Friday, July 19, 2013

Demotivating Diets

After spending the last 6 blog entries helping to build motivation, I thought it would be fitting to pause and talk about what is demotivating, in order to defend against it.  In short, diets!   
If you want to stay motivated, avoid the “diet trap”.  Here are some of the ways people find themselves caught in the diet trap:

·  Restrictive dieting causes loss of muscle tissue which results in a lower metabolic rate and subsequent weight-regain as fat and, of course, another diet to take care of that.  How depressing.

·    Restrictive dieting causes physical and emotional feelings of deprivation which result in rebound overeating leading to weight regain, often with more besides and, of course, another diet to take care of that.  Back to deprivation, round 2 (and 3, and 4 . . . )

·    Individuals whose eating is driven by underlying emotional issues are given a diet as the "solution" to their “problem” but cannot seem to stop overeating and, of course, try “harder” to diet.  What a “failure”.

Any one of these common scenarios, or a combination of any or all of them
Weight regain
(often with a little more besides!)
Lower self-esteem
More weight gain or more dieting with increased intensity to do better
More diet “failure”

In short, dieting wreaks physical and psychological havoc.    
And if those typical cycles aren’t demotivating enough, weight-loss does not necessarily translate into better health.  That’s really depressing!  In fact, diets are often harmful to your health.  Accumulating evidence shows that dieting does more harm than good.  Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., author of Big Fat Lies, presents a convincing review of the overwhelming evidence that in the effort to produce weight-loss, individuals actually increase their risk for earlier mortality Talk about demotivating. 

So if you struggle with motivation, stop dieting.  Diets sabotage motivation and are harmful to health.  In the next blogs I will discuss the futility and harm of dieting. 

If you need to lose weight realize the ironic truth is you need to eat to lose weight.

Living free of diets,
Diane Preves, M.S., R.D.

Thank you for sharing this post with others who might benefit from the information shared herein.
Please contact me if you are interested in hosting a 10-week N.E.W. LIFE program on Long Island.

N.E.W. LIFE copyright 2012

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What is Your Motivation Based On?

This is the 6th of 7 blog posts meant to help with motivation: 1) physical activity prevents disease, 2) big benefits of just 10-minute bouts of exercise, 3) the many benefits of physical activity, 4) internal vs. external motivators, 5) changing desires, 6) basing motivation on truth vs. myths/lies, and the next blog 7) demotivation of diets.  If you struggle with motivation to make dietary changes or exercise, check in with yourself to see what your motivation is based on.  If your motivation is based on any myths or lies (which are like shifting sand--when the sand shifts, motivation crumbles) consider the truth upon which to build a more firm foundation for motivation which lasts:

The Myths and Lies:

1) Your worth is based on your body image.

2) You must be perfect to succeed (have a perfect body image, eat perfectly to lose weight).

3) There is good food and bad food, and furthermore, you are “good” if you eat good food or do good on your diet, and “bad” if you eat bad food or do poorly on your diet.

4) You do not have enough “willpower” if you are not able to change your habits.

5) Once you become thin your life will be better.

6) Overweight is the problem.

7) Healthy eating is rigid.

The Truth:

1) You are worthy regardless of your body weight!

2) Not only do you not need to be perfect to succeed, you won’t be!

3) You should not extend labels or make moral judgments about yourself based on how well or how poorly you eat!

4) In the case of compulsive eating/food addiction you must release control in order to have more control in your life!

5)  Life does NOT necessarily get better just because we get thin!  Basing motivation on such MYTHS about the joy and worth of life is like building a house on shifting sand.  The sand will shift and the motivation will crumble!  Furthermore, the goal is to be able to grieve the pain of the hard times without using food to numb the pain.

6) Overweight is the symptom.  Overeating is the problem!

7) Healthy eating is flexible!

Build motivation which lasts on the solid ground of the truth!

Diane Preves, M.S., R.D.

N.E.W. LIFE copyright 2012

Thank you for sharing this post with others who might benefit from the information shared herein.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Changing Desire

Continuing from the previous blog, perhaps the strongest internal motivator that participants develop with N.E.W. LIFE is feeling better

Individuals often share in Weeks 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the N.E.W. LIFE program that they feel better, and that they don’t feel good eating the same high-fat, meat, and/or junk foods that they used to eat regularly.  This is the motivation that is more certain to last for life.  N.E.W. LIFE participants are often amazed when their desires change (I am not surprised at the changes, but I am surprised at how quickly people report feeling better and experience changed desires).  No “all-or-nothing” diets necessary, just small, realistic and achievable changes.  Simply pick something that is missing in your diet.  For example, do you eat 3 fruits/day?  Choose something you actually like but are just not in the habit of doing.  If you like apples and your diet is regularly short on fruit, get a bag of apples from the store and just add one apple a day for the next week.  Little changes truly do go a long way! 

The N.E.W. LIFE philosophy is not to eliminate food, deny cravings, or unnecessarily restrict.  Deprivation usually serves to exacerbate cravings and increase preoccupation or obsession with food.  Your focus should be on putting in missing exchanges (i.e., eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables) then the fluff foods begin to get crowded out, not to eliminate the foods you desire and then expect to eat more vegetables!  It is a lot harder (if possible at all for most people) to effect any change from that perspective.  The most effective change comes with adding healthy foods that may be chronically missing in your diet, then your body, tastes, and desires can change.  So focus on what to eat and the other foods will be modified over time.  Eat enough healthy food and it will soon “crowd out” the less healthy choices, simultaneously lead to a healthier body, and eventually (and surprisingly soon for most people) lead to a change of desire.  Your motivation need not be “should-shouldn’t” or “good food-bad food”.  Support your body with the healthy foods it was created to thrive on and let your healthy body reject junk and unhealthy food--or at least the excess of it--then you won't feel deprived. . . 

Banner Image Credit: bryljaev / 123RF Stock Photo.

Background Image Credit: bryljaev / 123RF Stock Photo.