using a microwave. It’s healthy because it focuses on eating healthy, whole foods versus processed ones. The instructions for following the diet also call for grass fed animals. The diet includes recipes and meal plans and encourages exercise as well as suggestions for prayer.
The Bare Nutritional Requirements for a Low Calorie Diet Plan
When you eat below the recommended daily amount of calories, that’s what’s known as a Bare Nutritional Requirement diet. This occurs when you follow a low calorie eating plan that some people consider extreme.
However, the diet, if carefully used, is one that’s healthy and can help you to get rid of excess weight that can shorten your life span. To start, you would create an eating plant that gives your body nutrients but keeps the calorie count limited to what you have to have to get through the day.
You would adjust this eating plan if you added physical activity so that you account for the calories burned. You would eat only enough to keep your body healthy. So what you do is you would choose low calorie, low carb foods.
You would exclude any extras from all your meals and you would choose snacks that had little calories as well. You would eat in a way so that none of your food choices together went over the low calorie amount you set for yourself.
There are plenty of health benefits from eating this way. Instead of high fat foods that are loaded with sugar, you would eat fruit and vegetables. You’d lose weight as well as improve your cardiovascular health.
You’d also lessen the odds that you’d have a heart attack, high blood pressure or that you’d develop diabetes or complications associated with the disease. There have been studies done that have shown that people who eat a strict low calorie diet end up lengthening their telomeres, which in turn leads to anti-aging benefits.
The health benefits are greater following a low calorie diet than not, though there are some negatives. Most people do struggle more in the beginning including falling off the wagon.
But once your body adjusts to only having what it needs to live, the incidents of blowing the diet are fewer until they cease altogether. If you’re someone who’s used to consuming a high calorie, high carb way of eating, then you may want to begin such a restrictive diet a little at a time.
You can start by replacing one of your high calorie meals with one that’s calorie restricted. As you do this, your body and your stomach will adjust. On this diet, you can eat regular food such as meat and grains and you can also have dairy.
You just give up junk food, processed foods and foods that are too high in calorie. You also concentrate on eating a lot of foods that make you feel full such as lettuce or other vegetables but contain very little calories.
You’ll see rapid weight loss especially in the beginning of the diet. The calorie level that you restrict yourself to should be around 1,000 but some people do dip a little lower than that.
Kosher Diet - For Food Safety and Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, one of the diets that you can follow is the Kosher diet. The upside of this diet is that the food is healthier, but the downside is that you’ll probably end up paying more for your groceries.
You’ll find that the Jewish laws are what govern a Kosher diet. Within these laws, there are certain foods that must be made in a specific manner. A Kosher diet is gaining popularity and it doesn’t have anything to do with any particular religious motive but rather because the food is better all the way around.
You’ll find that Kosher foods tend to taste better, be better for you and have a more stringent inspection policy. The foods that are labeled Kosher are manufactured by following the Jewish laws passed down through history.
These laws pertain to everything from what kinds of foods are allowed to eat to what foods can be mixed and how these foods are allowed to be made. On this diet, you’re allowed to have meat and poultry, but the process used in bringing the food from the manufacturing process to the supermarket is tougher than for non-Kosher foods.
There are more stringent operations and checks in place to make sure that bacteria is eradicated during the process. This step is what helps to make eating Kosher meats safer for consumers.
Kosher foods are examined by inspectors more often than foods that are not. During inspections, the food is checked to make sure that certain types aren’t mixed - such as between things like eggs and milk with meat processing equipment.
These inspections help to ensure there are no crossover food issues such as an E. coli contamination. These frequent and tougher inspections are one of the reasons why Kosher meat is safer to eat.
Some people think that because a food is labeled Kosher that it’s organic and that’s not the case. Just like with regular food, if a Kosher food is organic, it has to be labeled as such.
If you’re planning to use the Kosher diet to lose weight, you have to make sure that you avoid the meats that are considered non-Kosher approved such as pork. You should also be aware that some foods cannot be eaten at the same time as other foods.
