I know it seems counterintuitive to everything we’ve ever learned about dieting and weight loss, but what if it were actually your diet’s fault that you regain the weight — and then some — every time you try to lose.
Something isn’t wrong with you. It’s not your lack of willpower or that your macro count is wrong. Your diet is what’s keeping you stuck in a never-ending cycle of weight loss woes.
Been there, done that.
How do I know for sure? I’ve spent over 20 years of my life on one diet or another. I’ve worked with over a thousand women in my holistic nutrition practice who were using dieting behaviors in an attempt at weight loss.
And, we were all unsuccessful. Not because we hadn’t found the magic diet, didn’t have enough willpower, or hadn’t calculated our calories properly. But because, from a biological perspective, our bodies were doing everything in their power to keep weight on.
Which doesn’t make any sense at all because, according to every diet book or blog on the planet, all we have to do is restrict, manipulate, and control our food and we will definitely, absolutely, no question lose all the weight we want and keep it off forever.
It sounds kind of ridiculous, right? And yet, we continue to believe this diet culture, no questions asked, no BS called. Why are we so quick to adopt this unsubstantiated, totally inaccurate portrayal of dieting and weight loss? Two words: DIET EGO.
Diet ego? What?
The diet ego is a term I coined to account for that (rather annoying) voice in your head that constantly spews out falsities related to our food choices. In order to give you a clear picture of exactly what the diet ego is and how it’s affecting you (perhaps without you even knowing it), let’s define it.
First, let’s look at the definition of the two words separately:
DIET (di·et): A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
EGO (e·go): The part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it, coming between the primitive drives of the identity and the demands of the social environment.
Interesting, huh? Read that last one again. I want to make sure it soaks in.
So, when you put the two together, you get this:
DIET EGO: Using information from the outside world and social environment to dictate your restriction of food without acknowledging the primitive drives of the identity.
LETTING OUTSIDE INFORMATION DETERMINE WHAT YOU EAT TO MANIPULATE YOUR BODY INSTEAD OF YOUR INNATE WISDOM
Does this sound like something you’ve done at some point? Then, you have a diet ego. About 95% of women in today’s society have a diet ego, even if it’s not currently active, so no need to panic.
What does your diet ego sound like?
Can you relate to any of these?
- Being crazy/strict/controlling/manipulative around food because you think it’s going to “work”
- Using words like “good/bad”, “on/off the wagon”, “should/shouldn’t”, “can/can’t” when describing you food choices
- Using food-tracking apps to calculate your food
- Checking nutrition facts to determine if you “can have” that food
- Restricting calories to lose weight
- Not eating when you’re hungry
- Stopping your meal before you’re satisfied
- Not eating what ACTUALLY sounds good because you’re not “supposed to”
- Skipping meals to lose weight when you’re hungry
- Binge-eating episodes
- Emotional-eating episodes
- Yo-yo dieting
- Thinking you’re a failure when you don’t stick to your diet
- THINKING DIETING LEADS TO WEIGHT LOSS
Here’s where things get confusing, at least compared to everything we’ve ever been taught about dieting: THIS thinking doesn’t work. It never has and it never will.
That’s right, your diet mindset is keeping you stuck without the health, wellness, body, mindset, and peace you crave.
So, if you can now say with certainty that you have a diet ego, then the very first step to shooting for health and happiness is to silence that little (mean girl) voice.
Why you should care
You cannot heal your body…
you cannot heal your mind…
you cannot take proper care of yourself…
you will not stop bingeing…
you will not stop emotional eating…
you will not have a better body image…
you will not practice self-acceptance and appreciation…
you will not be able to use your intuition…
you will not get the body you want…
Until you get that diet ego under control.
This is the first and most critical step to having a positive relationship with food and your body. And, without building those healthy, strong relationships, you’re going to continue spending the rest of your life at war with your food choices; “trying one more” diet that won’t work, looking in the mirror and hating what you see, turning to a bag of cookies when life gets tough, waiting for life to begin once you lose weight.
