As if life as a working mama with a little one isn’t hard enough, add in those 10-extra pregnancy pounds, a slowing metabolism, and zero time for exercise and it’s no wonder so many people turn to diets in order to lose weight. This is why I try to build healthy eating and exercise into my daily routine as much as possible and try to share helpful health and wellness tips with all of you! With that in mind, I am very excited to feature a post from Jessica Bartram a busy mom of two who helps women stop habits they hate, so they can live a life they love on tips to ditch the diet and quit binge eating.
By Jessica Bartram
Five years ago if someone would have told me there would come a time when I stopped dieting, I would have laughed in their face. After I laughed, I probably would have cried. For a long time I didn’t realize that diets are terrible. I defined myself by the number on the scale, or the incredible amount of willpower I had to be able to pass up a brownie.
The truth is, diets make us feel like crazy people around food. Suddenly, all the food we ‘can’t’ have is instantly appealing. We end up caving in to the cravings and binge eating every carbohydrate left in the house. Diets aren’t sustainable long term which is why many women find themselves eating pints of ice cream at 9pm. For myself, and many of my clients, dieting is the cause of binge eating. Often times when we diet, we end up thinking about food all day and then end up going crazy at night; tearing through food like wild boars. We find ourselves yoyo-ing between diet, binge, diet and binge.
Wouldn’t it be nice to stop binge eating and eat only when your body is physically hungry? I discovered an immeasurable amount of freedom when I stopped dieting. I started to notice physical hunger cues and overcame binge and emotional eating. I was able to finally lose those last ten pounds and let go of the control food had over me. Must importantly, I felt relief from obsessing about food constantly.
I know it can be super scary to ditch the diet mentality; especially if you’ve been dieting for what seems like an eternity. I’ve outlined 5 steps to guide you through the process. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to overcome the dieters mentality and achieve your health and emotional goals.
Step 1: Accept that dieting has never provided you any long term benefit. Sure, you’ve lost some weight after crazy diets, but you’ve probably always gained it right back.
Step 2: Let go of the separation between good or bad foods. Food is just food. Obviously some foods will make you feel bad physically, but it doesn’t mean they are bad and forbidden foods. It simply means if you eat a bunch of them, you won’t feel good.
Step 3: Eat what you want to eat, when you’re physically hungry! If you despise salads – stop eating them! If you love chocolate, allow yourself to enjoy it. This isn’t a green light to eat everything in sight. It simply means there are no foods that you are forbidden from eating (because remember, when we don’t allow ourselves to have certain foods – we crave them more).
Step 4: Be mindful of the food you eat. Mindfulness is key when it comes to successfully letting go of the diet mentality. Mindfulness is a fancy word for being present and aware of what you are eating. Being mindful eliminates a lot of comfort eating, which is a major contributor to weight gain.
Step 5: Breathe and let go of guilt. Forgive yourself if you go on a binge eating rampage. There is nothing worse than letting guilt seep in and ruining what was otherwise a beautiful day. Beating the cycle of dieting and binging is a process, not a sprint.
Once you kick dieting to the curb, you’ll be on your way to food freedom. For more tips, check out my free guide to break up with binge eating.
Jessica Bartram is a multi-passionate entrepreneur obsessed with helping women live a life they love. She guides women through the process of breaking bad habits at JessicaBartram.com and is co-founder of EmeryCollection.com, a clothing boutique that showcase the beauty of each woman. She helps kids recoup and relax at KidsWhoMeditate.com. Jessica is a mom of two and a military spouse. She spends her free time enjoying new meals and outdoor adventures with her family.