Thinking of starting a weight loss diet, but not sure where to start?
Before you dive into the world of fad diets and quick fixes, it's important to recognise that while there are countless diets that can lead to weight loss, weight loss and health are not synonymous. In fact, solely focusing on weight loss can sometimes compromise our overall well-being, especially when following unhealthy or extreme diets.
As a registered dietitian, I’m here to help you navigate a sustainable approach to achieving overall health and wellness that goes beyond short-term weight loss goals. I would love to help you shift your perspective from quick fixes and temporary results to building healthy habits that prioritise your well-being, both physically and mentally.
Fad diets, also known as unhealthy or extreme weight loss methods, are often marketed by the weight loss industry or endorsed by celebrities, offering tempting quick fixes and initial weight loss, but rarely providing long-term solutions. These diets often involve severe calorie restrictions, exclusions of entire food groups, fasting, or the use of various weight loss products claiming to impact appetite, absorption and energy expenditure. While these weight loss methods may yield short-term results, they do not promote sustainable lifestyle changes and are often detrimental to our overall health.
Weight cycling or yo-yo dieting, the repetitive pattern of losing and regaining weight, is a well-known consequence of fad diets. When we subject ourselves to extreme or restrictive eating patterns, our metabolism slows down, and our hunger signals intensify. This creates a vicious cycle that often leads to weight regain, and in some cases, individuals end up with a higher body weight than before. Beyond the physical effects, yo-yo dieting can have a detrimental impact on our psychological well-being, by contributing to increased body image dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem, and further perpetuating a negative relationship with food and our bodies.
A Mindset Shift from Weight Loss to Health
To break free from the vicious cycle of fad diets, a change in mindset is necessary. Instead of fixating on the number on the scale, shifting the focus toward cultivating healthy habits that contribute to our overall well-being is the most sustainable. It's about adopting changes that make us feel great, energised, and nourished, rather than feeling restrained and restricted by food and exercise rules.
Building Sustainable Healthy Habits
Intuitive Eating: This is a self-care and body kindness framework that can be helpful in reconnecting to our body's innate cues and learning to trust our bodies to make choices that truly nourish us, both mentally and physically.
Enjoyable Physical Activity: Engaging in activities we genuinely enjoy can transform exercise from a chore to a pleasurable experience. When you find the type of movement that makes you feel energised, less stressed, happier, and more connected to your body and what it is able to do, you are likely to want to make this form of movement a regular part of your life.
Self-Care and Stress Management: Prioritising self-care activities, such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and quality sleep, is crucial for our overall well-being. Managing stress effectively supports healthy habits and aids in maintaining a positive mindset.
Gentle Nutrition: Rather than fixating on strict rules or demonising certain foods or food groups, focusing on adding more opportunity for a wide range of nutrient-dense foods, and savouring treats without guilt, builds a healthier relationship with food that is sustainable.
Body Acceptance: Embracing the diversity of body shapes and sizes, and learning to appreciate and respect your own unique body is essential for mental well-being and sustainable healthy habits.
Shifting our perspective from weight loss as the ultimate goal to a focus on holistic health allows weight loss to become a potential side effect, if it occurs naturally and in a sustainable manner. When we prioritise self-care, mindful eating, and joyful movement, our bodies tend to find their natural and healthy weight range.
It's time to move away from the harmful cycle of fad diets and embrace a sustainable approach to building healthy habits. By adopting principles of intuitive eating, self-care, and body acceptance, we can cultivate a positive mindset and create lasting changes that enhance our overall health and happiness. Let's shift the conversation from weight loss to well-being and empower ourselves to live our best lives.
Remember, health looks different on every individual, and the journey to sustainable habits is unique for each of us. Embrace the process, trust your body's wisdom, and embark on a path of holistic well-being.
If you are interested in becoming more intuitive and taking care of your overall health and would like personalised advice, get in touch or book an appointment with me directly here: https://www.gabimeltzerdietician.com/book-online