Break the Diet Cycle
You want to lose weight. You are scared you can’t. You get an ass-full of yourself and Google until you find some totally unrealistic fast weightloss promise. You get excited. You have a nagging thought it’s bullshit but you override commonsense and start a crazy, restrictive diet anyway. This is the diet cycle.
You are too desperate to listen to your gut. This time will be different. It is different…until Thursday. Your boss yells at you and your best-friend found buy one get one margaritas. You’ve been so good so you go out knowing you are only supposed to drink celery juice today. Maybe they have Bloody Mary’s? They don’t. F-it moment arrives. Eat, drink, and wake up Friday feeling like a failure. Spend the weekend wondering why nothing ever works for you.
GIRL!!!! This is a pattern that must be broken.
This episode of the Loosing 100 Pounds with Corinne Podcast is all about how to break out of the yo-yo diet cycle:
Why You Fail at Diets
When we're dieting a lot of things will come up such as doubt, insecurity, and excitement. We tend to start diets on a similar cycle every time: I'm going to look for a plan, find one that looks like “the one”, get excited, have a last supper meal on a Sunday, do great on Monday, a couple of days later be frustrated with people for eating what you can't, and Friday be hungry and annoyed.
If you look at your past and this has been the typical diet cycle for you, then you probably won't make it more than a week on your diet. Most people select diets that make them feel like ass and need relief from them around Friday. If all week long you've been busy and ignoring that you hate your diet, when things slow down on the weekend, you'll realize you want some relief from the diet.
Your past is your teacher, not your fortune teller. What are my patterns? How have I started every diet? What did I think? Excitement will wear out, you have to have something beyond excitement to keep pushing you forward. What do you do when initial enthusiasm wears off? You need to muster up commitment and steadiness. You have to know how to deal with urges.
How to be Committed When You're Not Enthusiastic Anymore
As part of the No BS Weight Loss program, I talk about visualizing your future self and the four circles goal setting method and figuring out your “why” or compelling reason you want to lose weight. This is a few my course where people can start sliding into what they've always done with diets in the past (lose enthusiasm) and start to question this “diet.”
Past dieting mentality shows up when you notice enthusiasm wear off and you have a hard time with stuff you're planning. You need to ask yourself, “Am I planning like the person I eventually want to be and can live like for the rest of my life or am I planning what I feel I should be eating?” Are you planning realistic meal plans with food you actually enjoy or are you planning and dreading another dinner of just broccoli and chicken?
People often think about their future self a year down the line, but not three weeks from now when they might be struggling. Your future self in three weeks isn't just eating protein and vegetables. She probably is just eating a little less of the food she loves, but our past diet mentality causes of to lose sight of the baby steps we need to take to get there.
When making a 24 hour food plan, ask yourself:
- Am I looking forward to it?
- Does it feel easy?
- Does it feel like something I can do?
I talked to two clients recently that were stalled 20 pounds from goal (after losing quite a bit of weight) and they had to work through whether they really wanted to lose the rest of the weight and figure out what was holding them back.
They started out excited and looking forward to their food every day, but were looking at the next 20 lbs as “harder.” They were breaking their plans each day because they decided the rest of the weight was going to be hard to lose. They felt they had to give up comfort to lose the rest, so they spiraled.
Diet mentality states that the only way to get to your goal weight is to suffer. Imagine that there's a way to get to goal without suffering, it can be done. I did it. Kathy did it. Don't choose to suffer.
Don't plan your diet by looking at what you did in the past. It did not work. If it had, you wouldn't be trying to lose weight again. If you start inserting your “should's” from your past diets into my program or any other program you start, it's going to blow up in your face and not work.
If your past diet was amazing and felt good, you would have held on to it and maintained your weight. If it feels defeating, hard, daunting, the only option, or desperate, you're doing it wrong. You might be able to lose it that way, but maintenance will also be a battle from a place of “desperate”. No one wants to live their life feeling desperate.
Most of us, if we keep doing the same diets out of desperation, will keep getting the same results over and over.
How to Keep Going When it Seems Impossible to Lose Weight
Another problem for many women is figuring out who your future self is. If you haven't allowed yourself to imagine more for yourself in a long time, doing it is not going to come natural and may be very difficult.
If you struggle with envisioning yourself a year from now, start with something smaller.
What am I doing today? What am I doing this week? Start with daily goals, then weekly, then monthly, until you feel comfortable planning amazing things for your future. Babystep the vision you want for your future. Don't let your past failure define you.
Questions to Help You Get out of the Diet Cycle Mindset:
- What are the new things that I'm willing to try?
- What are the things I haven't even thought of yet?
- What are the things I might be wrong about from my past?
- What do I want for me?
- What is it that I want?
When you've spent your whole life making sure everyone else is taken care of, it's sometimes hard to know what you want. Write down anything and everything without judgment. You have to allow your brain to think bigger than it is now. We have to be brave enough to let go of things we always told ourselves are the only things that work for us. The only way to get a new result is to try something different. Kathy struggled with the future self-concept for a while but realized that she could start small “I want one pound down on the scale this week” and her brain was able to start work on that.
Start Making Weight Loss Fun
We pick goals and we think that's the important part/the fun part, but it's not. The fun is when you don't want to do something, but show up for yourself and do it anyway. The fun is seeing yourself evolve. It's fun to think that you're going to figure it out and begin to like the process. You can break the diet cycle!
Start enjoying your weight loss journey by taking my free Losing for Life Kickstart Video Course + Guide where I teach you simple, mindset and planning habits that will help you lose weight (and keep it off) the way you want to live your life.