5 Tips For All or Nothing Dieters
It’s a common trap into which many women dieters fall. Those who restrict their food intake engage in “all or nothing” thinking and behaviour. They bounce between severely restricting food intake and then bingeing out on forbidden food.
What happens is that when people stop themselves from eating certain foods (usually favourites like chocolate, ice cream, etc), they subsequently overcompensate and completely and utterly indulge.
Even further, they then suffer from immense guilt, feeling as though they’ve completely blown their diet, so they may as well keep on going. One small indiscretion often ends up turning into a day, or a week (or more) of pure gluttony.
If you can relate to all or nothing behaviour, here are 5 great tips to help escape from that negative mentality.
1. Adopt a ‘no deprivation’ policy.
It’s crucial to curb that feeling of deprivation that goes hand in hand with dieting.
To prove the point, there was a study conducted where dieters and non-dieters were both given milkshakes. After the milkshakes, both groups were offered ice cream. Those who were dieting were more likely to eat the ice cream believing that they had “blown the diet” so may as well completely sabotage it. In contrast, the people who were not dieting were not interested in the ice cream because they were satisfied from the milkshake.
Find replacements for your usual treat type foods (I share one of mine at the end of the article). If you take this ‘swap it-don’t stop it’ approach then you’ll rarely feel deprived and the binges will become much fewer and farther between until eventually they may never happen again (as in my own case).
So make it your mission to amass a collection of healthy, amazing recipes to cook that won’t bust your diet.
2. Stop trying to ‘make up for it’
I find that many women will try to make up for mistakes by doing extra training, or restricting their food intake even further. This is the worst thing you can do if you’re serious about stopping the yo-yo diet cycle.
There is a fine balance between diet and exercise – attempting to atone by doing more training will only make you hungrier. If you also restrict your food further you are only setting yourself up for a double whammy.
If you do overeat, simply resolve to get back on track at your very next meal.
3. Ditch the Guilt
Accept that you will make mistakes and veer off plan, or overeat on occasions. Forgive yourself if you “slip up” with the diet. No one is perfect! Accepting this attitude may help prevent the self-punitive binge.
Guilt is a waste of time and energy. Understand that a blown tyre doesn’t have to mean a complete car wreck. As in the above tip, simply get back on track at the next meal.
4. Be kind to yourself
Is stress or emotional difficulties playing a part in your all-or-nothing behaviour? Take a step back, give yourself a break, and try to address some of these if possible. Consider accessing support if things are really tough.
5. Revise your approach to dieting
Fad diets don’t work!
One big mistake that many women make is dropping too many carbs or fat and too many calories, all at once. Our bodies need fuel not only to survive but to burn fat as well. Yes, you read that right – we must eat to burn fat!
When you drop your food intake too far the ferocious appetite-regulating hormone (Leptin), plummets, causing uncontrollable cravings and hunger – and promptly ruins it all for you.
When you diet too far or for too long, Leptin literally forces you to eat. And I’m afraid NO amount of willpower is going to help!
Leptin levels start to drop only about 7 days into a diet. So after the initial weight loss boost and lower carb and calorie intake, you must bump up your nutrition a bit. Stoke the fire if you like; keeping up the momentum of the initial fat burn.
Resolve to learn about healthy long term eating behaviours to maximise your chances of losing and then maintaining weight in an appropriate way. Adopt a long-term approach, which ensures regular balanced meals that manage hunger and provide healthy nutrition.
I hope those tips help to gain a little more perspective on not only losing weight the correct way, but healthy eating for the long term.
Here’s one of my favourite snacks I use when I’m craving chocolate. The combined chocolate taste of whey protein with the natural fat of peanut butter keeps you (and your sweet tooth) well and truly satisfied between meals.
Click HERE for more great recipes like this one: