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6 Signs You May Need to Stop Dieting

6 Signs You May Need to Stop Dieting

In today’s society it is often expected that people are constantly dieting. Some might even say it’s “weird” if you aren’t on one. A diet may start off with positive intentions (losing a few pounds, getting cholesterol under control, feeling more energetic), but spiral to a place where the diet is no longer serving its original purpose.

When the diet plan you are on becomes stressful, unrealistic, and obsessive it may be time to hit the pause button on it. Taking a break from dieting can be great for your mental health, and in turn your body will thank you. The constant rollercoaster and stress caused by restrictive diets (which often lead to overeating) tend to do more damage than simply listening to your body and fueling it in a way that feels good.

If you can relate to any of the following, it may be time to take a break:

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​1. Your weight consistently fluctuates.

Some might call this the “yo-yoing.” You might hop from one diet to the next thinking you just need to try something different. This can cause stress to your body and you may actually retain excess weight.

If your weight is constantly going up and down it may be a sign that the diet you’re currently on is not working for you. With weight fluctuation you might start bashing your body, beating yourself up, or thinking something is wrong with you that you can’t stick to the diet. Getting back to the basics like listening to your body and eating in a way that makes you feel good is key to maintaining a consistent body weight.

2. You are constantly thinking about the foods you can/can’t have.

Find yourself wondering what you can eat later? How many calories you’ve already consumed? If you can enjoy your friend’s birthday cake?

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When your mind is overwhelmed with diet stress there’s less room to be present and engaged with the ones around you. Important events and situations are spent with the constant food noise in the background. If this is happening for you, it might be time to change your mindset with food and move away from dieting. Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed (and that includes food).

3. You have a long list of rules.

Your diet may have started with a simple rule such as; consume 1800 calories per day. After a little while of dieting, though, you may end up with a huge array of foods you “can” have and foods you “can’t.” Some might include:

  • No eating after 7pm
  • No sugar except 1 piece of dark chocolate
  • Only snacks can be almonds
  • 2 workouts per day

You get the point. Trying to keep track of those rules can leave you feeling stressed, bogged down, deprived, or like a failure (because how can you possibly adhere to all of those?). These feelings actually lead us to overeating on food because the moment you break one rule, the all or nothing mindset takes over. If this is happening for you, it’s time to slowly get rid of these rules.

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4. You find it hard to enjoy life.

Spontaneous adventures, parties, and vacations cause you stress because you can’t eat in the way you want to. This is no way to live. If you’re feeling like you can’t enjoy these moments, then it might be time to take a step back from your diet.

Remind yourself gently that food can be a part of life, but doesn’t need to be your whole life. In order to be engaged and present with friends and family, you may need to take a break from your diet anxiety and enjoy a meal with the people you love.

5. You have an overwhelming fear of weight gain.

When you wake up in the morning and your first thought is, “Have I gained weight?” Stepping on the scale frequently and letting that dictate your mood and attitude for the day could be a red flag that your diet is taking up too much space in your mind.

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Instead, checking in with how your clothes fit and feel can be a gentle way to stay in touch with a healthy, natural weight that’s right for you. When we check in with our bodies and listen to them, it’s easier to maintain a fit body.

6. You feel deprived or limited.

If you are constantly feeling deprived or limited due to your diet plan it may be time to step away from it. Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. Allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you love helps you find a place of balance and moderation with all foods. This leaves you feel less deprived and more successful (instead of having to sustain an extremely restrictive diet).

With this, you may find that the controlling diet rules and thoughts start to fade away so you can free up space in your mind for fun, peace, and enjoyment.

Featured photo credit: Fresh & Healthy Morning Breakfast/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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