Christian Living


Family Matters 01/18/18

The Dieting Game: How to Win!

Celebrating weight loss

Dieting – a word that begins with DIE! This can't be good and in truth, it isn't.

This is the time of year when families say, "OK, we are going to be healthier, lose weight, and develop new eating habits. Yet, only 8 percent of Americans who set a healthy eating goal, stay on the path. Part of the problem is how we think about food, weight loss, and eating.

Recently, I saw a headline about experts not recommending dieting. Well, for those of us who were on the front line working with patients and weight loss for years, and suffered through every popular diet imaginable, it's about time we came to this conclusion. Forget dieting and change the way you think about and relate to food. That was the subject of my book, Press Pause Before You Eat, back in 2009.

Dieting involves deprivation – a concept that sets us up to want more. If I can't have it, I want it. And what I resist, will persist! Whether you call yourself weight neutral, anti-diet, or some other term that opposes dieting, you fundamentally believe that pushing back at the dieting culture is a good thing. Dieting doesn't work to sustain weight loss. Instead, we should focus on how we think, feel, and behave when it comes to our interactions with food.

When we diet, we see food as the enemy. Instead, our mindset should be that food is our friend. It nourishes and strengthens our body and is to be enjoyed. Your mindset should be, "I can eat what I want to eat (This is true, right? I have the power to choose), but in order to lose weight or not gain weight, I will need to make certain choices when it comes to the foods and the portions I eat." This is mindset that involves a lifestyle decision, not a diet.

This type of thinking is very important because it puts you in charge of the food. So, the next time you walk past the bakery section think, "I could eat that, but then how will I feel eating all those empty calories? How will it help my goal to eat better? I choose not to." When you stop thinking you can't have, you will feel more empowered to choose. This type of thinking is a big step towards losing dieting for life.

Proverbs 16:32 tells us that moderation is better than muscle and that self-control is better than political power! Strong words for the importance of moderation. When it comes to food, one way to be moderate is to watch our portion size. Most restaurant food portions are at least 2-3 portion sizes and most Americans each large portions. Cutting back on the portion is a good way to lose weight without feeling deprived.

So rather than diet, build a proper relationship with food and eating. Focus on health, fitness, and mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Change your lifestyle and stop battling food. As we say in Lose it For Life, get off the scale and on with your life!