“I want to lose weight even though I want to non-diet.”
This is a common statement I hear. In most cases, the individual does not fully understand the non-diet approach. They believe they are not dieting even though they display classic dieting behaviours.
Dieting behaviours include eating to change your body, restricting your food intake, viewing food as ‘good/healthy’ or ‘bad/unhealthy’ rather than just food, choosing foods based on what you think you should be eating (allergies and intolerances excepted) and exercising to compensate for food.
You can not partly non-diet. The non-diet approach is only effective when you accept the principles 100%. The way you can fully accept the non-diet approach is by changing your mindset around weight and health. This is often the hardest part of the non-dieting journey. Once you manage to change your mindset, you need to keep working on maintaining your mindset, as you will be challenged in the future in some shape or form.
There are 4 mindset changes that need to occur before you can non-diet:
1. Accept your mindset needs to change
Is weight loss your ultimate goal? Read more here about why weight loss alone does not equal health.
Everything you’ve ever known about food and nutrition to improve health may not be accurate. Be guided by your non-dieting APD to help you to challenge your nutrition and health beliefs.
Explore your beliefs and expectations around why you want to lose weight by asking yourself:
- “What would my life be like if I lost’X’ amount of weight?”
- “What would I be able to do with my life after losing weight, that I cannot do now?”
Have you achieved your previous goals? Were they weight related? How did you go working on these strategies? I’m sensing you did not achieve your goal….this is why you are here.
Remember, you did not fail, the diet failed you.
2. The alternatives to health may be unfamiliar, uncomfortable and scary.
The non-diet approach may appear simple and it can also feel unfamiliar, uncomfortable and scary at the same time. This is what change often feels like. View challenges you have with changing your behaviour as opportunities. Opportunities to learn more about yourself and to improve your health and well-being.
Acknowledge any negative thoughts you may have and notice how the thought is making you feel. Do you believe and then act on your negative thoughts? It’s amazing how powerful thoughts can be if you are not aware of them. Distance yourself from these thoughts by bringing your awareness to the present situation. Feel the overwhelm lessen as you regain your focus.
3. Prioritise self-care and self-compassion
Put you first! You are good enough in the body you have right now.
Setting SMART goals around health will kick-start the non-dieting process.
Focusing on weight loss neglects your basic needs as an individual. You naturally restrict yourself of food, which deprives you of nourishment and pleasure.
When you become fixated on ‘weight loss’, you are saying “no” to other areas of your life. You neglect or put your dreams on hold.
Guilt and shame become resident feelings, which do not support you in good health and happiness.
Know that you will be eating in a flexible and attuned manner in response to what your body feels like and in adequate amounts. Once you have fully committed to the non-diet approach, overeating will become a thing of the past.
4. The choice is yours
I highly recommend you become fully aware of the benefits and risks of the ways of the following nutrition and health interventions:
1/ Traditional weight focused treatment
The ineffective and often harmful route.
2/ Non-dieting ‘Health At Every Size®’ health-focused treatment
The evidenced-based compassionate path to a healthier and happier you.
3/ Maintain the status quo – No change
Your health may stay the same or deteriorate with time.
What is your decision?
Have you managed to change your mindset? What stood out for you in doing this? If you are going to change your mindset, which point will be the most challenging for you?
It is helpful to decode your thought and feelings. What are you really saying to yourself? What is society saying to you?
- How do I non-diet? 7 key factors that will change your life for the better
- Normal eating checklist: What does it mean to eat normally?
- Why I don’t focus on weight: Celebrating #AHHW
- Is The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating just another diet?
- The What, Why, When, How and Where of ‘Nutrition Intuition’ explained
- What are people on twitter saying about mindful eating?
- Have You Met My Friend….Food?
- The Essential Guide to Never Dieting Again
- What you are really saying to the dietitian when you say…
If you are looking for a supportive community filled with like-minded people striving to improve their health in a compassionate way, come join us in the Nutrition Empowered Mums Facebook Group.