5 Reasons Weight Loss SHOULDN'T be One of Your Goals - Thyme Is Honey

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5 Reasons Weight Loss Shouldn't Be One of Your Goals: why weight loss can be harmful and what to do instead to support sustainable health and happiness throughout the year. The year is coming to an end, which means we’ll soon be bombarded by fitness gurus and health coaches telling us how to lose weight or get a fit bod.

My suggestion is pretty simple: turn off those voices that are telling you that you need to be smaller in order to be happy or healthy. Instead, think about how you want to feel over the next 12 months. Whether it’s about how you feel with regards to your health — or your work, relationships, finances, hobbies or anything else. Focus on creating a sustainable, realistic plan that will support you throughout the year — and beyond!

Here are five reasons NOT TO start the new year off with a diet:

  1. At least 95% of diets fail. In fact, one of the biggest indicators of future weight gain is dieting. Our bodies have a natural set point, and forcing our body below this causes it to have a natural response — increasing its natural set point.
  2.  There is no proven safe method for losing weight. Not a diet. Not a surgery. Not a medication.
  3. The energy you invest into counting calories and obsessing about food would serve you better if you invested it into sustainable wellness practices, mental health support, or pursuing passions or hobbies that make you happy. Not to mention the energy you lose by not fueling your body with enough food! You’ve got big goals this year, and you need that energy.
  4. Your weight is not directly correlated to your health. There is actually not a single disease that only affects fat bodies. People can be healthy or unhealthy whether their body is big or small, fat or thin. If you’ve felt your health improve while dieting, it was likely an increase in energy, motivation, or focus thanks to consuming more nutrients, being hydrated, or getting more movement. You can do all those things without focusing on calorie restriction or weight loss
  5. Dieting can complicate your emotions and feelings about food. When we feel guilty about certain foods it can not only lead to binging on those foods but can also cause guilt or anxiety about food choices. This makes it hard to eat intuitively and know what your body wants or needs.

What should you do to improve your health instead of restricting your calories, eliminating food groups, or over-exercising? Focus on the things that we know actually improve health outcomes. Get good, restful sleep. Move your body every day in ways you enjoy. Stay hydrated. Eat a variety of foods with balanced nutrition without labeling foods as “good”, “bad”, or connecting any sort of emotion to your food choices. These changes are more sustainable and will help you create routines to support life-long health. They’ll also help your body stay at it’s natural size — whatever that is!

If you’re interested in learning more about why diet culture is harmful, how to move away from the diet-culture mentality, and how to actively support your health without focusing on weight loss, I have a few resources to recommend:

Anti-Diet: Reclaim your Time, Money, Well-being and Happiness by Christy Harrison – This book does a great job of explaining the basics of diet-culture and how to stop the harmful practices it has taught you. This is especially good for anyone who has helped uphold diet culture (by being a weight loss coach, diet advocate, etc) and will help you sort through those emotions.

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor – One of the pioneering works of the body liberation movement, this book will help you unravel diet-culture, while also focusing on radical self-love and how the acceptance of our own bodies is vital to all liberation work.

5 Reasons Weight Loss SHOULDN’T be One of Your Goals

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