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12 Days of Fitness 2015: Day 7 – Which Are You – A Chronic Dieter or A Healthy Eater?

December 15, 2015 1 Comment

(This is Part 7 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful blurbs and tips to keep your fitness in focus over the holiday season)

struggles-with-the-endo-dietFact: People who diet incessantly are rarely all that lean. How can that be? Shouldn’t they be the leanest of all? I mean, they are always on a diet so why do they have any fat to lose at all? Fact: The leanest people are the ones who do the same stuff, day after day, year after year, rarely needing a new meal plan or a jump start. They barely offer a second glance to New Year’s Resolutions because their only promise to themselves is to keep doing what they do. They don’t need complete lifestyle overhauls and never need to make drastic changes to their eating. There’s an alarming distinct difference between the two facts: healthy eaters are consistent. You decide which one you might be.

The Chronic Dieter:

  • Has a deadline by which they need to achieve a certain goal. When you’re thinking about the way you eat and exercise and have the thought that at some point you will be able to stop eating and exercising that way, it’s a signal you are on a diet.
  • See eating only in black-and-white. They impose such strict rules on themselves they not only limit their options and choices but fall (silently sometimes) into a very counterproductive and unhealthier mode than before.
  • Have a “lack” mindset (as opposed to an “abundance” mindset) around food. Very similar to the previous trait, they have a genuine anxiety around food so they treat food as something that will harm them far more than they would enjoy it. It occupies their thoughts more than it should.
  • Think it’s all about “the plan.” Newsflash! The actual food you eat and the exercise you do is the LEAST important part of this process. Sure, you need to make the right choices more often, but the ability to actually make those choices consistently starts with your mindset, not the meal plan and not the workout routine. Your mindset informs your choices and your choices–one by one, over time–become your habits and habits are automatic.
  • Need and expect it to happen all at once or they’re on to the next “plan”. This is the precise reason people who incessantly diet are not lean. Because engaging in the crash dieting cycle, month after month, year after year actually makes your metabolism less responsive. Whether it’s full-blown metabolic damage or simply slight weight loss resistance, the losing and gaining of dozens of pounds year after year is doing more harm than good. Dieting actually makes you fatter. Every time you lose lots of weight quickly, you are losing fat, yes, but also losing muscle. And then when you regain it quickly (as is the case with crash diets), you gain back only fat. Thus, now you have less muscle and even more fat than you started with (even if your weight is the same).
  • Haven’t spent time developing the mindset necessary to be successful long term. Your mindset determines your actions; your actions determine your outcomes; your mindset drives your habits.
  • Think the answer is out there but hold others accountable for their lack of results. You can complain and blame or you can take action and be successful. Not both. Own your process and open up a new world of possibilities that you’re in charge of. You never have to rely on someone else, ever.

The Healthy Eater

  • Adopt and implement a lifestyle way of eating and exercising that they could do forever. There’s no deadline by which they need to achieve a goal because they see healthy living as their operating system. Something they can and will do forever. Goals are fine but the healthy eater sees them ONLY as a stop along a greater journey into health/fitness.
  • Don’t have to make hard and fast rules around food because they are already eating in a way that they enjoy. They are already not feeling deprived or stressed. They don’t need to be perfect with their eating because they don’t have huge binges that would make them need to double down and get strict.
  • They just eat. They eat what they eat. It’s automatic. But realize it takes time, patience. They relinquish the need to control every single scenario and circumstance. They trust the process.
  • Eat and exercise with very little effort. It’s just “what they do.” It’s their mindset and habit.
  • Buckle in for the long haul. They weather the ups and downs and believe in the process. They give up their expectations and simply do their best.
  • Take 100% responsibility for not only their results, but their actions and their mindset. Blame is never handed out.

 Make 2016 your year!

 

See you tomorrow for Day 8 of the 12 Days of Fitness

 

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

Day 1 – Chew Your Food
Day 2 – Fitness for the Road
Day 3 – The Many Names of Sugar
Day 4 – Side Stitches: Causes and Treatments
Day 5 – The 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Feel Hungry When Trying to Lose Weight
Day 6 – 10 Rules of Fitness

 

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

Comments (1)

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  1. Leighanne H says:

    This is great – thanks! I want to send it to a friend who diets and is constantly struggling with her weight spiking up and down.

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