Why I Stopped Doing Diets And Felt Better Than Ever

Let me guess why you clicked here.

You clicked because dieting sucks. No matter how hard you try, you couldn’t get in the shape you desire. No matter how much you restrict what you eat, your body weight stays the same.

Or you might reap some success from the diet. But you’ve grown sick of it now — of counting calories, reading labels and eating good foods.

You want to take a break.

Yet, every time you look into the mirror, that imperfect body shows up. You cry silently, and vow to lose more weight. So back to the diet culture!

Is there a better way to stay in shape without dieting? You can eat whatever you like, as much as you want to, and when you feel like it.

In your wildest dream?

No, I’m telling you. There’s a way to enjoy your food and get into your perfect shape.

If you can spare the next 8 minutes to read this, I will show you how. But first, let me share with you a story.

I Didn’t Always Care About Dieting

I didn’t care about dieting until a couple of years ago. When I was in high school, I was very skinny. No matter what I ate, I wouldn’t gain weight.

The fact was I ate a lot. Like 2 bowls of white rice at meals. Between meals I often snacked — things like French fries or chips. I was also a huge fan of soft drinks. Last night, Mom recalled I used to drink at least one bottle of Coke every day.

Some people thought that I was lucky. I could eat the world without gaining weight. My life was paradise.

The truth is it wasn’t.

Even though I had never worried about weight, I didn’t feel truly healthy. I was tired all the time. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I lacked concentration for mental-demanding tasks.

So, having been thin, I can tell you:

Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy. You could be thin, very thin, but not healthy. Thus, being thin shouldn’t be your end goal. Your goal should be being healthy to function well in your daily tasks.

Your end goal shouldn’t be becoming thinner, but being healthy to function well in your daily tasks.

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How I Became Obsessed With Losing Weight

I went abroad for studies. For the first time, I was in charge of my meals. My destination was Finland. It’s bloody cold there. The snow lasted for half of the year. Perhaps that’s why I felt hungry all the time.

The cold also made me more depressed than usual, so I got into the habit of binge-eating. I always munched on something (cookies, pastries, ice-cream, etc) even when I’d just eaten.

You probably guess what came next. I gained weight. But instead of solving the core issue, I blamed myself for being too “free” with food and got on a weight loss journey.

I browsed all the Internet for tips, tricks on how to eat for weight loss. Common advice are:

  • Cut down on carbs.
  • Ditch sugar.
  • Eat more protein and greens.
  • No meals after 6 p.m.
  • No soft drinks, juice or alcohol.
  • No chips, ice-cream or comfort food.

So that was exactly what I did. I steered away from sugar. I resisted buying ice-cream, cake, chocolate, biscuits, etc when shopping, and filled my cart with only wholsome, non-added sugar items.

I started reading labels too. Like a nerb. I counted the calories of everything I put in my mouth. The input calories must be less than output so that you can lose weight, right?!

I runned low on carbs (rice, pasta, bread, etc.), and ate lean protein, healthy fat. I also made a rule of not eating after certain time, even when my stomach is scowling.

With these restrictions, I must lose weight?

Well, I didn’t.

One day, a friend took a picture of me. I was horrified. I looked much chubbier than before I started dieting.

What’s wrong?

Maybe I wasn’t determined enough. I should work harder to lose weight.

So, I went to the extreme. I experimented with different weight-loss diets: keto, plato, meat-free, etc. You name it. Many nights I went to bed starving, having only salad or soup for dinner. Many mornings, I skipped breakfast and waited until I was desparately hungry to take a bite.

This paid off. I lost a lot of weight during that time.

After shedding so many pounds, I could’ve just quitted dieting and returned to my food-freedom day. But I couldn’t.

Dieting is like an addiction. Once started, it may be hard to let go. You never get satisfied with how you look. You’ll ever want to be thinner. And you had to restrict your eating to remain thin.

Finally, I Learned The Truth About Dieting…

Dieting may or may not help you lose weight. If you fail to lose weight with diets, you blame yourself and work harder to shed pounds. If you succeed, you’ll feel proud for a while, but then become obsessed with dieting.

