I don’t think diet books work. And by ‘work’, I mean truly enable people with the right information, community support and ability to truly change their behavior with food and as well as addresses the internal relationship with themselves, their body and food.
Many people have lost weight with some diet guru’s advice in some way shape or form, but all too often that many of these diet books are read for a week or two and then end up with dust on them. At least they did in my life until I found precision nutrition’s Lean Eating Program. Throughout my experience as a client, I became excited about how to really instill change in people’s health through habit based coaching and from my experience in the Lean Eating program I decided to become a nutrition coach.
The other things that many diet books alone don’t have is community. Accountability and community are really profound ways to impart change in your life. Having a coach to encourage you through learning how to think differently about your body, your food and how your body moves is extremely valuable to create true lasting change. Having a community of people to encourage and cheer you on when things are tough is also important. It can be a significant other, a group of friends, online support through online communities, but accountability and community are paramount to change eating and exercise habits.This study in teenagers shows that kids who have friends who are overweight are likely to be overweight, just like the teenagers that had thinner friends are more likely to be thinner. Social media connections can also influence this so if you don’t have people in your life that are at a healthy weight, making friends online where people encourage one another in a healthier lifestyle can be highly encouraging.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with ~Jim Rohn
Many diet books tell people HOW to eat, but very few tell people how to change how you THINK about eating and discuss the negative self talk that we tend to carry around regarding ourselves as well as our ability to achieve a goal. The one diet book that I do know that addresses truly thought behavior change is The Beck DIET solution. I find that this is valuable in many ways of using CBT to really get to the root of underlying issues of why people eat what they eat or don’t eat what might be more beneficial for a better weight.
So maybe you are wondering what does that really mean to address WHAT you are thinking about in relationship to food. Here is an exercise to practice noticing what you are thinking about your food:
What is the self talk you are giving yourself when you eat?
Is it positive? Example: I love what I am eating. I KNOW it will help me achieve the goals I am focused on!
Is it negative? Example: I really shouldn’t be eating this. Oh, there goes the diet. I should just give up now I am such a failure! I’ll never get to my goals.
Is it neutral: Example: What I am eating really doesn’t support my weight loss goals but it is SOOOOOO Yummy! I am going to savor it, enjoy it and not feel one ounce of guilt about it because majority of the time I make good food choices that support my body composition goals. A treat occasionally is totally fine.
If you find yourself in a negative self talk about your eating, find a way to rebalanced it and WRITE IT DOWN. Scientists are discovering it is possible to rewire your brain by changing your thoughts. So why not rewire them to support your weight loss or life goals? All it takes is a little observation, and willingness to challenge what you are thinking.
Example from above #2
I really shouldn’t be eating this. Oh, there goes the diet. I should just give up now I am such a failure! I’ll never get to my goals.
Think to yourself: Hey SELF those are really extreme thoughts. If I think about my food intake over the course of the year, will ONE meal really impact me *that* much? No! OK, clean slate. I will not feel guilty about that food choice and at my next meal I will make a better choice.
In the beginning you might feel silly writing all this out. You might even feel like practicing thought challenges like this don’t actually work, but give it a try and let me know how it goes.
If you are looking for some more guidance and coaching with me, contact me here:
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