Are you dieting without realising?
We all know that diets don't work when 96% of diets fail in the long term. So why are more people on a diet than ever?
Nowadays, diets are often disguised as a 'healthy lifestyle choice' or 'a way of eating'. This sly rebrand tricks you into thinking you're doing the "right thing". But a wolf in sheep's clothing can't be trusted...
Telltale signs you're on a diet
You're following a meal plan
Even if it’s been sold to you as a ‘lifestyle plan’, any thing that tells you what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is a diet. It's ok to get broad meal and snack recommendations, but when deviating from the plan makes you feel like you 'fell off the bandwagon', you're on a diet.
You've quit sugar
Avoiding or limiting fruit, cutting out whole grains or banning yourself from enjoying a treat is a diet. Eating less sugar and cooking more is great but cutting out whole food group is not.
You're eating clean
Clean eating can very quickly turn dirty when you feel anxious to make plans because you're not sure what you'll be able to eat. If you feel dirty for eating the wrong foods, your 'clean eating' diet has become unhealthy.
Tracking your intake
If you're recording every calorie and movement in an app - you're on a diet. It's great to be mindful and aware of what you eat, but feeling out of control when you don't track can be dangerous.
Cutting out whole food groups
Restricting whole food groups like grains, meat, dairy, legumes, fruit or fats is just another form of diet. If you can't live like that for the rest of your life, it probably won't be sustainable beyond the 12-week fitness challenge.
All diets, regardless of their name, are unhealthy and lead to weight gain.
Diets slow your metabolism, make you crave 'banned' foods, lead to longer term weight gain and complicate your relationship with food.
You don't have to diet for feel good, energised and comfortable in your body.
Here is what to do instead of dieting:
1. Use 'crowding'
Crowding is really effective and really simple: Focus on what you can eat, not what you’re not allowed to eat. For example: Instead of aiming to 'eat less takeaway', try to 'cook more at home'. You'll achieve the same thing but it'll be a much easier and happier process.
Instead of saying 'I won't snack on lollies anymore' try 'I will snack on fruit'.
Add more healthy foods into your diet like plenty of vegetables and fruit and naturally and you'll crowd out the less healthy choices. This is a much more positive approach.
2. Don't put a label on it.
Don't define your diet by the things you don't eat.
In fact, do not label your diet at all!
If you are inspired by paleo principles, that's great. If you want to eat more plant-based, go for it. But don't put rules around it.
My diet is always changing to best suit my changing needs so why put rules around it?
Sometimes I eat more plant-based options. Other weeks I crave more fats or meat. I probably eat a low refined sugar diet and barely think about it. It's the Lyndi diet and it doesn't bind, control or restrict me.
3. Eat food that makes you feel good
If you asked, your body would tell you it feels good when you eat healthier food.
If you asked, your body would tell you doesn't feel good when you over eat or eat too much 'sometimes' food.
Instead of trying to control your eating, eat food that makes you feel good.
I believe there is a natural flow in eating. Sometimes you'll feel like more substantial choices, other times, you're going to crave lighter choices. When you aren't able to flow and eat the choices you really crave, that leads to emotional and out of control eating.
4. Notice when you're accidentally dieting
Start to notice when you start to ask yourself: "Am I allowed to eat that"?
As soon as you ask that question, note that you're probably on a diet. You need to give yourself permission to eat everything. Very soon it'll change to "I am allowed to eat that. But do I really want to"? It sounds subtle, but it makes all the difference.
5. Learn how to become an intuitive eater
Intuitive eating is the opposite of dieting.
It means listening to your body instead of your brain. It involves asking your body when to eat, how much to eat and what it really feels like. It's actually the best way to be healthy in the long term.
If you want to become a more intuitive eater and stop binge eating, check out my online program called Keep It Real. It's already helped hundreds of people create a healthier, more balanced and intuitive relationship with food.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE THESE ARTICLES:
Ever wondered how you can build confidence? Do you want to become more confident in how you look so you are less self conscious? Here’s my guide to long-lasting unconditional confidence.