Either way, you’re heading for a train wreck. The more you diet, the more you hurt your self image. You’ll never feel enough. You’ll always consider yourself a failure, something to be “fixed”.

The more you diet, the more your self image is hurt. You’ll never feel enough. You’ll always think of yourself as a failure, something to be “fixed”.

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Worst of all, you’ll lose the joy of eating. You may become a food “racist”, dismissing some foods as bad while honoring others as being “wholesome and healthy”.

This discrimination isn’t smart. Because the more you think about “good” food, the more you also worry about harmful effects that “bad” food brings to you. Eventually, these harmful effect will manifest in you.

Something else you need to know:

Losing weight isn’t the answer. You only want to lose weight what’s pumped into your head from the outside world. When you succeed, you won’t be satisfied and may dig a bigger hole for yourself.

Take a moment to consider this question:

What do you want most for your body right now?

Perhaps, it’s not being skinny like super models, but being fit and balanced to carry out daily work with ease.

If that’s what you want, you don’t need a restricted diet. Because what dieting succeeds in doing so far is to make you slim regarless you are fit or not. It’s time to shake it off and do something more sensible.

As Albert Einstein once said:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If something doesn’t fit you well, try something else.

Don’t blame yourself. Life is full of errors and trials. Do enough stuff that doesn’t work, you’ll find one that work.

Now, I’d like to introduce a way that works. One that helps you remain fit and happy without eating restrictions.

How To Eat Well, Feel Good And Stay In Shape?

Even when I know dieting was a pitfall, I struggled to make a shift. Without diets, how do I know I don’t overeat? What to eat to stay in good shape? How to accept my body when I don’t like my reflections in the mirror?

I kept looking for the answers. I delved into a lot of articles, essays, and books. Finally, I found it. The secret to eating for health and being fit. Which was revealed in the book “The Science of Being Well” by Wallace D. Wattles.

I’m not doing any promotion work here, but this book is life-changing. It’s convinced me why restricted eating doesn’t work, and the only way to be healthy is to eat what you like, as much as you want to, and when you need it.

By following instructions of healthy eating in this book, I’ve been able to:

  • Get enormous joy from eating, an act I used to consider very mundane.
  • Enjoy extra energy to work productivity.
  • Appreciate the goods in my life.
  • Love my body and be thankful for it.
  • Experience more satisfaction from eating and life.

So, bear with me a little more, I’ll share with you this magical elixir for getting into your perfect shape without dieting.

It’s a lot simplier than you think. In fact, the rules can be contracted in 2 lines:

  1. Think good thoughts.
  2. Eat in the right way.

Here’s the expansion:

Think good thoughts

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

~ Zig Ziglar

In most cases, thinking positive thoughts can do you more good than negative thoughts. By keeping your head towards the sunshine, your mood will improve. You’ll have more energy to act for the body’s interest.

If you want to be fit, immerse yourself in good thoughts. Cast out negative ones.

Do you often say things like “I’m so fat”, “Look at my fatty arms”, “My face is too big” in front the mirror? Cut them out. They only lowers your self-esteem and reinforces a distorted body image within you.

The distorted image you create for yourself isn’t the truth. The truth is you are enough and beautiful. Though if you keep saying unkind words to yourself, you risk having them become truth and take shape in you.

The distorted image you create for yourself isn’t the truth. The truth is that you are enough and beautiful. If you keep referring to the distorted image, you risk having it become truth and manifest in you.

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So, every time negative self-talk comes up, replace it with body affirmations. This post contains a big of affirmations for you to choose from. Some examples are:

You may want to try this little exercise:

Find a quiet place and sit or lie down comfortably. When you’re ready, close your eyes. Take a few breathes. Then picture in your mind the perfect body shape you desire.

If you find it hard to form an image, just create an overall conception of health. Think what it would be like if you are healthy.

For example, you can work with great gusto, stride confidently on the street, or labor away with garden work without feeling tired.

