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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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