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The "diet mentality" Just stop :)

merzbackmerzback Posts: 450Member Member Posts: 450Member Member
I have a bit of a rant about what I hear and read when people are trying to lose weight. Get off the yoyo and stop the diet mentality. The diet industry has 5 percent success rate long term. When people go on certain diets, the diet takes the credit. But what about long term? When people no longer can restrict certain foods groups or just eating not enough calories per day, then you're on your own. Stop using the word "cheat" or saying you are "bad" because you had a piece of cake. Allow yourselves some flexibility so you can live a normal life, and stop using words that are negative. You are not a cheater or a bad person because you ate something unhealthy. You are human, and just move on from that moment because the semantics just keep you down. Candy, cake and unhealthy foods are unhealthy for EVERYONE but you do not hear a thin person say they were BAD. I know most people do not say they are "dieting" anymore because if you go ON a diet, eventually you go OFF. When you decide what to eat, ask yourself is it something that will make you feel better later both physically and emotionally. Many of us have to get off this mentality, because being healthy is mostly emotional based. I do not have all the answers, but I Get tired of people putting themselves down and allowing an industry to determine your happiness, your day and the scale is not the end all of your life, and neither is an indulgence occasionally. Ok thanks for listening to my rant. JMHO :smiley:
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Replies

  • merzbackmerzback Posts: 450Member Member Posts: 450Member Member
    Thanks- yes it seems like many people on here are so stuck into that mentality- I need to l lose weight for my wedding, or school reunion- that the scale is all the care about. Many do not care about their long term health. My first diet years ago when I was 14, I thought once I lost all the weight, my life would do a 180. GUess what? It did not...
  • timtam163timtam163 Posts: 501Member Member Posts: 501Member Member
    YES. This. It seems to come from a place of self-loathing, which is just so hard to break and I feel for everyone who's struggling with this but it's just not the answer. We have been taught for soooo long that our issues will be solved once we lose weight, and it's hard to work on anything else when society has told this lie so many times before.

    I also think we've all internalized body bullying, and we've lost touch with how we feel because society won't let us be truly vulnerable. Breaking free of that is really really hard, and I hope all the "diet mindset" people will eventually do some introspection and really get to the bottom of their body issues.
    edited November 14
  • Ironandwine69Ironandwine69 Posts: 2,201Member Member Posts: 2,201Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?
  • Saltine24Saltine24 Posts: 67Member Member Posts: 67Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    ...A lifestyle change! :)
  • try2againtry2again Posts: 1,574Member Member Posts: 1,574Member Member
    Edited
    edited November 14
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 3,662Member Member Posts: 3,662Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    I call it..cutting, leaning, shredding, eating in a deficit, torture.. you know.. :p
  • AarjonoAarjono Posts: 221Member Member Posts: 221Member Member
    Saltine24 wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    ...A lifestyle change! :)

    Yep, this!! I didn't start being successful until I stopped looking at it as a "weight loss" diet, but as a lifestyle instead. I've slowly built new habits and routines, and have been very happy with the way things have been going. Yes, I have made changes *to* my diet, but a side effect of my new habits is that I am losing weight.
    edited November 15
  • merzbackmerzback Posts: 450Member Member Posts: 450Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.
  • reglersreglers Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    merzback wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.

    That's the thing... I'm not sure if it's possible to do that. Most overweight people who have been overweight for a long time, possible since childhood are just not able to do that. And I guess that it's okay as long as you are mindful about it. My partner and her family are all quite naturally slim. They do not obsess about food at all, they even are people who "forget" to eat lunch because they were busy and just did not feel hungry so they eat an apple or something at 2 P.M. If you tell me in the morning that all I will have for lunch is an apple, yeah I am obsessing about it and already dreading feeling hungry most of the day. Or when I am on the road and lunchtime is approaching and there is no restaurant or supermarket around I will start obsessing. I think it's a lifelong committment to being mindful about food intake, almost like being alcoholic. Once you have had it (the food obsession) it never goes away again.
    edited November 20
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 11,747Member Member Posts: 11,747Member Member
    reglers wrote: »
    merzback wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.