Take some minutes contemplating these images, then go on with your routine. As you go through the day, try to act in this way (work with vigor, walk confidently, etc.). You will feel healthy, and eventually health will take shape in you.

Follow the right way of eating

1. Eat when you are hungry

First, to practice eating for health, you should always eat when you’re hungry.

How to know when you’re hungry? Simple enough. Just listen to your body. It will give you signals when it’s time to eat.

Common signals are: more saliva in your throat and mouth, slight dizziness, or grumbling stomach. Even without these, you know hunger comes when you will feel a strong urge to take a bite.

But don’t mistake hunger for appetite. Appetite is a desire to eat after seeing, thinking, or smelling food. You can have an appetite even when you’re full. Think of the time you crave chocolate cake for desserts after finishing your meals.

Eating for appetite once in a while is good for your mental health. Appetite may mask itself as a constant hunger, causing them to eat even when you don’t need food.

To tell appetite from hunger, be aware of your body’s need. Every time you crave sweets, ask yourself:

Am I hungry or just eat to quench a emotion?

If you eat for emotions, remember the desire will soon pass. Wait a few seconds and you may not crave eating anymore. Unlike hunger which can’t wait, appetite can mostly be quenched. The key is awareness.

Instead of eating, trying walking, calling a friend, or breathing fresh air, etc. You will feel much better.

2. Eat what you like

From now on, stop listening to what dietians tell you about wholesome or bad food. All foods are wholesome if you eat them right.

Only eat what you like. For when you eat what you like, you can enjoy food better. You will take time to savor each bite and as a result absorb all the nutrients from the food.

Ignore what dietians tell you about wholesome or bad food. All foods are wholesome if you eat them right. So, only eat what you like.

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If you want chocolate for dinner, help yourself. Though you will find, if you eat for hunger only, you naturally crave nutritious, and fulfilling foods instead of empty-calorie ones.

Your body knows what it needs. Your job is to listen to the body is telling and eat accordingly.

If you want a safe bet, eat what’s common in your region. If rice is prevalent where you live, you should have rice at meals. Your ancestors had eaten those foods and lived well, you shall do fine if you follow their footsteps.

3. Eat mindfully

Here comes the last secret to eating for health: Eating mindfully.

What is mindful eating?

It is being aware of what and when you eat. When you eat, you should just eat. Don’t watch TV nor worry about work.

Mindful eating is also taking time to enjoy your meal. Eat slowly and chew each bite with care. No need to count while chewing. Just focus on the taste of your food. You will automatically chew each bite to liquids. When you swallow, all the nutrition will be absorbed and you’ll stay satisfied.

Mindful eating means being aware of what you eat and taking time to savor each bite in your mouth before swallowing.

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To enjoy your meal better, engage all your senses while eating. Don’t just feel the texture of food in your mouth. Look at your dishes, breathe in the aroma, and listen to the sound you make while chewing.

You’ll feel every bite is a treat. A wonderful experience. You won’t rush through your meal anymore. You will be grateful for your food and the act of eating, which will add to the meal fulfillment.

Wrapping this up

Your life doesn’t have to surround restrict dieting. In fact, dieting is a fad. It may or may not help you to lose weight. But one thing for sure, you will lose the joy of eating.

So ditch the diet, and start eating the health. It’s not hard, really. You just have to think good thoughts and begin to eat the right way.

Here’s something you can do today: Eat your next meal mindfully. You don’t have to maintain focus for the whole meal. But try to stay for as long as you can. As you eat, pay attention to the taste, aroma and sound from your food. Do you feel anything different? What distracts you the most while eating mindfully? Share with me in comments.

Originally published at https://mindyourbite.wordpress.com on October 2, 2020.

P.S. Want more articles like this? Sign up to my weekly newsletter. Every Sunday, I send you curated resources on how to eat well, feel good, and stay in shape without dieting.

I write about writing, mindful living, and self-improvement topics | https://mindyourbite.substack.com/about

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