Lara's Losing It

How to tell if you’re stuck in the Dieting Mindset.

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In case you didn’t notice, I am NOT a fan of diets, dieting, or diet culture. Did you know that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet end up gaining it all back, and that about 80% of those end up gaining back more than they lost in the first place? Yeah, so if you intentionally lose weight, the odds of actually keeping it off is not in your favor – at all. With this knowledge in mind though, you’d think that it’d be easy to never fall into the dieting mindset anymore, I mean… you know better, right?  Wrong.

Here’s the thing though, it is so tempting. Especially if you are seeing a bunch of people getting amazing results from this diet or that diet. I knew that diets had such a high rate of failure a long time ago, so what I actually did more than “dieting” was simply refer to the diet as a “way of eating”, or a “lifestyle change” and tell myself this is not just some temporary diet, it’s just providing me guidelines to help me get an idea of how to eat again and that I will eat this way for the rest of my life. But none of that is true, that “lifestyle change” or “way of eating” is most definitely just another diet!!

It’s normal as a human being to see others doing something and want to join in and do the same. We don’t want to be left behind, that is our deeply ingrained instinct. That, combined with all the weight stigma out there, and being in a bigger body it’s damn near impossible to not get tempted by some diet. If you see everyone doing keto, for example, you can’t blame yourself for wanting to do it as well. So, I have come to learn a few key signs to tell that you’ve fallen back into the dieting mindset and I wanted to share so that you have some checkpoints for yourself.

How to tell if you are stuck in a dieting mindset

1)      You are tracking everything you eat – weighing and measuring it all, feeling as though you need to know exactly how many calories, carbs, points, containers, etc you are consuming in a day.

2)      You have completely removed certain foods from your diet to try and lose weight or stick to a certain eating plan. This does not include if you’re removing certain foods due to intolerances or health reasons.

3)      You are eating more junk food than usual and overeating frequently (this is usually due to feeling deprivation on some level).

4)      You are telling yourself that you are going to start eating a certain way starting tomorrow, Monday, or some other day in the future.

5)      You are ultimately following rules or guidelines for what to eat and putting that first before listening to your body.

See, if you have a healthy and normal relationship with food then why would you do any of the above?  Think of someone in your life that you know who has never struggled with their weight or food. They are generally healthy and eat well most of the time – do you see them ever doing any of the above-listed things? No, likely not.  If you whole-heartedly believe to your core that you will get to and maintain a healthy weight for your body, then why would you worry about tracking your food?  When you are tracking your food that supersedes actually listening to your body.  You become so consumed with what you are eating, how much, fitting it into a certain daily target of calories, macros, points, etc that you aren’t focused on how you actually feel.  Are you hungry or are you just eating because now is your scheduled snack? Did you stop eating because you were full, or just because that was the serving size that you were told to eat?

So… How do I eat then?

Instead, simply focus on eating when you feel hungry, stopping when you feel full, and noticing how certain foods make you feel physically. Then simply start to eat more of the stuff that makes you feel good and less of the stuff that makes you feel like garbage. A good and simple focus is to try and center your diet around healthy, unprocessed, whole foods – these are the foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. These are the foods that don’t need an ingredient list.  If you center your meals and snacks around these foods and focus on eating slowly and listening to your natural body cues for hunger and fullness, then your weight will settle at its healthiest place for your body – you freaking bet you will.  Whether or not that means you’ll lose weight, gain weight, or have your weight just stay the same well no one can tell you that. But if health and happiness are your main focus then who cares about your weight right? If there’s no threat to having certain foods removed from your diet, and you tell yourself you literally can eat your favorite junk foods whenever you freaking want to suddenly you won’t get that urge to eat a bunch of junk because you can have it whenever you want so why overdo it today and make yourself feel like garbage?

Ultimately it’s important to remember you want to just have a normal healthy relationship with food. If you fall into habits that is not something that a person with a healthy normal relationship with food would do then you know your mindset is not where it needs to be.  Delete the food tracking apps on your phone and get in tune with your body!

Also, I feel like it needs to be said, but there is no right or wrong with the above guidelines. And honestly, it’s a process that takes time. Especially if you’ve been trying to control your weight for some time, you will most definitely go through a period where you feel like you cannot get enough of your favorite foods. The stuff that you restricted is the stuff that you’ll be the most inclined to eat tons of… don’t worry though, this will pass, but only after giving yourself unconditional permission to eat it. Unconditional permission means that you’re not feeling guilty after eating them. So go enjoy your favorite foods without guilt!!!

How to tell if you’re stuck in the Dieting Mindset.

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