For example, you cannot have something from the dairy food group at the same time that you’d eat chicken. The killing of animals for the meat allowed in a Kosher diet is followed according to a specific ritual that makes the process as quick as possible for the animal.
Eating fruits and vegetables on the Kosher diet is allowed but some parts of certain vegetables are not allowed. Following the Kosher diet also means you have to pay attention to how the food is prepared. Some food items cannot be cooked in the same pot as another.
Diet Success Tips for 2018
The New Year of 2018 is rapidly approaching – even though you may still be catching the last rays of the waning summer sun. How do you view the year ahead – with trepidation or excitement?
It may help to begin now to plan the future year so that when it does finally hit, you’ll be prepared to make it your best year ever. No matter what your age, if you can look in the mirror and know you’re doing your best to be fit and happy, you’re a success.
Things are changing rapidly in healthy diets and mental acuity to help you be the best you can be. Genetic discoveries are made every day that can impact the way you eat, exercise and maintain your health.
The 2018 year promises to be a great year for learning new ways to control your appetite and motivate yourself to be fit and healthy. Personalized nutrition plans, calculated for your body type and metabolism, using your mind to reach diet and fitness goals and much more will be revealed in the coming year.
Armed with knowledge you can easily prepare for the upcoming revelations in 2018 that will help you meet your diet and overall fitness goals. It’s exciting and fun to anticipate what’s in store that could make us rethink the way we approach dieting and health issues.
One medical study showed that more than 40 million people go on a diet every year and billions of dollars are spent annually in the effort to lose weight. But despite those efforts, well over half of the people on a diet will fail.
That failure is caused by not recognizing and implementing the diet reward and penalty system. Knowing that there are penalties in place works to change the behavior of a dieter, which in turn motivates people.
You can put a diet reward and penalty system in place in your own life and find the weight loss success that may have eluded you.
Setting Goals and Action Steps
You have to start by setting goals. This is the biggest area that throws most dieters off track. They either don’t set concrete goals or they start out with goals that aren’t realistic.
If you want to have weight loss success, you can’t get off on the right foot by unknowingly sabotaging yourself. The psychology of dieting in the brain makes people focus on the complete goal, such as wanting to lose fifty pounds.
Instead of breaking down that fifty pound weight loss into steps that are easily achievable, what most people who fail to reach diet goals do is they don’t break the goal down far enough.
Having an overall goal is important – but not nearly as important as the steps you have to take to reach each small one. Weight loss goals should have an end target.
That would be losing the fifty pounds. Next, you need an action plan and this is what derails the majority of dieters. Their action plan isn’t realistic enough. They might write down a goal as being that they want to lose that fifty pounds in a month.
Not only is that a recipe for failure, but trying to achieve that loss that fast could lead to health problems. It can also lead to disappointment and feelings of depression when you don’t make that goal.
Your action plan should include simple, achievable steps known as short term goals that all point toward your long term goal – losing the fifty pounds. By setting short term goals, as you achieve them, it will motivate you to keep going toward the long term goal.
Your action steps should include things you can do that point toward weight loss. You might do things like cutting back on the amount of calories you eat or limiting your carbs.
You might create an action plan that includes eliminating foods that are your trigger foods and replacing them with ones that help you stay on track. You should include room in your action plan for splurges.
This helps keep the brain motivated because it’s part of the reward system. This treat doesn’t have to be food related – and in fact, shouldn’t be because it feeds into the cycle of using food as a reward, which is what can lead to self-sabotage and weight gain.
Track your goal accomplishments. Keep records of what you eat, the amount of calories or carbs and keep a weekly total of the pounds or inches lost. Also make sure that you note how active you are.
The reason you want to keep track of what you do that feeds into your goals is because during the times when you feel less motivated, looking back at what you accomplished can help motivate you again.
So start your weight loss journey with three things in mind – your overall goal, your action steps or smaller, short term goals and the effort of tracking your successes.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when dieting is rewarding weight loss by allowing yourself to have a food treat – especially one that’s not all that good for you.
The reason that it’s a mistake is because it encourages eating to feed emotions such as feeling happy that you lost some weight or stuck with an exercise program for a few weeks.