    That's the thing... I'm not sure if it's possible to do that. Most overweight people who have been overweight for a long time, possible since childhood are just not able to do that. And I guess that it's okay as long as you are mindful about it. My partner and her family are all quite naturally slim. They do not obsess about food at all, they even are people who "forget" to eat lunch because they were busy and just did not feel hungry so they eat an apple or something at 2 P.M. If you tell me in the morning that all I will have for lunch is an apple, yeah I am obsessing about it and already dreading feeling hungry most of the day. Or when I am on the road and lunchtime is approaching and there is no restaurant or supermarket around I will start obsessing. I think it's a lifelong committment to being mindful about food intake, almost like being alcoholic. Once you have had it (the food obsession) it never goes away again.
    The obsession can go away, or become manageable. I grew up in an overeating family, and I have had to relearn a lot of things - how hunger and satiety and cravings feels (for me), how much these feelings come and go, how much food is appropriate for me, what kinds of foods work best for me, and why, to expect that I'll feel hungry several times per day and that's okay, to understand that my fear of getting hungry is part biological (we need to eat) but also part aquired (from parents and media/diet+food industry/previous dieting/restriction attempts).

    I too could never understand how "an apple" could be an adequate lunch, but now I'm actually one of those "naturally slim" people. I like to eat, and I like having a somewhat regular meal schedule, but I can wait if I have something to do that is more important at that time; I like balanced meals, but I like and can eat almost anything.

    I think I'm lucky because my problems didn't run very deep - not rooted in self-image or caused by abuse, I was just misinformed. Even in my most extreme periods, eating out, especially while on vacation, was liberating; I would on one hand loosen up on all my rules, and on the other hand be a lot more selective. I would seek out good food, and never think that I'm not going to eat. Somehow the responsibility of "feeding myself", at home, alone, was hard for me. Things have changed now, I have aquired more, and more neutral, nuanced and sensible information about nutrition, and I feel in charge and competent.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 28,670Member Member Posts: 28,670Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    That's what I find odd about the hatred of the term. Yes, you can call it "cutting" or keeping a calorie deficit, but there's nothing wrong with consciously trying to reduce total fat through eating less than you burn, and that's one use of the term "diet" (another is, as kommodevaran said, just what you eat).

    That one is focused on body composition or reducing some fat doesn't mean one has any specific "diet mentality" and for me -- although I have not been particularly focused lately on body comp, I admit -- realizing I had the ability to change my body in that way was empowering and did not relate to some yoyo thing or buying into diet industry nonsense. And it certainly did not contradict the idea of flexibility (I embraced the concept of flexible dieting) or cause me to think of myself as "bad" or a "cheater" if I consumed some pizza or a cookie. To the contrary, having a healthy idea that oh, fat loss happens in this way, and I can choose to work on fat loss through a calorie deficit (which is a diet) and there's no magic mumbo-jumbo needed helped me to not fall for most of the diet industry nonsense.

    I do try different things to see how I like them/if they work for me (different ways of eating or what not, playing around with macros and all that), but I don't freak out over them or get bothered if something is not ideal for me. I take what I like and discard the rest.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 28,670Member Member Posts: 28,670Member Member
    merzback wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.

    Why are you assuming that poster does not trust her body or listen to it or obsesses about food and dieting. That one wants to lose some fat/improve body comp (which at leaner levels especially may need to be a conscious effort) does not mean that one is obsessing about food and dieting.

    I will note that I tend to find maintenance easy if I watch portions (as in use my mind, I usually don't log at maintenance, although I found it one enjoyable way to lose weight, although not IMO required for me), eat on a regular schedule and don't snack, and remain active, and eat a generally nutrition-conscious diet (which I would do regardless of weight as I enjoy it and consider it important for health). This is what I call "mindful eating" (and is totally consistent with my own ideas of flexible dieting -- the difference is that for a diet you keep a calorie deficit, so eat a little less).