Why your diet ego is keeping you stuck
When we listen to our diet ego, we forego any and all opportunities to learn from our own innate wisdom otherwise known as our intuition. When it comes to food and health, there is no other way to make progress WITHOUT listening to the intuitive guidance, so when the diet ego takes over, you lose your chance to do what will work best for YOUR individual body.
Your diet ego leads you down the path of what other people are doing, what the diet industry claims will “work”, or what someone in your life once told you to do and creates a system of rules and restrictions around only that info.
There’s a big problem with this though. No one — including myself, your doctor, or that girl on Instagram that lost 50 lbs — knows what YOU should be doing for YOU other than YOU.
So, shouldn’t we be listening to our bodies and learning from the clues they give us to get where we want to be?
The ONLY way to allow those messages from your body to come through is to quiet the diet ego.
The most important steps to silence your diet ego
The first thing you can do start backing away from this kind of diet mindset is to work on your awareness. Awareness is non-negotiable when it comes to healing your mental health in any capacity.
When it comes to your diet ego, start noticing what yours sounds like:
- What does it tell you to eat/not eat?
- What reasons does it give for you to eat/not eat it?
- What words does it use to label foods?
- What does it say to you when you do eat something “bad”?
Once you get a clear grasp on what thoughts are coming from your diet ego, you can call it out for what it is and make the choice NOT to listen.
From there, start exploring how these messages became ingrained in you. Was it from a doctor or nutritionist, a parent or friend, someone you follow on social media or a blog you read? Finding out the origin is an important step to awareness so that you know how to cut the ties.
CALL IT OUT
When your diet ego comes rearing its ugly head, it’s up to you to see it for what it is and call it out. The rules, restrictions, labels, and beliefs you have around food are, at this point, NOT coming from your own internal guidance system and therefore not something you know to be absolutely, 100% true for you.
So, it’s almost as if we can imagine our diet ego as this other voice in our head that’s up to no good. And this voice needs to be called out! Just like you always wanted to tell the mean girl in high school what you really thought of her, now you have the chance to be upfront and truthful when you call out your diet ego. See it for what it really is; the thing keeping you stuck in a place of uneasiness, unhappiness, and frustration!
FIND YOUR CALM INNER VOICE
Behind the loud, controlling voice of our diet ego is the gentle, calm, positive voice of our intuition. Start exploring that voice and see what it says. It may take some time for you to hear it and even more time for you to trust what you hear. But know for sure that THIS voice is the one that will lead you to peace, wellness, and joy.
Need help? I got you.
If you know your diet ego has taken over your thoughts around food and are ready to put an end to it once and for all, I can help! Join my Empower Intensive online coaching and learn all about how to Silence Your Diet Ego (so you can listen to your body). Say goodbye to arbitrary rules and restrictions on your food choices and hello to honoring the gentle guidance for your intuition.
This 90-minute video coaching session will teach you the intricacies of the damage your diet ego is doing to you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It will challenge you to acknowledge your diet ego for what it is and provide you tools to keep that diet ego safely in the background. Only then, can you tap into the power of your intuition.
In this mindset coaching video, you will learn:
- The “Diet Ego”: what it’s telling you, where it came from, and why it’s keeping you stuck
- The REAL reasons your diet isn’t working (and will never, ever work long-term)
- The harmful impact dieting has on your body and how to reverse the damage
- Why trying yet another diet isn’t the answer to weight loss (and what IS the answer to the body you want)
- The steps you need to take NOW to heal your relationship with food so your meals work for you, not against you
- How to make a permanent mindset shift so you NEVER have to think twice about what you’re eating again
- How to replace your obsessive, controlling and fearful thoughts about food with ones of peace, ease, clarity, and freedom
I can’t wait to see how things change for you once we get to the bottom of that diet ego!