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Nov 12

What the Never-Ending Dieting Cycle Looks Like

The majority of women living in our society know what it’s like to diet.

Meaning, most women you meet will know the feeling of placing restrictive food rules on themselves to change their bodies.

It goes without saying that this rarely works out.

These women usually end up in an endless cycle of yo-yo dieting, binge eating, negative body thoughts, and frustration.

It’s likely if you’re reading this, you know exactly how this feels to some degree.

And it’s time we wise up to what’s really going on here.

So, we can escape this never-ending dieting cycle for good.

Here, we’ll discuss exactly how you get caught in this mind-numbing cycle and what you need to do to end this cycle for good.

How You Enter the Cycle

It’s no secret that our culture makes it extremely easy for women to have a negative relationship with food and their bodies.

The beauty standards we’re expected to live up to are unrealistic and unsustainable. 

And we’re taught from a young age to aspire to these standards.

Which means, you’ll likely develop dieting tendencies from adolescence. 

Shockingly, almost half of American children between the ages of 9 to 10 have attempted dieting to become thinner.

I can speak for this personally, since I tried my first diet at the age of 10. 

It’s become normal to criticize our bodies and to always be looking for the next level of beauty.

We’ve even made dieting a source of bonding between women. 

Because the desire to lose weight and reach a certain body standard is strong.

It’s for this reason that most women eventually enter into the never-ending dieting cycle.

Which eventually feels impossible to escape.

The Never-Ending Dieting Cycle

Let me know if this sounds familiar.

You have a desire to lose weight with the purest intentions.

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get healthier and look a certain way, right?

So, you look on the internet for a weight loss program, meal plan, or diet that will help you get this result.

As soon as you decide on the formula you’ll follow to lose weight, you feel excited!

You know this time will be different and that you’ll finally have enough willpower to follow through.

So, you start the diet. And everything seems to be going okay for a while. 

You’re eating all of the allowed foods, weighing yourself once a day, and feeling good.

To your delightment, you’ve even lost a few pounds!

Then, about a couple weeks later, the good ol’ cravings start to make an appearance.

You start to crave the foods that aren’t allowed in your diet program.

You’ve had pretty good willpower up till this point.

But something snaps. Your self-control goes bye-bye. 

Once day you come home from work insanely stressed. Your day sucked.

So, you justify having a “cheat day” and allowing yourself to lose control.

You binge eat on everything you have in your fridge. Or maybe you even go out to grab a huge amount of fast food.

You deserve it, right? You’ll start again tomorrow.

Turns out, the next couple of weeks are stressful as well.

So, before you know it you’ve “fallen off track” for a month and have regained the weight.

From here you experience frustration, negative self-talk, and self-punishment. 

But, your desire to be thin is still strong.

And you continue your search for the perfect diet that will finally allow you to eat healthy with ease. 

Sound familiar?

If so, you know exactly what it’s like to be stuck in the never-ending dieting cycle.

Perhaps you’re stuck in this cycle currently.

Or maybe you have been for years.

If so, don’t worry. There is a way out of it.

How to Escape

In order to escape this dieting cycle, you’ll need to make a conscious decision to give up dieting for good.

Meaning, you need to decide to not attempt to follow food rules written by someone other than yourself.

You’ll need to accept that willpower and self-discipline are never necessary to truly eat healthy.

And that when you attempt to “force” yourself to eat a certain way, you will fail every time.

While this sounds simple to do, I’m going to keep it real. 

Your dieting mindset takes some serious intentionality to break.

This is a frame of mind you’ll likely had for some time if you’re like most women.

I know this was true for me. And this mentality wasn’t a quick fix. 

It required me to completely reframe the way I viewed food and my body.

But it’s so worth it so you can finally eat healthy effortlessly, without following a strict diet.

This is what I want for you. 

I want you to gain the ability to remove dieting from your healthy eating vocabulary once and for all. 

Here are a few mindset shifts you’ll have to make to ditch the dieting mentality:

1) Acknowledge How a Diet Hurts You

Take a moment to brainstorm this for yourself.

How has a diet caused you harm to your body and mindset over the years?

How much time or money have you wasted because of them?

What have you missed out on in life because you were worried about following strict food rules?

Explore this for yourself and see what you come up with.

It’s entirely necessary that you realize the damage that dieting has caused you all of these years. 

2) Call Out Your Dieting Thoughts

If you’re like most women in our society, it’s natural for you to have a diet mentality hard-wired into your brain.

Meaning, those thoughts won’t always be so obvious to you.

So, make it a point to call yourself out in a loving and understanding way!

Where do you have thoughts that tell you to have more willpower?

Or to force yourself to eat a certain way?

Are there times where you feel negatively after eating certain foods?

Keep a close watch on your thought patterns and notice what comes up.

3) Show Compassion

Forgive yourself for placing strict rules around food.

Show compassion for the fact that you’ve allowed yourself to get stuck in the dieting cycle in the past. 

Understand how easy it is in our society to get stuck there. 

And make a loving decision to move past this so you can actually see the results you want long-term.

What to Do Next 

The truth is, the first step to getting out of the dieting cycle is acknowledging its existence.

So many are unaware that this cycle exists, let alone the fact that it’s happening to them.

No negativity, regret, or resentment needs to be associated with this.

Just explore with curiosity how a dieting mentality might be present in your life.

Think about where a dieting cycle might have existed.

Or where it might still exist currently in your life. 

I always say that the secret to healing your relationship with food is asking the right questions.

This will do so much for you.

I’m so excited for you to take your power back over your eating habits.

So you never have to rely on a diet – ever again.

- Kat Rentas

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Kat Rentas, Eating Psych. Coach

Hey there! I'm Kat. I'm a former yo-yo dieter turned eating psychology coach. I help high-performing women overcome yo-yo dieting & emotional eating so they can learn to eat healthy and gain trust in their bodies. Here, we focus on eating mindfully, ditching the diet forever, and gaining limitless body confidence. I've done this for myself, and now it's my mission to teach you how! You can read my full story here.

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  1. Kate Elizabeth

    November 14th, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Your blog came to me at just the right time, Kat! My relationship with food has been very back and forth lately, so I’m excited to focus on your best tips and utilize them in creating a more healthy relationship between myself and food. I definitely relate to the coming home from a stressful day at work and binge eating everything in sight.

  2. Kat

    November 14th, 2019 at 11:03 am

    So glad it was helpful Kate! We can all relate to this. So happy to hear you’re ready to move forward. Excited for you! 🙂

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