    I see this as quite different from "trust your body" if that is supposed to me follow hunger signals or something. I don't think that works for a lot of people, including me. I need to involve my brain--including my understanding of what a reasonable amount to eat and what reasonable choices are--in the process.

    I agree that beating yourself up is not a good approach and would not work for me. I think of this whole thing as an interesting learning experience.
  • newmeadownewmeadow Posts: 6,663Member Member Posts: 6,663Member Member
    This thread has great potential.
  • newmeadownewmeadow Posts: 6,663Member Member Posts: 6,663Member Member
    merzback wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.

    Have you seen her photo? I think she's okay.
  • stanmann571stanmann571 Posts: 2,936Member Member Posts: 2,936Member Member
    merzback wrote: »
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    Why don't you read about listening to your body and trusting it instead of going on and off diets. Just eat foods like a person who doesn't obsess about food and dieting.

    Because that's how I got to 260 lbs.
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Posts: 18,144Member Member Posts: 18,144Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    This.
    Words can mean several different, usually related, things.

    How I eat is my diet.
    What I do when I want to lose weight is diet.

    Formal diets are a slightly different thing (think: Atkins, DASH etc.)
    Fad diets (think: cabbage soup diet) are yet another slightly different thing.

    The word diet isn't "bad".
    (nor are formal diets inherently bad)
    edited November 20
  • merzbackmerzback Posts: 450Member Member Posts: 450Member Member
    What I meant was we are so tuned into the diet mentality, of restricting and deprivation, that we have grown to be a society of scared eaters..because we haven't learned how to be mindful- we have just learned to diet. We are so ingrained about the scale... so ingrained about what is good or bad, we call ourselves cheaters, a lot of negative words to become more positive usually won't help.
  • newheavensearthnewheavensearth Posts: 599Member Member Posts: 599Member Member
    So how does one stop seeing logging and measuring food as a "diet" behavior and just something that needs to be done? Sometimes I feel like eating to a number is an artificial external control, but left to my own devices is how I got to where I am.
  • vingoglyvingogly Posts: 1,348Member Member Posts: 1,348Member Member
    So how does one stop seeing logging and measuring food as a "diet" behavior and just something that needs to be done? Sometimes I feel like eating to a number is an artificial external control, but left to my own devices is how I got to where I am.

    Because I believe some people have portion control and awareness of hunger cues baked into their nervous systems. Some don't. It doesn't matter how much of it is genetic and how much is upbringing, for someone like myself, I know I need to monitor what I'm doing if I want to maintain my weight. If I'm not mindful about my eating, I'll get fat again -- and I have 50 years of experience behind that realization. That means eating what I like, enjoying it when I eat it, attending to my hunger cues, eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm satisfied, monitoring my caloric input and my weight.

    A diet is something you do to correct a condition, with the implication that when the "diet" is over you'll return to your previous mode of operation. Unfortunately, it's that previous mode of operation that got most of us into trouble in the first place, so returning to it means we'll pack the fat back on again.

    Further, the language we use to describe what we're doing influences how we think about ourselves. If we say things like "I'm dieting", "I'm having a cheat day", "I'm addicted to sugar/carbs/whatever", or "I fell off the wagon", we're reflecting attitudes and beliefs we've internalized about losing weight, our bodies, and the morality of eating/not eating certain things. That's why the language we choose can subvert our plans to lose weight and keep it off -- and why I will no longer say I'm "dieting". Diets don't work because you're artificially separating your life into "Dieting" and "Not Dieting" segments.

    I do think we can learn to internalize the monitoring of hunger cues and portion control -- but I know I'm not there yet and if I never am, that's the price of staying at my maintenance weight.
    edited November 20
  • MomeproMomepro Posts: 487Member Member Posts: 487Member Member
    So what would you like me to call it when I'm trying to lose weight?

    I just call it eating better. As in, I am paying attention to how I feel, eating smaller prortions first and then going for "seconds" only after I've waited and am still hungry after severam minutes. Picking foods that taste good AND affected my body positively, not leaving me bloated and queasy.
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