Updated: Jun 9, 2021
I read a statistic recently that said 75% of American women surveyed, endorse unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies. Another stated that almost half of American children between 1st and 3rd grade want to be thinner and half of 9–10-year-old girls are dieting.
This broke my heart. Not because I didn’t believe this to be true, but because I fell into both statistics.
I started dieting at the age of 12 and since I can remember, I have had a hate-hate relationship with my body. I memorized the calorie amount to every food in my parent’s house, keeping a running score of how much I had consumed throughout the day. I exercised as punishment for food and beverage decisions I had made the night before. And no matter how much weight I lost, I could always lose 5 more. Eventually my body would fight back, not allowing me to lose any more weight without basically starving myself. My metabolism was running at such a slow rate and had adapted to the low number of calories I was allowing in. My workouts were slowing down because my energy was at an all-time low. And I was so hungry all the time.
Eventually, when I had reached my desired weight or the event I was dieting for had come and passed, the hunger really set in. And that’s when the binges began.
I wanted food, food and more food. It didn’t matter what it was, my body NEEDED it. My body had been starving for so long and I felt like it was keeping a back log of all the nutrients it had missed out on and she was here to retrieve them all.
I would binge on crackers, chips, nuts, peanut butter, pickles, lunch meat, candy, literally anything I could get my hands on. After the binges, here came the guilt. And the next day, I would be back to restricting and soon enough, I would binge all over again. This cycle repeated itself for years.
If you’re like me and struggle with obsessing over food, late night munchies, constant grazing, and never feeling satisfied, I see you. You’ve probably been told you must get to the root of the problem and understand WHY you’re bingeing and find some unresolved trauma that may have led you here. When in fact, I say it’s not always that deep.
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Here are 3 things that helped me get off the yo-yo diet rollercoaster for good:
1. Stop Dieting
In order for you to fully step off the rollercoaster, you must actually STEP OFF the rollercoaster. Your body is not meant to spend a lifetime dieting. If you have been restricting and under-eating for years, your metabolism has adjusted to the limited number of calories it has been provided and has slowed down in efforts to maintain its function. You may gain weight very easily and losing weight may seem impossible. It’s time to delete the calorie tracking apps, stop skipping meals, and finally tune into your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.
2. Eat More Food
Yes, I said it, the forbidden words you haven’t allowed yourself to hear in years. You are most likely stuck in a binge-restrict cycle because your body is legitimately hungry. Therefore, at the end of the day you are reaching for all the carbohydrates and quick foods because your body is needing energy. Beginning to adapt to an intuitive lifestyle will take time, so be patient with yourself. Coming off of years of dieting is not an overnight quick fix. Your connection to your body will get stronger the longer you actually listen. Focus your meals on nourishing and satisfying foods that your body responds well to. Aim to get in adequate amounts of protein so that you aren’t craving carbohydrates at the end of the day. By eating more food, you are telling your body that it is safe and does not need to binge in order to survive.
3. Stop Restricting the Foods You Love
Have you heard the analogy, “The more you have something, the less value it serves?” It’s also similar to a scarcity mindset – feeling the need to hold on to something because you’re afraid you may never have it again. This rings especially true with food. The more you restrict yourself of the foods you love, the more you want it. The more you NEED it. And once you have it, you want more of it. Now if you reverse this concept and allow yourself as much of the foods you love, whenever you want it, the less you are going to crave them. The idea of food will begin to change for you and the sugary sweets you once insanely craved, will now be just another item in your pantry.
Getting off the yo-yo diet rollercoaster is never easy because we are unwiring years of messaging engrained by ourselves, society, diet culture, and media telling us thinner is better. It’s re-establishing a new relationship with our body and freeing ourselves from the chains we’ve created. We must learn to give ourselves grace and learn to love ourselves more than the day before. Understanding that the journey to a healthy and loving relationship with our body may take years but will be worth it!
If you are ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and start living a life free from restriction, binge eating, and yo-yo dieting, schedule a FREE Discovery Call with me today where I will help you create a roadmap to start making progress on your health.
I believe in you, it’s time you start believing in you, too.