Maybe You Should Stop Dieting

This isn’t an article I really want to write.

Let’s face it: The majority of my clientele come to me in efforts to lose weight.

And after over a decade of helping people do so, I don’t get surprised too often and there aren’t many codes I can’t crack. Mostly, success or lack thereof comes from a case of “Did the client follow the plan or not?”

But dieting is stressful. It can be stressful on lifestyle, on hormones and on your sleep patterns.

There is the rare person who can just start their diet in caloric deficit and remain there until they hit their goals.

As my client Denise said, “I don’t want to white-knuckle my way through this.” And she’s right, that is no way to live. 

Granted, the road that was taken that got you to a weight you no longer wanted to be at was likely not a short one. The tough part is: the road to where you want to be won’t be so short either.

And it’s that whole timeline problem that I am addressing here. 

If you’ve been battling the same 33-42-56-167 lbs of weight loss throughout your life and not found a sustainable method of keeping it off, you may just need to stop. 

Temporarily. 

Right now, I have a handful of different clients (and probably more if they’re being candid with themselves) who really have no business dieting in the summer. 

There are too many events, vacations, parties, etc. It’s just too much to handle and constantly say “No” to. 

So, the plan for those individuals is to just cool their jets and not worry about dieting until the fall. 

That doesn’t mean that caution gets thrown to the wind between now and then. I know people who can do fantastic damage to their diet if the gloves come off.

But if you take the downtime to focus on other things like progressively improving your strength workouts, going for a walk every day (or beating a previous step goal), binge-watching a Netflix series while you power walk on a treadmill, etc. you may find yourself in a better mental state to attack dieting when the time is right.

While I’m on the subject of mental state, some people might need to take time during the dieting hiatus to speak with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. This could be time very well spent.

So even though I have both online and face-to-face clients who came to me for weight loss, sometimes we just have to take mind and body out of diet mode and just concentrate on other areas of their health.

And here’s one of the best things about deciding that now is not the time to diet: it doesn’t make you a failure, you just had to temporarily shift your priorities.

I could easily be writing this article during the winter months too. Because for as many clients as I have who are struggling to lose weight in the summer, I have an equal amount of different clients who struggle when the temperature plummets. Every one is different in that regard.

Addressing which type of person you might be is an important conversation to have with yourself.

Your goals still matter.

Your process still matters.

But your timeline may have to be flexible for the time being so you can put your energy into other things.

Below is a picture of Chris who is down 13lbs so far and does not seem to be as affected by the summer as others. His eye is on the prize and he’s working it.

But, for those who find that summer is constantly derailing their best intentions, maybe you should stop dieting…for now.

“We Make Great People Greater”

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