Why ALL Diets Fail + How To Listen To Your Body
I've debated writing this blog since I already know I will get messages saying "But Tara I lost ____ with Keto!" or "It's not a diet...it's a lifestyle change." Honestly, I use to say the same. For years I would try the latest fad diet, end up not sticking to it, and give up for a few weeks before trying the next. I have seen this happen time and time again because diets tend to be extremely restrictive which causes our brain to crave the "bad" foods more.
Unfortunately, this is what the diet industry wants. If you lose the weight, they don't make money off you anymore. But if you continue in this cycle of fad diets, restricting-binging, and weight gain - they make a fortune!
So how can we lose the weight for good and stop the diet industry?
The short answer: stop dieting!
The long answer: Your natural state is healthy af. Your body knows what is good for it. The problem is we do not know how to listen to it. We have spent years ignoring its subtle cues, overindulging, and filling our bodies with chemicals hidden in food that these signals are hard to hear.
Think about the last time you had a lot of ice cream. What did your body do? In my experience...I bloat, get gassy, breakout, and have headaches. Those are all signs that dairy and sugar are not my friends.
Maybe you have had a similar experience with another food, but took a Tums and ignored it because it is not huge problem. Imagine if that food caused an allergic reaction in your body, would you avoid that food now?
Our bodies are intricately designed and everything - acne, weak nails, dry skin, fatigue, gas, bad breath, dandruff, etc - is connected to our internal environment that is drastically affected by the foods we eat, the products we use, and the environment we live in.
By focusing on how our body's react, we can create the perfect lifestyle & way of eating that helps us stay at a healthy weight forever without restricting.
That is the problem with traditional diets.
They only work if you stay on them forever. The second you stop eating this certain way - the weight comes back sometimes even more!
In my experience, any diet will work. You can lose weight on Keto, Paleo, Whole30, or anything else out there. But can you stick to it?
What if instead you simply listened to your body and learned what it naturally craves so you can become the weight your body is comfortable at?
What if there was no restrictions, no "bad" foods, and no limits?
What if losing weight was as easy as simply eating what you want?
Guess what?! It is.
When I finally ditched the diets and listened to my body I was able to lose the weight and keep it off because I was not constantly craving all these "bad" foods I was restricting. I was able to eat anything, but chose healthier options because I loved the way they made me FEEL and knew I could eat anything I wanted so the urge to binge disappeared.
Here's what I know to be true: when you focus on how you want to FEEL and not how you want to look, staying consistent with healthy food choices and working out is easier.
Most bodies feel amazing when they are active, hydrated, well rested, and fueled by veggies, lean protein, and healthy carbs.
Most bodies feel yucky with little activity, dehydrated, tired, and weighed down by heavy, greasy, or sugary foods.
So instead of hoping on the new diet trends, let's focus on ourselves and our bodies instead.
Here are a few tips to help you tune into your bodies natural signals:
1. Keep a food log with times.
Notice I didn't say count calories or macros. That can be extremely restrictive for some and really is not required. When you learn to listen to your body, you will know when to stop eating and what to eat.
But logging your food will help you remember what you ate so when your body reacts you can pinpoint the food. This may take a couple weeks to figure it all out, but the more you pay attention to what you consume the easier this gets.
2. Weigh yourself daily.
I honestly use to hate the scale and many do, but it can be an amazing tool for listening to our bodies. Smart scales can tell us if we are holding water from too much salt or bloated from too much dairy and what changes to our body composition are occuring.
If I see the scale steadily increasing or decreasing, I know what foods help me lose or gain weight so I can create my own way of eating based on my goals.
If this step does not serves you or triggers you, feel free to disregard. The scale is not required, but can be used to our advantage.
3. Avoid sugar and alcohol.
Or anything that impairs mental capacity for that matter. Sugar can be extremely addictive and mess up your bodies signals by making you crave more. The same is true for alcohol and other drugs.
Avoiding these can be hard and definitely seek medical advice if you are struggling.
4. Do research.
Do you have the same chronic issue such as acne or constipation? Google what foods could cause it and see if you regularly consume any. If you do, start eliminated one food at a time until the symptoms disappear. Once the symptoms do disappear, slowly add back in foods and see how your body reacts.
5. Go inward.
Your external condition is a reflection of your internal environment. You can be healthy af physically, but mentally unhealthy. Do the inner work, not just the outer. Start with meditation or journaling. This blog will help you create the perfect morning alignment ritual.
On my journey, I could not lose the weight or stick to healthier habits because my internal environment was full of stress and past wounds. This led to binging to avoid the emotions and weight gain. This went on for years until I finally did the inner work - meditation, EFT Tapping, and journaling - that I was able to stop emotional eating and see results. I explain that whole process in my course, EFF Food, if you need more guidance in this area.
If these tips helped, share this with a friend! The diet industry and constant binge-restrict cycle needs to end. I believe that will happen when strong women stand together against dieting and share what actually works for long term results.