If you have tried diet after diet after diet with little success, remember this: “A well-worn path doesn’t mean that you are on the right track.”

If you struggle with weight gain and rarely see positive changes reflected on the bathroom scales, it is important to recognize that the continual diet cycle can do more harm than good—mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The diet cycle typically flows like this:

  1. We start an extreme diet.
  2. We feel restricted and deprived.
  3. The cravings commence and we give into temptation.
  4. We are consumed with guilt.
  5. We rinse and repeat this process day in and day out and, for many, year in and year out.

You can absolutely break this dreaded diet cycle and say goodbye to dieting forever by shifting your focus from losing weight to gaining good health.

The following 10 tips will help you to shift your focus.

1. Change the way you set goals

If you struggle with the scales and are always disappointed by your weigh-in results, then take a break from weighing in for a while. Instead of setting goals based on the number of kilos you can lose, set positive change goals.

Positive changes should be celebrated and can include things like eliminating soft drinks permanently, eating more fruits and vegetables daily, enrolling in an exercise class, introducing meditation into your daily routine, walking an extra 10 minutes every day—the list is endless and each positive change that you make is supporting and enhancing your wellness.

2. Stop criticizing yourself

Instead of focussing on all that is wrong with you, focus on all that is right with you. Instead of criticizing your shape and your waistline, start focussing on all of your positive qualities. Find ways to nourish and support your body and acknowledge that every curve, every scar, and every part of you is uniquely you and makes up your amazing story.

3. Remember that one size does not fit all

We are all wired differently, so what suits one person may not suit the next person, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Find what suits you personally and focus on making those changes.

4. Listen to your body

Your body is constantly communicating with you. Are you paying attention?

When you really listen to the signs and symptoms your body is giving you, whether it be hunger, pain, or fatigue, you are actually developing an understanding of what it needs and when it needs it. Instead of focussing on losing, focus on listening.

5. Embrace healthy eating as a lifestyle

Lets face it, diets may work in the short term and we may lose a few kilos in the process, but more often than not, when we stop the diet we gain back the weight we have lost and then some. When you accept that healthy eating should be a lifestyle 7 days a week and not a short-term way to achieve weight loss, you will see results. Focus on permanent changes that will last a lifetime.

6. Celebrate your success

As you make changes and start to feel healthier and more energized, really focus on all of the wonderful steps forward you have taken. When you focus on the positive changes you have made and the goals achieved, this is a surefire way to stay motivated. It will fuel you to make even more healthy changes.

7. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket

Instead of heading up and down the supermarket aisles and focussing on low-fat, pre-packaged diet foods as a way to lose weight, change direction. Make the commitment to only shop the perimeter of the supermarket. This is where you will find all the fresh produce—and fresh is always best.

8. Respect your body

Extreme dieting can do more harm than good, so understand that your body must go the distance. Really focus on all that your body does for you and then fuel it accordingly.

9. Remember: Mind + Body+ Spirit

The mind, body, and spirit work as a system of energy, so it is vital to manage all aspects of your wellness. From healthy food and exercise to managing stress levels to factoring in activities daily that uplift your spirit, focus on your system as a whole. It definitely takes a lot more than just eating a salad to achieve good health. Your focus should be on attaining wellness on every level—not just on the scales.

10. Love your body

The more we learn to love our bodies, the more motivated we will be to exercise and eat well. Focus on what you love about your body and not what bugs you.

Here’s a tip:

It is not actually our bodies that need to change, but our mindsets and choices. Focus on achieving good health, good energy, wellness, happiness, more joy, more peace, and more love instead of losing more kilos. Remember, your size and weight do not measure your worth as a person, your beauty, your unique qualities, or your contributions to the world. Focus on being the healthiest version of you as a way to move forward.

Featured photo credit: Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com

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