Creating an emotional connection to food as a reward system is something that will foster a return to unhealthy eating habits. The rewards that you choose should be a scale of items or events.
You can create a point system based on what you accomplish. For example, if you eat healthy an entire day, give yourself a point. If you eat healthy for an entire week, that would be seven points.
Save up your points to get something for yourself or do something that you really want. This type of delayed diet reward helps keep you motivated so that you continue forward.
When you reach a certain point level, say twenty-five points, then you can cash them in for your reward. Use diet rewards to do things like purchase a book you’ve really been wanting to read.
Or spend the points on music or a trip to the movies. You can buy yourself a pair of new earrings or a watch. You can buy tickets to a sports game or invest your points by purchasing a new gadget for your home or vehicle.
You can take a fishing trip or go on a hike. Go to the museum or visit a place you’ve always wanted to see. Saving up your points to take a trip out of town or for a cruise is a great way to motivate you to keep on track.
You can buy yourself new shoes or an item of clothing you want. If you hold on to the points until you reach certain milestones, then you can use your points to buy a complete outfit.
You can treat yourself to a live music concert or a night out dancing with friends. You can take a vacation day. Spend the points by paying for a class that you’ve always wanted to take or spend the points by buying tools for a new hobby.
You can bank points until you have enough saved to buy something nice for your home. When you use a healthy reward system, that encourages healthy habits. The power of a reward is a great way to release dopamine which makes you feel good.
And when you associate feeling good with rewarding yourself and losing weight, you’ll be sure to hit your goal.
Why You Should Use a Penalty System When Dieting
Studies have shown that most dieters like getting something as a reward for losing weight but more than that, they hate the idea of losing something they want or something they have if they don’t stay the course.
Negative consequences can actually do more to cause changes in behavior than positive consequences can. No one likes to be penalized and people will work harder to keep that from happening than they will if there was no punishment in place.
The science of the reward and penalty system works to effectively lead to weight loss and changing bad habits as well. What some people do is they set a goal to lose weight and have short term goals in place.
When they reach that short term goal, they then reward themselves by paying a certain amount of money into their diet fund. For example, you can give yourself a dollar, five dollars or whatever for each pound you lose.
That money then goes toward something you want to buy. But if you fail to lose or you gain, then you must pay that money to something or to someone else. This punishment system is effective because no one enjoys giving his or her money away.
You can find some apps for use with a smartphone that are based on a monetary reward or penalty system to help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals. The punishment that you choose should be one that really matters to you.
If you couldn’t care less if you have to pay out some money, then that punishment isn’t substantial enough. So instead of that, you could set your penalty to be having to give up something you really enjoy doing such as watching the newest episode of your favorite show.
Your penalty system should never be based entirely on punishment. For it to be effective, you have to make sure you have something positive built in to the punishment.
An example of that would be making sure whatever exercise you choose to do is one that you really like versus one that you don’t. Having exercises that you enjoy makes it easier to stick with it.
So if you don’t exercise, then your punishment could be losing the night out with friends that you were looking forward to. Or having to skip the movie you were planning to go see.
Never use food to penalize yourself for failing to stick with your goal. If you do that, you can start to associate negative feelings and feedback to dieting or exercising.
Whatever penalty you use should never be associated with shame. All that does is fill your head with negative self talk and you don’t need that. When you’re setting up your penalty system be sure that it’s something that works to help you so that it’s not shameful.
An idea of a shameful penalty would be forcing yourself to go without something you need. Eating disorders are often rooted in shame. Instead, you need to simply get back up when you fall.
Getting Back on Track
You’re doing so well on your diet and you have several smaller goals already under your belt. You’re feeling on top of the world like nothing can stop you from losing the weight you want to shed when it happens.
There was a birthday celebration at work and the treats just looked and smelled too good to give up. So you indulged more than you should have. Or you went out to eat and decided you wanted to have that thick slice of pizza loaded with fat, calories and dripping with cheese just like everyone else was eating.
First, you need to realize that every single person in the world who has ever dieted will at some point get off track. It doesn’t make you a failure or a loser. What it makes you is human.