Would you take off your clothes in a room filled with strangers? I did - and it was amazing. Here’s what I learned from stripping off.
With all the hype, you’re probably at least a little bit curious about intermittent fasting. To set the record straight, I’m answering your burning questions like “Does intermittent fasting really work?” and “Should I try intermittent fasting”?
By working with (not against my cycle) I’ve discovered incredible ways to better manage my mood, body confidence, skin, hunger, cravings, exercise, sleep, sex drive and energy. Here’s how tracking my period helped me improve my health.
Feel guilty for demolishing the kitchen in another food binge? Angry with yourself for overeating yet again? Here are some simple strategies to help transform the binge into something useful.
If you want to become a nutritionist or a dietitian, this is my honest advice on starting a career in nutrition. Find out how I got my nutrition career started, what I recommend for study and how much nutritionists and dietitians earn. Plus more!
I got to have a chat with the legendary Ian Thorpe about mental health, body image and his work with Reach Out.
Losing the last bit of weight can be so hard. If it feels like your body is fighting against you and you can't lose those last few pounds, make sure you read this.
Are you too hard on yourself? Do you lie in bed at night running through all the ways you’ve failed or aren’t ‘good enough’? It’s essential to learn to be kind to yourself. Here are my go-to strategies when I need to be extra kind to myself.
The hashtag #celeryjuice has amassed over 80,000 photos on Instagram, with everyone from health bloggers to celebs espousing the benefits of the stalk-like vegetable. Read on to learn more about the celery juice trend and whether you should bother trying it.
They say you can never have too much of a good thing, but this isn’t the case for exercising or eating healthy. Here’s how to tell if you’re under eating or over exercising - and the steps to take to help you bring back balance.
Do you feel bloated after finishing a meal? Here’s how to know if it’s actually a health issue for you, and what to do if it is.
While I won’t pretend to know exactly what’s in store for this year, these are the things I’m most excited about in 2019 — in my career, health and life.
Diet new year’s resolutions don’t work, and they’re distracting you from setting goals that actually matter. Here are some inspiring new year’s resolutions you can set instead.
With free-flowing food, swimsuits and tonnes of photos being taken, the holidays can be a hard time to be confident and body positive. Here’s some things to keep in mind to help banish food guilt and feel good about yourself over the holidays.
Feeling guilty for not reaching your 2018 health goals or new years resolutions? If you didn’t smash all your 2018 health goals, have a read of this.
Confused by what foods are actually healthy for you? Here are 5 foods that normally get a bad rep for being unhealthy. Luckily, they’re actually healthy for you.
Want to know which foods I never eat? As a nutritionist, there are a number of foods I avoid - and you might want to as well! Find out which foods to AVOID.
Looking for a new swimsuit that makes you feel good? Here are some of the best one-piece and bikini swimsuit brands in 2018.
Follow these 3 steps to boost your body image, without deleting Instagram. Transform social media from comparison trap to a confidence booster.
Some Instagram accounts can help you love your body. Here’s the BEST 12 body positive Instagram accounts that can boost body positivity.
There’s a simple reason why you don’t feel full after smoothies + how one small tweak can make the difference.
Here are 6 things you can do to stop feeling fat.
There are few very important things to keep in mind if you want to teach your children how to have a healthy relationship with food.
How many years have you wasted hating your body and wishing you looked like someone else? If you feel unhappy with your body and hate your weight, it’s time for a change.
I'm not sure why it's called the 'health' food aisle...
I used to hate my body (I mean like really hate my body). But now I love my body, something I never thought was possible! So, how do you go from hating your body to loving your body? Here’s 15 ways how I learned to love my body and be body confident.
I travel as much as I can, hopping on a plane about once a month. Here’s how I stay healthy when I travel.
Looking for the best restaurants and places to eat in Prague? I've got you sorted. Here is my list of the best places to eat in Prague in 2018.
Eat healthily, save money and reduce food waste.