New Years Resolutions: Don’t Diet!
It’s the New Year – and according to Time Magazine, 39.6% of people surveyed set a resolution to lose weight this year. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese (BMI ≥ 30). Some of the health risks commonly associated with obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Many people who are overweight or obese want to lose weight as a means of reducing these risks.
However – typical diets, exercise and weight loss programs address the symptom of excess weight through the control of caloric intake and expenditure. The Binge Eating Disorder Association reports that about one-third of people enrolled in commercial weight loss centers have Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – and dieting has been shown to cause binge eating, especially in people who already have BED. There is only so much “willpower” that can be used as a means of adhering to restrictive diets, and numerous studies have shown that 90-95% of dieters regain any weight they lose within 1-5 years.
Diets don’t work – so what will work to lose weight (and keep it off)? Here is some “Don’t Diet” food for thought:
- Stop Trying to Lose Weight – instead, focus on health gains. According to Linda Bacon, the author of Health At Every Size and founder of the HAES™ community, overall health is more important than any number on a scale. In fact, many people who are a “normal weight” or “underweight” may not be healthy. Who is to say what BMI is truly healthy for each individual? With health as a goal, the achievement of a healthy weight is a natural outcome.
- Don’t Deprive Yourself of Foods You Love – practice intuitive eating and mindfulness skills to enjoy your favorite foods. Discover how to abandon your “food rules” – good/bad, always/never, clean/forbidden – and truly enjoy a healthy sense of freedom with food. Giving yourself permission to have all food doesn’t mean that you’ll eat all of it at once – that’s “impulsive eating.” Trust your intuition!
- Start Loving the Body You Have Now – your body can’t change instantly, but your mind can. Why not think positive thoughts about how your body looks and everything that your body can do – you’ll feel better, and also take better care of yourself. Self-Love (which is the first EDIT™ principle) is about much more than loving your body, but it’s a great place to start!
Article may be reprinted with the author bio below.
©2014 by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey. Dr. Dorie is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Addiction Counselor who is passionate about training professionals to effectively guide clients in recovery from eating disorders, through her Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ Certified program. She also meets with clients at her treatment center, Positive Pathways PLLC, located in Evergreen Colorado. Learn more at: https://www.editcertified.com