However, you don’t want to stay off track long because if you do that, it’s harder to head back in the right direction toward weight loss. What most people do when they get off track is they end up filled with regret and sometimes self-loathing.
They tell themselves they can’t believe they blew it. From this point, it can go one of two ways. One way is when people feel so disgusted that they blew it that they allow feelings of discouragement to take hold.
Then they think of how they’ve worked so hard and it’s all for nothing. They subconsciously decide that they might as well blow it big since they blew it at all. So they blow off eating right for a few more meals – maybe even a week or two.
They skip the gym and before you know it, all of those unhealthy habits show right back up. Then they get into the mindset of berating themselves, internalizing negative self-talk and calling themselves all kinds of names.
At this point, you need to learn to stop beating yourself up. You didn’t do something that can’t be undone. It might take you a little longer to reach your goals, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late.
The second way that it can go if you get off track is to refuse to play the shame game. So you didn’t stick with it like you’d hoped. It’s not the end of the world. Realize that you made a mistake and then make a fresh commitment to begin again.
That’s the key to getting back on track every time you get off track. Realize it was a mistake and begin again. This allows you to give yourself a fresh start.
The Key to Success Using a Diet and Penalty System
With any diet plan, you have to realize that one that’s so rigid there’s no room for any bending at all is one that is bound to fail. No diet should be so set in stone that it doesn’t allow room for you to make changes to improve the diet and the penalty system.
You might find that portions of your diet plan that work for some people just don’t work for you. By forcing yourself to keep plodding along, you can bet that you’re going to give up at some point.
Your diet system has to work for you. It has to work for your lifestyle, for your personality and for your budget. If it doesn’t work for all three of those, then you have a weak link in your diet and at some point, it will fall apart.
You need to be able to adjust whatever diet plan you’re using as you go along. People get too rigid and you don’t need to do that. It doesn’t matter if you have to make tweaks to your diet plan to get it to work for you.
If it works for you, then that’s all that you need. But if it doesn’t, then you have to find something that does. And it’s the same thing with your exercise. If you’re doing something that you hate to the point you’d rather have a root canal, then the odds of you reaching your weight loss goals are pretty slim.
Exercise doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence if you make it something that you really like doing. It’s the same way with the penalty system. You can’t be too rigid.
Because as time goes on, you might get a little bit apathetic toward weight loss. When your penalty system is too harsh, then it will be easier to quit. You should adjust your penalty system as you go along.
In the beginning of deciding a penalty, most people are actually too harsh on themselves. You want it to be something that matters to you, but not something that you’d rather quit dieting than face the loss of whatever you picked.
When you use a diet reward and penalty system together, it can work for successful weight loss where many other plans have failed you in the past. Many people focus only on rewards or penalties.
Some people don’t feel any penalty should be delivered to someone who is dieting. But for others, it will help motivate them to reach their goals. Only you will know what’s right for you, and feel free to tweak the system to where it most benefits your personality and style.
Everyone fails and if you don’t fail, then you’re probably not human. Diet failures happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s your fault, but other times, it could be the fault of the diet you chose.
Failures can be as short as messing up your eating plan for an hour or two. The failure might last for a day or a week or a month. Or maybe you’re someone who failed and you’ve been stuck on that path for years.
The good news is that none of that means your diet wishes are permanently gone. You can start again the very second you make the decision to change your life.
What’s Behind the Failure?
Whenever you fail at anything, including a diet, there is always an underlying reason. Once you figure out the reason, that’s when you can change it and find success.
There are some pretty common reasons why people experience diet failure. It usually starts because there’s no planning. Other than a desire to lose weight and you can picture your end goal, you don’t really have a map or plan on how you’re going to get from point A to B.
Another reason is because your short term goals aren’t reasonable. You’ve set the bar too high and can’t reach them – so when you fail in the beginning, it can cause discouragement.
This can make you more reluctant to get back on the diet. The first week is when most diets ultimately fail and nine times out of ten it’s because the short term goals are the culprit.
