Every Diet Gets Harder - The Self-fulfilling Prophecy Of Failure

by : HeleneD

Remember how comparatively easy it was the first few times you dieted? Following the food plan, or counting calories, points, carbs, or fat grams. You were on a roll, on a mission.

And then you started following the rules less and less. The magic was gone. You couldn't make yourself believe in it enough. It wasn't "The Answer". And you've never really found one since. Now you can barely get started, defeated before you start. What happened?

You lost the faith

For one thing, your belief system changed. Before, you believed in the power of the diet. And belief made it work, until you strayed so much you couldn't fool yourself anymore.

Now what you really believe, is that you will cheat so much it you'll gain it all back like all those other times, or even won't lose hardly any weight at all. "I must have shot my metabolism through all these years of dieting." Maybe, or more likely you just shred your motivation to flimsy pieces.

And you got into the wrong groove

Human are habit machines. Our ancestors survived by following the same actions that kept them safe the previous season.

Your cheating habits are now established, ingrained nicely by the fact that the stress you felt over the worry and anticipation that you were going to give into temptation, was relieved by the very act of caving into the soothing foods.

The primitive part of your brain said: "Ah!...Stress means danger, and it went away immediately once we ate that stuff. Will remember to do that again next time." And it is very, very good at pushing you to safety.

The fact that it interpreted everything wrong doesn't matter, nor that the stress relief is temporary. It is concerned with the urgent moments, just like in the days when it made us quickly run away from tigers.

So what can we do?

We have to break the association between eating and the removal of danger, find another way of dealing with stress and even better, remove tension from the act of eating.

The first and very important step is awareness. We are so disconnected from ourselves that we need re-training. Several times a day, notice how you are feeling. And if you are stressed, stop and breathe.

Don't wait for the train to hit you. Review in your mind instances of uncontrolled eating, and notice circumstances, thoughts and feelings. Re-run the movie in your mind with a better outcome, one where you do not choose to pacify yourself with food.

Then reprogram ourselves with new beliefs. Instead of believing in the power of the short term diet, believe that you can want healthy choices that will make you happy in the long run. Visualize yourself choosing well, and put feelings in that imagery. What does it feel like to be grounded, serene, healthy, free of compulsions. Bring that visualization alive every day.

These suggestions are just scratching the surface of what can be done, especially with the help of a trained professional. From EFT to hypnosis, we all respond to different techniques in our own way. Which is why I like a combination approach.