The top 10 signs you're a chronic dieter

Signs You’re a Chronic Dieter

Below are 10 signs you’re a chronic dieter. Take this as a quiz and answer “yes” or “no” to each item. You might discover that your dieting behaviors are causing you to be more unhealthy!

If you do 1 or more of these things, you’re likely a chronic dieter. If you do more than 2 of these things, please consider professional help from an Anti-Diet Nutritionist (like me) to help you heal your relationship with food, fitness, and body image.

Answer Yes or No to the following:

  1. I have tried many diets (some multiple times) and keep losing and gaining the same 10-20 lbs.
  2. Knowing the calories, macros and/or points of all my favorite foods is second-nature to me.
  3. Tracking every bite and pre-planning my meals in a food tracking app (like MyFitnessPal, Weight Watchers and/or LoseIt) makes staying on-plan easier for me.
  4. I find myself often using phrases like: reset; back on track; tighten up my nutrition; off the wagon; get back on plan; no excuses; etc.
  5. Foods are either “good” or “bad.” I try and eat “good” or “clean” foods the majority of the time and feel guilty or unhealthy if I don’t.
  6. I’m really good on the weekdays but then often indulge on the weekends.
  7. I frequently do some form of body checking. Stepping on the scale or pinching my stomach. Looking in the mirror for more definition and/or bloat. Or trying on certain outfits to see if it fits looser or tighter.
  8. Relaxing and enjoying parties, gatherings or other special events is a struggle for me because I’m focused on the food available.
  9. Closely reviewing the menu online before going to a restaurant is important to me. I want to find the healthiest item and/or a meal that will fit within my goal for the day.
  10. When my fitness tracker (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.) doesn’t properly capture my workout or steps, I get so angry. Sometimes I do another workout. Or I walk around the house right before bed to hit my 10K for the day.

*This list intentionally leaves out signs such as severely restricting calories, intentional starvation, skipping meals, binge eating and purging because those are signs of an eating disorder; not chronic dieting. Please seek help from an anti-diet registered dietitian if you’ve been engaging in those behaviors. It is out of the scope of a Certified Health Coach and Nutritionist (like myself) to help, but I can connect you with the right health professionals if you’re not sure where else to turn.

Diet Culture has normalized chronic dieting

The sad thing about that list of 10 signs you’re a chronic dieter, is that our society has normalized so many of these behaviors that many may not even see them as a problem. I know I didn’t see them that way for the majority of my life. I thought these habits were what one did when they were getting “healthy” and taking care of their “wellness.” It was very eye-opening to me once I realized that I had actually been engaging in disordered eating behaviors that had quite the opposite impact on my health. Chronic dieting was causing me to be more unhealthy.

It is possible to heal after years of dieting.

If you’re ready to start unlearning these chronic dieter behaviors in favor for actual food freedom, sign up for a free 15-minute phone call with me so we can brainstorm steps you can take today. I offer 1-on-1 nutrition counseling and group coaching.

Meridith Oram is an anti-diet nutritionist at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image by ditching diet culture and finding freedom in their God-given intuition. Focusing on behavioral change and Intuitive Eating, Meridith helps her clients unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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