The first step to breaking the punishing cycle of restrictive dieting and regaining weight is to ditch the scales. Ideally throw them away, or at the very least put them in the back of a cupboard, completely out of sight. You are more than a number on scales.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so weight isn’t really an accurate indication of how well you are doing in terms of health. Also, a temporary fluctuation in weight could be caused by water retention, but you will look at the scales, despair at a supposed weight gain, feel terrible, think “healthy eating isn’t working, I might as well have the doughnuts”. I call this the “I have blown it” syndrome, and it is at the centre of sabotaging long term success with establishing positive eating habits and exercise.
So many diets and regimes offer unrealistic promises, even with a will of iron they are impossible to maintain. Recognise that it is ok to come off track sometimes, if you are out for lunch and order the knickerbocker glory for dessert, instead of saying, “I have blown it, I can’t stick to being healthy, I will always be fat, I might as well get pizza tonight”, just say to yourself, “it is no big deal”. Giving yourself a hard time isn’t helpful in anyway.
It is crucial to be happy, as well as doing soul destroying diets, people sign up for gym membership and never or rarely go. I had a client who paid an expensive membership fee and only went once a month to use the swimming pool. I pointed out that was a very expensive swim.
The best exercise for you is the one you are most likely to do, so think about what you like. Is it dancing? You could go to a Zumba class learn to Salsa. Maybe you like waking and nature, join a walking or hiking group. You might like gentler forms of exercise such as yoga or pilates, these are great for toning the muscles, which in turn will help you to burn up the unwanted fat.
Exercise isn’t just taking classes, make an effort incorporate movement into your day. Our ancestors were running and moving a lot of the day, unfortunately we now live in a society that is mostly sedentary, with lots of labour saving devices and people even drive to the gym!
Start to notice the smaller ways you can be moving; walk up the escalator instead of standing. Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk. Stick on some funky music and dance while you are doing the laundry. You will notice a difference, and your mood will improve.
Factor in some time to do something that makes you feel good that isn’t food related, if it is within your budget, get a manicure or blowdry, otherwise take half an hour to watch your favourite comedy. As you start to prioritise feeling good, you will find that you don’t need to turn to food as a way to lift your mood.
The best body belongs to the person who feels like a million dollars!
Now you’ve got lots of ideas to stop the yo yo dieting and take control
what changes are you going to make today? Leave me a comment…
About The Author
Sara Ellis is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Eating Disorders Counsellor and Author. She has a practice in Harley Street, London, where for over 20 years, she has helped thousands of clients to achieve their goals.