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Monday, 2 April 2012

Diets - Are You In A Dieting Circle Of Stress?

Diets - Are You In A Dieting Circle Of Stress?It's all over the news these days that we Americans, although more overweight, obese, and unhealthy than ever before, are also obsessed with dieting.

Recent reports say about 75 Million of us are doing it right now. And we'll "try" 4 new diets a year on average.

Wow! That's a lot of diets.

Fueled by a constant bombardment of TV commercials touting all sorts of diets; obnoxiously unavoidable tabloid and magazine covers at the grocery checkout line extolling thin models, fat celebrities, and lose 30 pounds in 30 days "miracle" diet plans; and, a plethora of exercise machines, programs, and gurus, it's no wonder we're obsessed with thinking we should be super model thin and Superman strong.

The Circle Of Stress

This is a lot of pressure and it causes stress.

And that's not to even mention the stress in ordinary life. Your job is hanging by a thread - or the thread's already broken. Your 13 year old thinks it's time she started dating - an 18 year old. There's a tsunami on the way. Gangs are taking over your neighborhood. The economy is in the dumper. There's war breaking out or about to break out somewhere.

It never ends.

Plus, when you go on a diet you really start stressing yourself out.

In my personal informal and unscientific study/poll/research, I learned that people on diets rate the difficulty level of following and sticking with a diet at an average of around 8 on a 10 scale - regardless of the diet. No one rated the difficulty less than 5 and many people had it at a full 10.

Also, most people dieting allow their diet to consume their lives. They think about it, plan around it, and yes, stress over it, 24/7.

The diet controls you - you don't control the diet.

We stress because of life in general, and then add to it because we're overweight, feel pressured to lose weight and stress about that. Then we finally go on our diet and majorly stress ourselves over that, too.

So we live and diet in what I call a "Circle Of Stress."

Stress Leads To Weight Gain

A sad part of The Circle Of Stress is that stress has been directly related to weight gain.

According to Elissa Epel, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, "While the immediate... response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognize that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite -- and stress-induced weight gain." (From an Article Published in WebMD, "Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?" by Colette Bouchez, March 27, 2011.)

Stress and weight gain appear to be related to cortisol, one of the hormones released as a result of stress that can cause us to eat more. Cortisol is sometimes called the "stress hormone" because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress.

Excess cortisol that is released because of stress, can not only cause you to gain weight, but it can also affect where you put it on.

Bad news: elevated cortisol tends to cause abdominal fat which is now being shown to correlate with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes...and even cancer.

It's Complicated

This Circle of Stress business can get really complicated. But here's the bottom line.
You want to live the longest healthiest life you can.
To look and feel your best you need to maintain a healthy weight.
To do that, you may need to diet (formally or informally).
While dieting, you don't want to deprive yourself of good food or starve yourself in the process.
Stress is a fact of life. There are many causes that are pretty much out of your control and that you cannot avoid.
You can, however, avoid the stress of dieting.
You can do that by not dieting. But if you're overweight, unhealthy, not feeling strong, confident, filled with pride and self-esteem, not dieting can also cause plenty of stress.

So if you need to diet to look your best, feel your best, and be your healthiest, it's important to learn how to diet with the least amount of stress - in ways that don't overtax you or your will power and help keep you from fighting your diet day-in and day-out.

And, you especially want to make sure your whole life does not become consumed by your diet 24/7 which seems to be one of the biggest causes of dieting stress.

How To Diet Without Stress

How do you diet with the least amount of stress?

The 2 main reasons you "fight" with your diets and cause yourself dieting stress are that you either choose diets that are not consistent with your innate Temperament or nature or you don't use your natural strengths (as determined by your Temperament) to diet in easy and successful ways regardless of the diet of your choice.

For example, if because of your innate Temperament, you're the type of person that doesn't like change and is slower paced in life, you can't expect to do well trying to strictly follow a diet based on radical changes and fast action. You'd be fighting your nature the whole time and you can't win that fight. And vice versa if you are fast paced and more aggressive and adventurous by Temperament (your innate nature) and you tried to stick to a slow, gradual, boring weight loss plan you'd be fighting your nature, causing yourself stress, and likely fail.

There are actually 4 different Temperament Types and corresponding Dieting Compatibility Styles™. How you should diet for maximum ease and success is dependent on which type you are.

A good way to eliminate at least some of the stress of dieting is to get a good handle on your Temperament and Dieting Compatibility Style and use them to select your diet or learn how to alter your approach to any diet in ways that are compatible with your Temperament and Dieting Style.

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