If you have an “everything and the kitchen sink” mentality toward dieting, then that can also set the stage for failure. This is what happens when you try to make too many changes all at one time, like thinking you’ll completely clean out the pantry and toss everything that you deem unhealthy for you.
Completely overhauling the way you eat all at once makes a diet unappealing. Maybe you’ve started your diet out with an eating plan that’s so strict, you haven’t budgeted anything in there that’s familiar.
So you’ve tossed all of the regular food and replaced it with an eating plan that’s too limited. Then, you decide that the only beverage you’ll consume is water. That you’ll workout every single day. For at least half an hour. No, wait. An hour.
Longer is better, right? When enthusiasm for your body to change overrides your ability to stick to it, your motivation goes down the drain. You can’t count on sheer force of will to keep you fired up enough to carry on with your diet when you’ve overwhelmed yourself with too many changes at the same time.
Signs You’re Headed Toward Diet Failure
There are warning signs with every diet that can tell you if it’s going to be successful or not. Instead of finding that you feel much better eating this new way, you discover that you feel a lot worse.
Your diet is too over the top with its limitations. You’ve cut your food choices down to items that are foreign to you as well as unappetizing. This level of strictness will cause you to quit pretty fast because no one wants to eat things they don’t like regardless of how well motivated you might be.
From the beginning of your diet and on, you’ve battled constant hunger. Diets are supposed to let you feel that hunger. It means it’s working right? Wrong. It’s a myth that far too many believe that any diet you undertake should leave you feeling hungry even right after you finish a meal.
The truth might shock you. A diet that’s healthy and based on your calorie needs should actually keep you feeling full throughout the day. Even a diet that’s portion controlled shouldn’t leave you feeling hungry.
If it does, then you’re eating the wrong things. Cravings that just don’t stop can be a sign that you’re heading toward diet failure. Most cravings for foods that aren’t healthy will end once your body adjusts to eating better.
But the biggest mistake that you can make is to try to keep plugging along with the cravings nipping at your heels. The desire for that particular food will only grow stronger on some diets because the body goes into a sense of deprivation.
Your mind thinks that the body will always be deprived of that food because the word diet is symbolic with doing without. Your diet needs to have a craving allowance built in.
You let yourself eat a controlled portion of the food that you like and you don’t assign any one food to never-again land. Have it and enjoy it, just be wise about it.
Another sign that you’re heading toward diet failure is if you’re someone who practices emotional eating. Dieting is not going to make those emotions feel better.
In fact, if you’re an emotional eater and you suddenly limit all the foods you used to self-comfort, you’re going to feel worse. For those who use food to deal with emotions, you must find a way to handle your feelings as you’re dieting.
This way, you’re not essentially starving the emotional component of yourself. When you treat the need behind emotional eating, you’ll find that your dieting motivation is stronger.
Having a lot of peer pressure is another sign you might be headed toward diet failure. These come at you from well meaning (though sometimes not) people who tell you go ahead and splurge – that you deserve it.
They tell you things like you look good just as you are, that you’re really fine overweight and as you to come celebrate by overeating with them. If you are someone who knows you give in to peer pressure in other ways, it could be easier for you to give in to diet peer pressure.
The Role of Shame in Dieting
You might be aware of this or you might not be. But the odds are high that you engage in diet shaming. And shaming isn’t something that can be successfully used to lose weight or keep it off.
Some common diet shaming things that you might have said to yourself include internal comments about your meals. “Oh, I was a total pig. I ate all the wrong stuff today.”
It might be about your physical appearance. “I hate to walk past others in a restaurant. Everyone is thinking about how fat I am.” Or maybe you’ve internalized shame about how your body looks to the point that you’re too uncomfortable to eat a meal in a restaurant.
Maybe you order the food to go and eat in your car. Saying unkind things when you eat and hiding out when you eat is shaming yourself. Some people get stuck in this rut, not realizing the damage that it does.
They don’t know that shaming keeps them stuck in diet failure. Shaming yourself isn’t self acceptance. It’s not loving who you are, failures and all. At its core, diet shaming is a sense of self-hatred for how you eat, what your body looks like and what you perceive as an inability to change anything.
