Ditch the diet rules:time for realistic dieting

Zoe Woodward / Oct 10, 2016

As a Yogi, Personal Trainer, Nutritional Therapist, and #teamVITL Ambassador, Zoe Woodward sure has a lot on her plate. Today she tells us how she keeps her life in balance, starting with taking a realistic view about dieting.

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The diet industry is ever changing. Forever coming up with plans, apps, new ways of eating, and new obsessions about how to deprive yourself of different foods groups. I've been there. I've tried everything and anything from cutting carbs to not eating after 6pm.  All this did was make me more and more obsessed with food and dieting until it was ruling my every thought. 

One day I woke up and thought, what the hell am I doing? I'm unhappy, I don’t have the body of my dreams, and even if I did, if it took deprivation and unhappiness to get there, do I really want it?

I thought the perfect body was the answer to all my problems. If I was a 'perfect weight' with the perfect abs and lithe limbs then I'd be happy. WRONG! So I ditched the rules and plans. I vowed never to diet again...but it is easier said than done. It's hard at first to reprogram your brain after years of brainwashing but I did it and so can you. Here are a few tips on how to break the cycle and ditch the diet for good!

1. Delete the food tracking app. They encourage obsession. So what if your macros aren’t perfect? So what if you consumed 5 more calories than you planned? Bin it, get rid and thank me for it!

2. Throw away the weighing scales. The "sad step" or whatever you want to call it... Weighing yourself every day isn't healthy and it can even be counter-productive. Life isn’t all about lbs and oz. One tiny number on a set of scales can’t determine how you feel about yourself, look at the bigger picture!

3. Take time to listen to your body. It's time to really get in tune with yourself. This one is easier said than done and may not happen overnight. Think about how you felt after you ate that huge glutinous 3-course meal and ate till you couldn't move.  Did your body thank you for it? Choose foods that make your body feel good. Over time this gets easier and soon it will become second nature.

4. Don't obsess about food. Don't meticulously plan every bite that passes your lips. So what if you haven't eaten a certain number of calories today, perhaps your body didn’t need it? Who cares if you eat a little more tomorrow, it’s all good! Life is about flexibility and balance and your food should be the same
 
5. Don’t use food as a reward. Just because you've been 'good' all week doesn't mean a weekend of gluttony is deserved. As soon as you stop seeing food as good or bad you won't be bothered about that king-sized pizza or that huge desert. Because it's no longer banned you'll find that you no longer crave it. 

As soon as you take a step back and release the control give your mind has over your body, you'll start to realize that your body knows best and will guide you to making the right food choices for you. So you fancy a curry that's fine! Have a curry. Just don't deprive or punish yourself afterward, and don't let it turn into a downward spiral of guilt. Have the curry, enjoy it, and move on. These tips aren’t to tell you to abandon all control and just eat anything you want all day long, they are to help you step back and check in with yourself first and foremost before jumping on the next bandwagon that promises to instantly improve your life! 

Check out Zoe's blog Aloha & Coffee for more lifestyle tips, yoga poses, and recipes!