Diets don’t work. You’ve heard it before and likely know it to be true. Still, you fall victim to the trap – eat this, get thin, live happily ever after. Has it worked yet? No. But maybe this time will be different, right? It won’t be. You may need to circle around the diet cycle a few times before you truly believe diets don’t work.
Here’s what the diet cycle looks like:
Dieting also has a negative impact on your self-esteem, your sense of efficacy and your mood. In fact, dieting is linked to depression. So, while you may start a diet in hopes of ending in a happier place, the opposite is more likely to occur.
Neurologist Sandra Aamodt explains why diets don’t work in her Ted Talk.
If you truly want to stop yo-yo’ing and feel empowered around food, give up the diet and start practicing mindfulness. In simple terms, mindfulness means being present in the moment. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. However, implementing a regular meditation and/or yoga practice can help. Yoga and meditation help slow down mental processes, breaking up long-standing patterns in brain messaging (i.e. discomfort = food). Eating mindfully shifts the locus of control from external (the diet) to internal (you). Read more about mindful Eating practices here.