07 September 2008

11 Qualities Towards Building A Non-Dieter Mindset

The word ‘non-dieter’ is self explanatory; it conveys a diet-free lifestyle. But I think it is important to approach this in a totally positive way without engaging in a full fledged ‘witch hunt’ on all that it is diet.

That’s why I use the term ‘non-dieter mindset’, because it’s not simply about not dieting, but about developing a philosophy that would allow you to focus on ways to enjoy food and still keep healthy. Giving yourself permission to step away from the fear and guilt around food, which diets thrive on, involves qualities which become part of your every day life.

So what are some of those qualities of the non-dieter mindset? Well they include:

1. First, being unconventional and setting your own rules. Dieting is the norm, and to step away from it means stepping into a new interpretation of what your relationship and attitude towards food and weight management will be.

2. Loving food and enjoying the experience of eating, but not needing food to feel good.

3. Eating in tune with your body’s hunger signals, so that you don’t deprive yourself or over regulate your eating.

4. Having a healthy enthusiasm for all aspects of a meal, from the ingredients that go into it, to the preparation of it, to off course, consumption. You don't have to be a 'rock-the-house kitchen pro', but appreciating how a meal got to your plate, and the meal itself, goes a long way in receiving that meal more positively.

5. Avoiding hurried eating

6. Avoiding skipping meals

7. Avoiding what I call ‘food impersonators’-Highly processed foods stripped down to a fraction of their original, natural self with the addition or compensation of artificial ingredients, or the subtraction of healthy ones.

8. Refraining from negative food labeling-'good' vs. 'bad' foods

9. Finding a balance between everyday eating and indulgence, and realizing that indulgence is not a dietary offense.

10. Being open minded

11. Having one or more positive and joyous hobbies and activities you take part in regularly. That way, you can enjoy food, but not depend on it for enjoyment, because it won't be your main source of pleasure.

These are only some qualities I think can help build a non-dieter mindset. You might have others not included here, but remember that building a non-dieter mindset starts with adapting behaviors that become healthy everyday practices. When those practices become front and center, then there is no need to run away from any diet, because the idea of dieting ceases to be an option.


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