Diets are prevalent in our culture. Studies show that the average age that girls start dieting is eight, and they start to talk about dieting even younger. They view the word fat as a negative word starting at age five! As a parent, you may think you are helping your child by encouraging her to lose weight through dieting – in fact, many doctors still encourage parents to put their kids on diets because of the obesity crisis in America. This is a case where the prevailing advice is wrong and even dangerous for our children. Why? Because diets don’t work!
It’s very important to learn the difference between intuitive eating and dieting, and to make a promise to never diet again. You may be asking: what’s an intuitive eater? The best way to describe it--believe it or not--is to imagine a newborn baby.
Newborns, if they’re allowed to eat when they want, never eat past the point of being full and they never diet and eat less than they really want. They always eat just as much as their bodies need. We’re all born with the ability to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re satisfied. That’s what an intuitive eater is. Your body knows what it needs if you just listen to it. You were born with this ability, and you still have it within you.
This is why diets don’t work. Ninety-five percent of all people on diets will eventually regain the weight.
Why is that?
When you restrict your food, you’re basically on a diet. You’re putting yourself in a deprivation/ binge cycle where you deprive yourself, deprive yourself, deprive yourself; and no matter how long you’re on the diet, eventually you’re going to get hungry. You’re going to want to intuitively eat and then most people regain the weight. But, instead of just eating to the point of being satisfied, they binge way past the point of being satisfied because they’ve been deprived for so long.
It’s very important to reject that diet mentality. Watch out for false information in the media, especially the Internet, about diet and exercise. This false information is plentiful. It seems that every other day we hear about a new diet or a new exercise program that promises to help us drop pounds and have that perfect body. It takes a lot of mental effort to wade through all of that false information. The answer is truly so simple, if you trust it. Just be like you were when you were a baby; listen to your body, and it will tell you how to eat.
If you diet at home, please consider switching to a non-diet approach. That means keeping diet foods out of the house, or not forbidding other “fattening” foods in your home. Not only will it help you reach your natural weight and stay there, it will help you not send your kids a mixed message about weight and body image. It’s not good enough to tell your child that it’s okay for them to intuitively eat and be healthy, but not apply the same principles for yourself.
Going no-diet can be challenging. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us
. We have years of experience helping families learn the intuitive eating approach and avoid developing eating disorders of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia and/or emotional eating.