This keeps you feeling powerless when the truth is that you do have the power to change. You’ve always had it, but maybe you just haven’t understood how to use that power.
When a failure happens, don’t blame yourself. You’re a human being. That means that you have flaws, you’ll make mistakes and that it is perfectly natural to do that.
You have to stop blaming and shaming yourself when a diet doesn’t work out. So you failed. Big deal. It doesn’t mean the world is going to end because this diet didn’t work out.
And it doesn’t matter if it was your first diet or your hundred and first diet. The shame is not yours to take on. When you allow shame to have a hold on your diet process, it will kick your butt every time you look in the mirror.
You’ll despise your image. You won’t want to do anything to make a change. You won’t love and accept yourself. Worst of all, when you give shame room within your diet failure, it always spreads.
It will transfer to other areas of your life.
Begin Again Without Shame
Whether you’ve failed once or hundreds of time, the blame is still not yours to carry. When you experience shame after a failed diet, check out what’s going on in your thought process and in your feelings.
If you do that, you’ll see that shame means that you feel unworthy or inferior. But that feeling doesn’t make it the truth. You feel the shame or the unworthiness or inferiority because you’ve been taught that there should be shame when you fail.
Failure should always be seen as an opportunity inviting you to try something different rather than the final say in any situation. The feelings of shame when it comes to diet failures are caused because you feel inferior to the standards that were placed on you by others such as people or businesses.
You’re taught that you’re inferior if you’re overweight and if you fail in your quest for the “perfect body” it means you’re unworthy and you’re flawed. It might surprise you to learn the reason that shame doesn’t belong to you is because you’re not the problem.
The diet is. Less than 10% of all diets work. Yet, they’re so popular. They’re popular because the sheer amount of people seeking to lose weight and the constant bombardment from the media about the perfect body has given rise to a dieting industry that makes billions of dollars every year.
Shaming is a tool that many of the diet businesses will use to try and get you to purchase what they’re selling. So you do. Then you feel shame when you don’t achieve the results you wanted.
Stop focusing on diet and instead focus your attention on healthy eating. Focus on giving your body the food that it deserves for a long and healthy life. Prepare meals that nurture your body.
Eat in a way that works for your body regardless of what others are doing. So how can you start again without shame? Don’t do the same things you’ve always done.
You’ll end up with the same result – feeling shamed when it doesn’t work out. Instead, choose a different method than what you’ve always done. If you tried hard with a strict diet and you exercised until you loathed that word, then don’t do that anymore.
Choose a diet that’s not strict. Pick actions that move your body to burn calories in a way that’s fun – in a way you look forward to. Put falling off the wagon into perspective.
It was a sign that something wasn’t working with your diet plan. Adjust whatever led to the fall. Fix it, change it, do something new. But if you can’t because it was just that you got sick of dieting that led to your failure, then mentally and emotionally wipe the slate clean.
Don’t allow yourself any internal name calling, no bringing up past mistakes. This is a brand new journey with no baggage.
Moving Forward Without Fear of Failure
When people fail at dieting, they tend to be wary. They struggle with the thought of getting back on the wagon – the very thing that they fell off of. The psychology behind the wariness is easily understood.
Risk is uncomfortable and often, it’s far more uncomfortable than the familiar feelings of shame. And people don’t like to be uncomfortable. Risk means leaving the comfort zone.
But you can move forward without fear of failure. Motivate yourself with plenty of successes right from the start. You can do that by creating a list with small, easily achieved steps on it.
Every day, write down five things that you can do that promote success. This might be something like eating a piece of fruit for a snack rather than the gooey cake you’d rather take instead.
As you check off each thing that you accomplish this way, you’ll feel more empowered. Realize that if you’ve experienced shame or body limitations because of your weight or health problems, then where you were can be a worse place than failure.
You deserve to love and accept yourself. You’re worthy of moving forward. Acknowledge each victory, regardless of how small you might think it is. A victory can be something like you took the stairs instead of the elevator.
You went for a walk at lunch time instead of hanging out in the break room. Give yourself grace. Being tempted isn’t a failure. Having to start over again isn’t a failure.
