Mindfulness and Giving Up the Diet

By Amy Gardner, MS, RDN of Metrowest Nutrition

Diets don’t work.  You’ve heard it before and likely know on some level that it’s true.  Still, you fall victim to the trap – eat this, get thin, live happily ever after.  Has it worked yet?  No. Maybe this time will be different.  It won’t be.  But, 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:

diet-cycle

Dieting also has a negative impact on your self-esteem, your sense of efficacy and your mood. Dieting is actually 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.

In this Ted Talk, neurologist Sandra Aamodt explains on a physiological level exactly why diets don’t work.

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 this 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.

Amy Gardner is the founder of Metrowest Nutrition. She started Metrowest Nutrition in 2011 after nine years in private practice. Amy has a BS from UNH and an MS in clinical nutrition from NYU.  She uses a non-diet approach and mindfulness techniques to help empower individuals to listen to their internal cues and become more attuned to their bodies’ unique biological rhythms.   To learn more about Amy,  visit her site.

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