Stop dieting, and eat to your heart’s desire.

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Stop dieting, and eat to your heart’s desire.

It’s no secret that the Western World has a problem with obesity. Yet we’re also a society that’s obsessed with physical appearances, especially amplified with the surge of Facebook and social media.

Consequently, the diet and fitness industries capitalised on this vain societal behaviour and obsession. These are continuously coming up with new ways to lose weight through fad diets and fitness regimes created for weight loss.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy. Yet, experts continue to agree that dieting doesn’t work.

Over the years there have been diets that claimed to help you lose weight and if you have tried one or two you know they just simply do not work, not in the long term. Diets are consistently ineffective and they only serve to further people’s insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Not to mention, they lead people to stress over something that’s as necessary and natural as breathing: eating.

Eating is one of life’s few pleasures, and it’s meant to be enjoyed!

Stop stressing over the small stuff and learn to appreciate your body based on your own terms. Think back to when you were a child, you eat for sustenance, pleasure and enjoyment, once you were satisfied you’d stop eating no matter how much is still left in your plate.

Listen to your body; it knows what’s good for you.

Advancement in technology has bought us the wonders of Internet with it an immense inexhaustible source of information, information that is very often contradictory. This is particularly true when it comes to dieting and weight loss. Unless, you are an expert in the area of nutrition do you have an avid eye for reputable information circulating out there, otherwise you are a bit vulnerable to fad diets trying to appeal to people with body insecurities and willing to try anything to achieve the ideal body shape.

Do yourself a favour, put away your computer and listen to your body instead. It knows what it wants and what it needs better than you might think.

In other words, eat what you feel like when you are hungry. As evidence builds that weight-loss methods simply don’t work in the long term, more and more nutritionists and psychologists are encouraging a kind of non-diet, in which you eat what you want when you want it. It’s called intuitive eating or mindful eating; fundamentally it supports the belief that your body instinctively knows what it needs.

The phrase intuitive eating was coined by registered dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole who published their book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, in 1995, a third edition was released last year.

It all sounds a little hippie-dippy, however there is some evidence suggesting that this practice actually works to help people reach a healthy weight.

Learn to listen to your body and do not follow any more fad diets. Stop feeling guilty for eating what you desire. If you want a slice of pizza, have a slice of pizza but do not binge eat.

Eat when you’re hungry, but stop when you’re full. Avoid emotional eating and eat what makes your body feel best. Additionally, don’t forget to prioritize exercise, as it’s necessarily for both your physical and mental health.

Above all, listen to your body. It knows what’s good and bad for it. Have you ever noticed that after eating certain junk foods you feel terrible and sick? That’s your body sending you a message – STAY WAY FROM THIS TYPE OF FOOD!

Trust your body because it already knows what it needs and what is good for it.

Give yourself permission to eat absolutely anything.

Intuitive eating will help you realize that when you listen to your body you will learn to enjoy food, not think it as a stressor and become a happier person for it.

Cameron Diaz, in a Cosmopolitan interview reiterated this very point:

“Wellbeing is an equation. Remember, you don’t have to have the whole cake, you can have a piece. Don’t deprive yourself. Have fun. Just be self-aware.

If your equation is 80% good, 20% bad most of the time, then a little movement toward the centre isn’t going to affect you much.”

Diaz is absolutely right, life doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s all about finding a practical equilibrium.

Similarly, Warren Buffet, an 84 years old-self made billionaire, has adopted the mentality of eating like

a 6 year old and claiming that this is the reason why he stays young and energetic.

He claims to drink five 12-ounce servings of Coca-Cola every day and he eats whatever he wants regardless of what time of day it is. Drinking that much soda on a daily basis is probably not good, but given Buffet is 84 and still an exceptionally active and successful investor… he might be onto something.

How many people have you heard saying: “How do the French stay slim, yet they have pastries and cheeses and dishes that just looking at them the weight stacks on.”  French are probably one of the most elegant and slim cultures in the Western World. Their secret lies in this very simple philosophy of eating what you want when you feel like it and never overeating. French attitude to life is simple and effective.

Now to the bigger question that is in your mind: Does it work?

A two year study conducted by Linda Bacon, a nutrition professor and research at City College of San Francisco and University of California , compared intuitive eaters to dieters and saw that both groups lost weight but a year later intuitive eaters kept that weight off unlike the other dieters.

Tina is a DailyStar senior writer. She graduated from Edith Cowan University. Writing has always been something she enjoyed. Her positive outlook colours every aspect of her life. Her motto -Life’s too short so get living.

When she’s not busy writing, Tina is exploring the city she adores, running in her local Park every day, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, taking care of an adorable pup, kids and traveling.

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