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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 February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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