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Fighting the Obsession to Diet

by nina on May 6, 2011

obsession to dietLast week a reader posted a question about the constant battle to fight the urge to diet.

The fight to diet question is something that is very common once you let go of the diet mentality and begin intuitive eating. There may still be the lurking thought that just one more diet will work, or to just eat a little bit healthier.

However it manifests, it ends up being a diet – let’s get that straight, and we know what diets lead to… more obsession, binge eating, frustration and lack of real freedom and recovery.

Reader Question:

Thanks so much for this. I fight the fight to diet *constantly.* I seem to be on a perpetual diet. Always searching for the lowest cal items, low fat, fat free, obsessive calorie counting, etc. I’m a healthy weight and don’t need to do any of that. I guess I’m scared if I don’t I will gain. I don’t trust my body to tell me when it’s hungry or full. I depend on the calorie numbers. I make sure to hit a certain amount of cals a day, but eat light through the day and have a controlled binge to get to the number at night. It’s so unhealthy, but I don’t know how to break out of it.

The urge to diet, obsession with food and weight loss quite often means that we are unable to think or be interested in anything else other than dieting, counting calories, what we will or will not eat, how much weight we will lose and what diet to go on next.

It is a never-ending mental loop that would drive anyone crazy, and it can be difficult to stop once it picks up momentum.

The problem is that you still have an instilled belief that diets will work for you, that low fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate food is the answer and that you CANNOT trust your body.

These are the essential beliefs that need to be broken down in order to break out of the vicious mental cycle.

As long as you hold these beliefs the mental obsession as well as the physical crazings for “off limits” food will continue and it is only a matter of time before the restrictive eating becomes a full blown binge. Or even worse, you just live in constant fear, control and absolutely no freedom in your life.

How do you break out of it? You stop with the calorie counting, dieting, restricting and control. You have to really WANT recovery and freedom in order to do this.

Here are some worksheets that may be helpful in:

For more information on questioning and breaking down beliefs read Recover from Eating Disorder Essentials: Questioning Beliefs or The Work by Byron Katie.


Do you struggle with the obsession to diet, even after entering recovery and seeing the damage that diets do? How do you deal with it?

Nina Vucetic

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