I’ve just sent this message out to our members coaching group but after reading a few statuses (not from our members) on Facebook this morning about being happy to get to February and get back to eating “normally” I thought it was important to share with everyone.
If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get the results that you always have had.
Most of us have had some sort of yoyo with our diet and exercise plans. We lose some weight and get fitter, then as we really reach our goal we lose motivation and oomph and start to slide back to where we were or further away.
We then start the cycle again.
This happens for many reasons but the one I’ll focus on today is on a hormonal level and most definitely is not your “fault”.
When you are in the “chase”, heading towards a goal, your body releases dopamine. You may have heard of it, most addictions have their routes in dopamine.
When you are yoyo dieting, you are literally “chasing the Dragon” that the media have associated with class “A” drug addiction.
Dopamine is stimulatory and excitability during the chase but there is no “hit” at the end. It leaves you mid high wanting more as you reach your goal but with no more chase, the dopamine levels drop.
On a primal level you want that feeling, so subconsciously you put yourself back in the position to start the journey again; that is, put the weight back on.
However, it is easy to break the yoyo cycle when you understand this. Rather than focusing on a dress size or weight as your goal, you could aim for health and how you feel or an event (because there is always the next event).
That is one of the reasons why we enter events as Team Achieve, the weight loss and mirror image is a side effect of training towards something.
I read a great quote a couple of weeks ago.
“athletes eat and train, they don’t diet and exercise”
Athletes have a set event in mind and train towards it, they know how important feeding their body with the correct fuel affects their performance.
In essence we are all athletes, the physical struggles and strains we go through on a daily basis are a little different but we have opportunities to perform in our own lives.
The next stage of your nutrition plan is to start thinking that way.
Focus on giving your body the fuel it needs for you to succeed. You are not on a diet, this is a switch in lifestyle and mindset for the rest of your life.
If you are out with friends and you want a dessert, have one. Don’t feel guilty and beat yourself up about it.
Enjoy it. Focus on the dessert, it’s tastes and textures. Truly enjoy it without guilt.
If you don’t feel you can do that, avoid the dessert. If you NEED it, that’s a different matter and something we’ll explore next week but if you WANT and know you can without losing control and heading on a mad one for the rest of the weekend.
Go for it. Just be present for the experience.
We’ve lost the ritual of foods and meal times, partly because of time restrictions, partly because of the myths of dieting. Our aim is to reset that and bring back the enjoyment of food.
Spend some time over the weekend planning your meals for the week ahead and if possible, prepare a few of them for the freezer so you have something ready whenever you need it.