Some people have a lifestyle that is dominated by dieting. Many people who struggle with their weight were raised by parents who struggled with their weight. These children grow up with conflicted messages and habits. They see food as necessary and a pleasure. Often food becomes a coping mechanism, or something to control in a life that otherwise feels out of control. For the dieter, food is a very complicated part of their life.
Many people who maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle often put very little thought into their food. They eat things they like, only what they need. They enjoy food as part of social interaction with others. They see food as fuel and as a positive thing that brings them joy and nourishment on a physical and well as an emotional level. They have a healthy relationship with food, and have a healthy lifestyle that supports that.
People who are dieting often have negative feelings about food. It it is a love hate relationship. Food becomes a point of conflict in social situations. When they find pleasure in food it is followed by guilt. Food is often described in negative terms as to how harmful it is in regards to empty calories, pesticides GMO’s and other current worries. Food becomes a necessary evil which shapes the relationship that people have with food. This can create a lifestyle that revolves around controlling food, new diets, binge eating, guilt and low self esteem.
It is hard to motivate people with a negative. People want to get something, to feel like they are a winner. Lifestyle and health needs to be seen in the same way. Food should not be about restrictions, limiting or denial and guilt. Food should be seen as fun, life affirming and like all things more enjoyable in proper moderation.
For the person who is chasing another diet and hoping this one will work, they need to consider how that diet fits into their life. Are they just perpetuating a negative diet lifestyle, or are they creating a healthy lifestyle that supports a positive view on life? Rather than another diet, it is often helpful for a person to define the lifestyle they want, and work towards that. Losing weight is a negative goal. Gaining a fun happy lifestyle is a positive goal and a choice that can result in healthy and sustained weight loss.