This means that negative self-talk is forbidden. You won’t speak to yourself unless it’s with love and kindness. You will say and think the things that edify you.
Give yourself patience. If you lose the weight more slowly than you like, that’s okay. There is no diet race. There is only healthy living and loving yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else can lose weight faster.
They’re not you. They don’t have your circumstances. They don’t have your ups or downs. Recognize that failure is about perspective. It only means you experienced a temporary setback.
It’s a winding curve in the road that will loop you back to the beginning, but it’s not the end of the road. Keep your eyes on where you want to end up, not on the roadblocks that will sometimes slow you down. You will get around them. You will succeed.
The idea of starting a diet is daunting to many men and women. It signifies drastic deprivation and severe lifestyle changes that often make it feel more like punishment than a benefit.
So a better way to shed pounds for many people is to do away with traditional diet plans and instead focus on implementing small changes throughout the year. These changes will be so small that you won’t be focused on it 24/7.
You can make one change every week that helps you lose weight. For example, you might start out with the promise to drink a small, 8-ounce glass of water before each meal.
That means not declaring you’ll limit yourself to a certain number of calories, but just giving your stomach a padding of “fullness” before you begin to eat your meal. Eight ounces is tiny, too – so you won’t have to down a big, 24-ounce bottle.
Another change you might make is to take the stairs or park your car farther when you go somewhere. You’ll be getting more exercise and revving up your metabolism as you burn a few more calories here and there.
Sometimes, your changes won’t have anything to do with food or exercise. For instance, getting a proper amount of sleep can help you lose weight. So one change you might make for one week is to start going to bed at the same time every night (or getting up at the same time every morning).
Being on a set sleep schedule does wonders for your weight loss journey. But that means keeping to a schedule whenever possible – including weekends when you ight otherwise want to stay up late and sleep in late.
With food choices, you might begin to taper off the amount of food that you eat. If you usually get two scoops of mashed potatoes, try one. If you drink two sodas with dinner, drink one and a glass of water instead.
Weaning yourself off of the typical super sized portions we’ve become accustomed to in this world is easy when you do it bit by bit. Embrace the bottom “better than the day before” so that your only focus is improvement, not perfection right off the bat.
There are 52 weeks in a year. If you implement one small change each week, you’ll discover that you are seeing the scale move – and it won’t even feel like you’re trying to succeed!
Dieting is a rollercoaster for many people. They’ve done it for years, losing and gaining the same amount of weight over and over again. Usually, the short term weight loss is due to the dieter embracing a short term diet plan.
These are commonly known as fad diets, or extreme diets. That might be something like eating nothing but cabbage soup for weeks on end, or having a concoction of hot water with lemon and chili powder in a detox solution.
These types of short term diets definitely work. There’s no way your body can hold onto anything (including muscle) when you’re starving it. There’s a better way to conduct a short term diet, and there are also long term diets that help keep the weight off for good.
If you really need to drop pounds fast, consider doing something like a Low Carb, High Protein diet. These can be done in a myriad of ways, but if you start off with a ketosis level of carb counting (under 20 grams a day), the weight will drop easily.
Then, you simply up the carbs a bit at a time so that you’re still considered low carb at under 100 grams per day, but not so extreme that you end up quitting after a few weeks and gaining the same weight back.
Or, if you really do love fasting and detoxing, try the intermittent kind. This way, you’re not starving your body for days on end, but you’re replenishing your energy while simultaneously helping your body burn calories.
If you’re not in a rush and you’d rather do it once, the right way rather than many times the wrong way, then try something simple like learning how to eat smaller portions. You can do this using a plan like Weight Watchers, where you gradually eat fewer points until you’re at a level you should be eating from that point on.
Or, learn how to use mindful eating to whittle your weight. This starts with the idea that no foods are considered bad or off limits. However, you have to learn to actually listen to your hunger cues.
That means eating only when hungry and stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore – not after you’ve gotten to the point of “stuffed.” This helps a lot of people lose weight because they aren’t in deprivation mode.