Please, No More Diets!

Dear Roseann

I make the same promise to myself all the time and never follow through. That is to exercise more, eat less, lose weight. Every year my weight goes up and I can’t seem to change the bad eating habits that keep me stuck in the same big fat place year after year after year. I don’t want to give up but trying yet another diet seems like a hopeless plan destined to make me feel like a big fat failure one more time. I’ve been hearing about mindful eating and I see you have a program. Could you please tell me about it?

Sandy – Evanston

Dear Sandy

It sounds like this problem has been causing you a lot of pain for a long time. You certainly aren’t alone in your wish to lose weight and increase fitness and good health. Start by asking yourself why you want to lose weight. That “why” will help you figure out the “what” you need to do to reach your goals. A number on the scale is only one of the many measures of physical health.

Recent research on weight loss has shown that a focus on what’s going on in your mind about food is just as important as changing what you put in your mouth. Dieting and on-going restricting of food intake doesn’t work well for the long-term. Most of the people who lose weight by dieting gain it back unless they change their relationship to themselves, their bodies and food.

There are many programs out there to help you change your relationship to food and to develop thoughts and behaviors that lead to long-term lifestyle changes. Each person is different and no one program works well for everyone. Most programs that lead to success include a mindfulness component to help make eating a conscious act in response to hunger. Many people find group support helpful. There are programs where you can attend in person and programs that are available on-line. Weight Watchers, Noom and Bright Line Eating are a few that are widely available on line. These are not quick-fix, quick weight loss programs but instead are designed to help you gain a sense of power over your life as you learn to honor your physical and emotional needs, trust yourself and free up your emotional energy to live vibrantly without shame and sorrow around food and your body.

I wish you luck in your search for the program that will work for you and if I can be of help, please be in touch.

Be well,

Roseann Adams, LCSW

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