Diets are exciting, right?

At least, at first they are.

The rush of commitment, the hope of change, the dreams of thinness and personal improvement … it’s like a sugar-high. You feel pumped, jacked, ALIVE.

At least, until the MOTIVATION wears off and the DEPRIVATION sets in.

That’s the problem with diets. They rely way too much on motivation, which is nothing more than an emotion … and, like your unreliable ex-boyfriend, is NOT to be trusted.

If you rely on something as evanescent as ‘motivation’ to get you through a diet, you’ll peter out in just a couple of days. No emotion lasts forever, and motivation is no different: daily life wears the novelty down until it’s gone.

But without motivation, how are you meant to stick with a diet in the first place?

How else are you meant to get through the boredom, the deprivation, the eating of salads when what you REALLY want is a gooey grilled cheese?

It’s like the story of the chicken and the egg. One of them had to come first, right? But which one?

Motivation doesn’t last. Ever. But without it, dieting is hell.

So what are you meant to do?

Well, what the ‘tough’ people do is this: they just FORCE THEMSELVES to stick with it. They grit their teeth, clench their fists, and whip themselves onward towards that final goal of weight-loss.

Some of them even MAKE it.

(It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it.)

But unfortunately, this type of behavior tends to destroy vital mind-body connections. If you ‘force yourself’ to eat a certain way, stop eating when you’re still hungry, or go without foods that, deep down, you’re really craving …

you’re deliberately burning bridges between your mind and body that took years to create.

And WITHOUT those connections in place, maintaining weight-loss can be very difficult indeed!

Don’t get mad, but the truth is, weight-loss is EASY …

… compared to the hell of maintenance.

At least when you’re losing weight, you have the pleasure of change and the rush of accomplishment to sustain you. You get compliments from friends, you get to buy new clothes, and everything seems new and glossy and exciting.

But once you’ve reached The Goal, that’s when MAINTENANCE sets in – aka The Daily Grind.

Nothing’s new any more. Nothing’s changing.

It’s just tossed salads and poached fish from now until death – unless, of course, you want to get fat again!

I read a diet blog today where the author wrote that the only way she could stick to her ‘boring maintenance plan’ was to adopt the motto J F D I.

I’ll give you a hint what that stands for: Just … F***ing…. Do … It.

Ummm … can we be honest here? Is that likely to LAST long-term? I don’t think so. Food is important. Taste is important! Satisfaction is major! And if we’re going through life with self-imposed blinkers on, sticking our fingers in our ears and chanting J F D I over and over again just to get through the day …

not only is that a terrible waste, but it’s also not going to LAST.

I mean, let’s get a little bit scientific here just to give you an idea of how difficult this lifestyle is truly going to be. Dieting is stressful, right?  You’re either ‘sticking to the plan’ (but feeling deprived and miserable), or you’re ‘breaking the plan’ (and feeling guilty and miserable.)

Not a lot of scope for joy or contentment there.

And as luck would have it, stress actually has a physical effect on our bodies.

Specifically, prolonged stress – even relatively ‘mild’ stress, like the stress of being constantly bored and under pressure about the food you do or do not eat – causes a chemical called cortisol to flood your body.

Unlike short-term stress hormones (like adrenaline), which dissipate quickly with no ill effects, cortisol sticks around in your body for a LONG time: all day, every day, actually, until the source of that stress is dealt with.

And cortisol makes you FAT!

No, I’m not kidding (although it’s kind of like an evil joke, isn’t it?) High levels of cortisol are not only very bad for your adrenal glands – you can literally get ‘burned out’ if you’re stressed long enough – but this little hormone also makes your body gain a lot of weight.

Particularly around the belly, which is exactly the most dangerous place for fat to accumulate!

Ironic, huh? There you are, sticking to your boring diet, stressing yourself out about ‘staying on track’ and ‘not losing weight’ …

… but there’s no fooling Mother Nature.

If you’re not having a good time, your body knows it – and you’re going to get fat anyway.

Yup, everything’s related when it comes to food. Not only is there an emotional component built into why diets always fail (um, they’re boring and everyone hates them – duh), but there’s literally a physical, chemical, BIOLOGICAL reason as well.

Your body is designed to feel good. If it doesn’t feel good, it’s going to take steps to warn you that something’s not right.

In this case, what’s going to happen is you’ll put on some lovely BELLY FAT, which won’t go away no matter how hard you struggle and try …

… matter of fact, the more struggling you’re doing, the more it’ll stick around because THAT’S WHAT STRESS DOES!

So what’s the solution?

Well, if you’re at all familiar with my approach to eating and weight-loss, you’ll be able to chant this along with me right now:

Quit dieting and start eating what makes you happy.

Why?

Because your own body is infinitely wiser than any diet, no matter who it’s been cobbled together by.

Whether it’s a trainer to the stars, some celebrity diet doctor, or someone with twelve or so letters strung together after their name …

… no matter how ripped their abs are, who they’ve worked with, or how many books they’ve written on the subject …

your own body knows best.

And once you have the TOOLS to know how to LISTEN to your own body, it will tell you exactly what it needs you to feed it in order to lose weight and attain its own natural meant-to-be-this-way shape.

Effortlessly.

So, you have to give up diets.

In fact, you have to give up ALL attempts at controlling what you eat.

Calories, fat grams, sugar, net carbs … of these words are now meaningless as far as you’re concerned. Because weight-loss (at least, the kind that lasts) is never about conscious effort.

It’s about NATURAL BALANCE.

Intrigued? You should be. Even though, really, this is very, very easy, it can still take some getting used to at first – particularly if you’ve put yourself through the gamut as far as different diets and eating programs go.

If you’re used to following ‘rules’, the concept of breaking free from all that can be as frightening as walking a high-wire without a safety net.

But the freedom is intoxicating. Not to mention, the sense of trust, confidence, and self-esteem that comes from knowing that you know best after all!

Of course, I’ve written an entire book on this very subject and it’s kind of hard to condense all the information into these few pages.

But here are a few of my specific tips for letting go of the rules …

  • From now on, deliberately ignore everyone else’s advice except your own. Make up your mind before you even begin: YOU knw best, and that’s the way you choose to live your life. Rules, schmules!
  • Listen carefully to your body before making the decision to eat anything … AT ALL. If you’re not truly excited about eating it, it shouldn’t pass your lips. As one psychologist says, food should ‘sing’ to you.
  • Just as you listen to your body to decide WHAT to eat, you must also listen carefully to decide WHEN to eat … and when to STOP eating. Remember, it’s all about mind/body connections. You’ve got to be physically hungry to eat anything; and you’d better stop eating if you even THINK you’re full.

There’s actually a lot more detail I could give you right now to make it all super-easy. But I think I’ve gone on long enough right now – and hey, I don’t want to steal my own thunder, do I!

If you want more information, read the rest of these free articles … and think about checking out the book. You won’t regret it.