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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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