What Really Happens When You Diet
Guilt, shame, regret, lack of self control, weak, unworthy, preoccupied with food, “need” to exercise, eating alone, sneak eating, restricting, binging, purging, bad, failure, anxiety…..
Do any of these words describe your relationship with food and eating?
If you are on a diet then YES you will at some stage.
Diet culture tells us we cannot trust our own bodies messages and that we should ignore it.
What we forget is that many actions that take place in our body are unconscious and out of our control.
So failing your diet has nothing to do will willpower!
Our body likes to maintain a safe balance also known as homeostasis.
Using temperature as an example, if your core temperature falls below 36 degrees then the body sends messages to the hypothalamus (control center of the brain) which then sends messages out to warm the body, to keep it safe.
Your hair may stand up on your skin to help trap heat, start shivering to produce heat and thoughts will appear directing conscious behaviors to help correct the threat to life. These may include putting warmer clothes on, turning a heater on, having a warm drink or food or closing the window etc.
When it comes to energy balance it’s not that dissimilar. Your body just wants to keep you safe and maintain energy balance. Low energy availability is a threat to life. The body does not know the difference between self-starvation (dieting) or a famine.
Energy balance is also tightly monitored and regulated by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus directs hormones involved in appetite, usage and storage of energy.
When your hypothalamic detects ‘low energy’ our appetite increases, senses heighten, salivary glands start producing saliva, thoughts and images about food and how to get it appear and start to preoccupy our minds.
When energy becomes very low the body trends for a preference for energy and often carbohydrate rich foods knowing these types of foods will be more efficient at correcting this balance.
Guess what happens when energy continue to be insufficient? Essentially your body goes into energy conservation mode, similar to you phone or computer. It prioritises the main functions but turns down or turns off non-essential bodily functions.
Energy conservation mode in the body looks like this; temperature regulation, hair and nail growth, libido, digestion and fertility all turned down or off! This frees up more energy for the body as it works so hard to keep the body alive. You have no control over this. This is why weight loss can start to plateau or when you ‘give in’ the weight piles on much quick and now you are at weight heavier than were you started.
Our hypothalamus will constantly attempt to sent messages to drive conscious behaviours such as resting and of course eating energy and rich foods but when the mind has been hijacked by diet culture it turns in to a very tough battle! The battle is happening all within your body, your vehicle for your life.
Unfortunately this battle is life long for many. They are robbed from truly enjoying the offerings that life has for them.
I see and hear this battle every day, overhearing conversations about how ‘bad’ they have been, the exercise they ‘need’ to do or the food they are ‘not allowed’ to eat, in my dietetic consultations when my clients open up with me and share what’s really going in in their internal worlds, the selfies on Instagram asking for approval or encouragement to continue the battle with dieting and excessive exercise. I know this battle so well because I have been there. I luckily escaped and survived and now it is my purpose to help you quit the war, to stop with your fighting and start working with it. You only have one life, make it a full and happy one!
If you are tired of the internal war let me help to show you a better way. A path to internal peace, freedom, vitality and a life full of opportunity that once you have escaped from the diet prison and looking back there is no way you will ever want to enter back!
This could be the best investment in your health and life you ever make.
You can take this first step right now by booking a consultation with me here.