Stop Following the Rules: Ditch your diet, episode #10

We’re all rule-breakers, it’s part of being human. 


Rules are so darn helpful when it comes to things like driving, stopping at red lights, rights of way rules, etc.


When it comes to food, rules suck!  Food rules are the worst.


Years of dieting have taught many of us to have one rule for every situation, but that doesn’t fit into real life.


Even “cheat meals” make it worse. You just have a rule about when to be strict and a rule about when to go bananas with it.


Eating skills allow you to make different decisions in different situations.


If you, balance most of your meals (protein, carbs, veggies, and fat) most of the time, that’s likely all you’ll ever need to do for satisfying weight loss that lasts. It will take consistent practice to develop these eating skills (about a year-ish), once you do, you’re all set. they can’t be taken away.


The key ingredient here is practice.  Practice is literally the term we use to communicate with each other about the concept of improvement. Most of us know that part of the practice is not getting it right every time.


There’s an expectation that you make mistakes when you practice and that’s okay.  It’s actually essential to getting better.


If you want to learn the eating skills that will give you lifelong weight loss, don’t diet. Diets don’t let you practice and that makes them terrible. Don’t diet.


Diet rules rip away the flexibility that comes with practice and makes it no longer okay to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.


I know how comforting it is to have the rules that come with diets, all neat and tidy, do this, and don’t do that.  Rules seem to make things exceptionally clear and can seem like the treasure map to the “promised land”  They aren’t.


Diet rules will lead you to say things like “I screwed up my diet today.”  That typically means a rule was broken, now you’ve ruined everything and fallen off the “wagon” and you might as well eat that whole pizza and wash it down with some cookie dough ice cream.


Later, you may blame yourself, decide that you have no willpower, think a few negative thoughts about your body, and proclaim next Monday as the day you’ll show up and diet harder.


If you’re tired of the same rigid, inflexible, uncompromising, have you feeling bad about yourself diet, cool.  It’s probably time to move on to a skills approach.


Guess what, it’s normal to want to turn skills practice into rules.  We see it all the time and in Episode 10 Georgie and I tell you how to keep your practice as a practice and not a bunch of rules.

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