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Today, we’re going to discuss the diet cycle. Commonly when we decide that when for one reason or another we want to improve our health, we decide to go on a diet.

Why do we decide to do this?

Well, it’s probably because all the messages we get from the world we live in, which tell us the best way to improve our health is to lose weight, and the best way to do this is to go on a diet. Hopefully you have seen in our free introductory video and the video on what is health that actually it’s a bit more complicated than that.

This blog is going to look at this in a bit more detail about what happens when we go on a diet. From a psychological perspective, the diet cycle. Day one, we start our diet. Going on a diet usually means that we have to follow strict rules that tell us what, when and how much to eat.

We appreciate everyone’s experience of dieting is going to be unique, and how they respond depends on a variety of different factors from the genetics. Our genes affect things like our taste preferences and how rewarding food is to how hungry we feel and how we store and process food right the way through to how much sleep the person has had, their mental health and just whatever happens to be going in their life at that particular time.

So of course we are generalizing here, but this is what our personal and professional experience tells us. For some people, dieting initially has weight loss results. People tend to feel positive during this time. They are motivated and excited about having a new diet plan to follow and the promise of the results it might bring. But over time and this will vary for different people, you know your body best and how and if this happens to you, the rate of weight loss starts to slow down or even plateau.

As we now know, this happens because our bodies are trying to keep us alive. Take a look at our free blog for a reminder of how it does this. For many people, this period can be really frustrating because nothing they are doing is actually changing. They are still following the diet plan and keeping up with their exercise routine. But their body just isn’t responding in the same way anymore. This makes no sense.

Surely if what we are told about eating less and moving more is true. These feelings of frustration are accompanied by the increase in our hunger, hormone, ghrelin, and the amount we think about or obsess and crave food, especially those foods that the diet forbids. And this combination means that sticking to the strict rules of a diet can be easily broken.

Different things can act as triggers for the breaking of a diet, and sometimes there is no trigger at all. Common triggers can be attending a social event, fear of missing out thoughts like I’m not going to lose weight anyway. So

What’s the point?

Seeing an advert for food that you are craving and drinking alcohol. It’s quite common for patterns of all or nothing. KING To creep in here, too. If you’ve ever had the thoughts such as I’ve blown it, I might as well not bother for the rest of the day slash week or I’ll start again tomorrow. You will know that this can lead to all the dieting roles being temporarily thrown out the window. And we eat.

Unfortunately, because we live in a world where we have been taught to believe that it is us who have failed at the diet rather than the diets having failed us. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe there wouldn’t be such a huge diet industry based around diets for weight loss if all their products actually worked in the long term?

We interpret this so-called lapse of the diet as meaning that we need to try harder. We need to have more control, more restriction, and even more for food rules. And the feelings of self-blame and failure can make us feel pretty rubbish about ourselves. When, tomorrow or the next week does come around, we have a renewed resolve to improve our health by losing weight.

We are bombarded by the promise of hundreds of different diet and lifestyle companies who all tell us that they have the solution we are looking for. So we start again back at day one of our diet. And so the cycle continues and continues and continues. This is often referred to as a pattern of yo yo dieting.

Interestingly, research shows that people who regularly go on diets tend to weigh more than people who don’t. Surprised we were to. But this happens because sometimes our bodies can respond to the repeated patterns of dieting by increasing the weight it naturally feels happy at. This is referred to as your set point. You can think of this a bit like an insurance policy if your body always thinks there is a risk of food shortages around the corner.

Remember, we talked about what happens in starvation mode in our free introductory blog. It makes sense that it would try to store an extra buffer of energy otherwise known as fats. As this increases your chances of survival. The next time it happens. If you recognize some of the thinking patterns we have talked about in this video and you feel that they are playing a part in keeping you stuck in the diet cycle, you might also find our video on responding to thoughts useful.

Another consequence of yo yo dieting is that it interferes with our ability to tune in and detect the natural signals our body gives to us to let us know how hungry or full we are. When we are so used to eating according to strict rules, we learn to ignore our bodies and no longer trust that our bodies can give us all the information we need to know of when, what, and how much to eat. The term intercepted sensitivity refers to our own ability to listen to and respond to our body’s natural signals, of which there are many.

The good news is, is that research shows we can learn how to tune in to these signals and use them to guide our eating choices that truly meet our bodies needs. We also learned that there are some health risks associated with patterns of yo yo dieting. These include an increased risk of developing type two diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Yo yo dieting is a risk factor for the development of eating disorders and can have a negative impact on mood and self-esteem.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about this, we recommend the book Body Respect by Linda Bacon is a great place to start. So it’s starting to look like going on a diet as a way of losing weight and improving our health might not actually be the solution. We are told it will be.

One of the most helpful things you can do to break out of the diet cycle is to establish a pattern of regular eating.