The top 10 signs you're a chronic dieter

Signs You’re a Chronic Dieter

Below are 10 signs you’re a chronic dieter. 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 a Registered Dietitian or Certified Health Coach (like me) educated in anti-diet and HAES to help you heal your relationship with food, fitness, and body image.

  1. You’ve done every diet on the market (some multiple times) and keep losing and gaining the same 10-20 lbs.
  2. You know the calories, macros and/or points of all your favorite foods.
  3. You track every bite in a food tracking app (like MyFitnessPal, Weight Watchers and/or LoseIt). You even pre-plan by pre-tracking meals.
  4. You use phrases like: reset; back on track; tighten up my nutrition; off the wagon; get back on plan; no excuses; etc.
  5. You label foods as “good” or “bad.” You try and eat “good” or “clean” foods the majority of the time and feel guilty or unhealthy if you don’t.
  6. You’re really “good” on the weekdays but then “indulge” on the weekends.
  7. You frequently do some form of “body checking” whether it be stepping on the scale, pinching your 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. You struggle to relax and enjoy parties, gatherings or other special events because you’re focused on the food available.
  9. You can’t go to a restaurant without closely reviewing the menu ahead of time to find the healthiest item (not for food allergy or intolerance)
  10. You get mad when your fitness tracker (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.) doesn’t properly capture your workout or steps. Or you walk around the house right before bed to hit your 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.

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.

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.

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to 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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