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Are You a Serial Dieter? 3 Steps to Break the Cycle

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  • Have you been on and off dieting for most of your life?
  • Are you struggling to lose weight and then not keep it off?
  • Do you lack motivation, responsibility and consistency?
  • Do you want to end the emotional eating, toxic guilt, and negative self-talk?
  • Want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life, but don’t know how?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then you are what I call a serial dieter. Serial dieters are people who have been dieting on and off for years, even decades, but still can’t achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. For serial dieters, eating, cooking, and eating doesn’t feel like a source of pleasure at all, but rather a source of complex choices and emotions that inspire confusion, fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. The good news is there is a way to break the yo-yo weight, start enjoying food again, and live healthy for the rest of your life. While some aspects of achieving your goals will be different for each individual, below are three steps any serial dieter can take to begin the process of quitting the serial diet cycle right now.

1-Take responsibility

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As a former serial dieter, I can tell you that healthy changes in your life and in your relationship to food and exercise will not happen until you take responsibility for your actions. Not the actions that got you where you are, but the actions or lack of actions that keep you there. Yes, it’s easier to eat fast and processed foods, yes, it’s difficult to work out 3 to 4 times a week, and yes, eating healthy most of the time is challenging. No one said the path to a healthy life would be easy. Stop making excuses, take responsibility and get it done. This isn’t about quick fixes, it’s about a genuine commitment to a lifelong change for the better. Think of all the years, even decades, that you were overweight, unhappy, and frustrated. Aren’t you fed up? Are you not ready for a real change? Stop making excuses and finally take charge of your health, weight and well-being.

2-Stop “Go on a diet”

I remember being taught in elementary school the definition of the word diet as the foods that a person typically eats on a daily basis. I’m a vegetarian, so my diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and grains. But for the majority of people, the word diet has become synonymous with a calorie-restricted diet, where we reduce the number of calories we eat or eliminate entire food groups from our daily routine. A calorie restricted diet is a self-limiting, superficial change because when you reach your goal weight, you quit the diet and return to the unhealthy eating habits that started the diet, the weight returns, and the cycle begins again. The goal is to stop dieting and instead learn how to make healthy weight management a part of your daily life, with a plan and strategies that change as priorities, environment, circumstances and needs change.

3-Have a plan and get support

Let’s face it, most of us spend more time planning a special night than planning our wellness goals. And for the majority of us, telling others about our efforts is just another avenue for criticism and disappointment. How many times have you declared, with no clear plan and no support or accountability, “From tomorrow I will start or stop…”. I say that with respect, but if you know how to lose weight and get healthy by fueling it, and without support and responsibility, you wouldn’t be in the unhealthy cycle you’re currently in. Having a plan can consist of stocking your kitchen with healthy food options, tracking your progress, and working with a personal trainer. Support can come from recruiting a friend with similar goals, joining a weight loss group, or working individually with a wellness coach. The path to your success needs planning and you need support and accountability. To be honest, there is no other way.

Breaking the serial diet cycle isn’t easy and won’t happen overnight, but you can do it with responsibility, eating healthy, and having a plan and support. Don’t let another week, year or even decade(s) go by being overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Take action now to end your serial diet cycle.

Thanks to Maripili Rodriguez

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