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Diets Fail: Intuitive Eating Helps You Lose Weight Forever

Most diets are doomed to death. Your body does not like starving, eating the same food every day, or receiving less nutrition than it actually needs. When you torment your body with diet, it will bombard you with stronger hunger signs, making you crave baklawa and bags of chips like. Soon you will throw your diet away – and gain back the same weight (if not even more than) you started with.

Diet plans might seem to work at the beginning. However, depriving food is the worst thing you can do if you want to lose that extra weight forever.

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So prepare for a revolutionary way of eating!

How Food Deprivation Effects Your Body

The power of food deprivation was keenly demonstrated in a landmark starvation study conducted by Dr. Ancel Keys during WWII, designed to help famine sufferers. The subjects of the study were thirty-two healthy men. 

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During the first three month of the study the men ate as they pleased, averaging 3,492 calories. The next six month was the semi starvation period. Calories were cut nearly into half. The effects were:

  • Metabolic rate decreased 40 percent. 
  • The men were obsessed with food – they had heightened food cravings, talked of food, and collecting recipes. 
  • Personalities changed; they become more irritable, moody and depressed.
(Source: E. Tribole, E. Resch. (2012 August). Intuitive Eating. p. 59-61.)

Moreover, strict dieting can lead to eating disorders that affect at least 9% of the population worldwide. (anad.org)

The psychological terror of hunger is profound.

Despite all the contrary evidence, why do we keep on dieting?

Analyzing many food diaries as a fitness trainer made me recognize something studies have also found. We keep dieting because it gives back that sense of control over our body which many of us loose in the comfort of the 21st century.

Thanks to mass production and automation, most of us today live a super convenient life, compared to previous centuries. Modern life brings a wide range of choices, yet creates fitnah. It induces us to become indecisive, lazy, emotionally insecure and hedonistic over our choices. 

It persuades us to eat more calories while depriving us from moving as much as people of the past did. When we feel its negative consequences, we start dieting as the solution. After all, humans can’t live without guiding principles. Rules are cozy; finally, no need to think, just follow the plan.

Therefore, for some, the strategy of dieting could serve as the red pill to get out of the Matrix. 

However, people are different. What works for one body does not work for the other. Eventually, we need to leave those one-size-fits-all diet plans and take responsibility to make our own personalized choices that fit our own body. That is, if indeed we want to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Find your own “food fitrah”

We can only make the right health choices when we have established a strong relationship with our body. This bond enables us to hear the voice that tells us what our organs want, when and how much. No, not the whisper of our craving soul; not our insecurities, not our desires, or the social pressure. The talk of our body’s real needs.

We need to find our “food fitrah” again. We need to nurture our body – by eating intuitively.

Apply the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating to Loose Weight 

Intuitive Eating has 10 principles that help you tailor your food choices and eventually reach your ideal weight – forever.  InshaAllah you will also feel much better.

1 – Reject the diet mentality. We talked about this. Dieting can be a good start, but do not take it as the ultimate solution.

2 – Honor your hunger. Don’t be in a hurry. Listen to the hunger signals of your body. 

3 – Make peace with food. We still think black and white. We still label food as ultimately “good” or “bad”. Also, we still “commit crimes” and feel “guilty” over eating “bad food”.    

Let’s be clear: where mass-production exists with a food product, forget about it being purely healthy food. Fishes might contain plastic. Meat and milk might have antibiotic. Whole grain food has toxic plant protection products, and bio factories too often have disappointed us.  

Food are not good or bad, but “more nutritious” or “less nutritious”. More or less beneficial for the functioning of your body. What makes a food “good” or “bad” is mainly the amount, the frequency, and the reason you eat them. 

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About Timea Aya Csányi
Timea Aya Csányi studied Psychology and Islamic Studies Bsc. at the International Online University. She is a certified NLP® Practitioner, one of our writers and counselors at the "Ask the Counselor" section. She has been the editor of the "Ask the Counselor" section for 10 years. Now she mainly works as a fitness trainer and journalist.