Ditch the Diet

You might find it strange that someone in the midst of a 28 day juice cleanse would be advising you to stop dieting, but let me explain…

In Jason Vale’s first book ‘Slim for Life’, he talks at length about diet mentality – the idea that you are depriving yourself of things that you want in order to get slim and feel healthy. The diet mentality is the reason that most people pile weight on when they come ‘off’ their diet – yes it is quite possible to lose weight by restricting your intake of certain foods for a period of time, but if during that time you feel so deprived of all this food you ‘can’t’ have that you then go back to eating those same foods (the ones that caused you to put on weight in the first place).. well, what do you think is going to happen?!

If you’re going to look at long-term, sustainable weight loss and better health, you need to get your mindset right, otherwise you will set yourself up to fail (as I have, many times in that past!). A friend of mine once said to me that she thinks of it as making a choice every time you go to eat something, and I think that’s a beautifully simple way of looking at it. I’m eating (drinking) healthily at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped liking chocolate biscuits or cake; the difference between choosing to eat healthily and being on a diet is that I’m allowed to eat as much cake as I want – I’m just choosing not to!

If that sounds a bit over-simplistic to you, then have a look at the post I wrote when I started this, which will give you some of the background, and an idea of how mentally prepared I was before starting. I can’t emphasise enough how important the mental preparation is – you need to be really ready to do this.

I’m on Day 12 of my juicing plan, and I feel like I’m settling in to a new routine. I had a few difficult days around days 7-9 where I was feeling really hungry in the evenings, even after having my juice, and was feeling quite ill, so I experimented with replacing one of my juices with a salad or bowl of soup and I feel so much better for doing that. If I was in the ‘diet’ mindset, I would probably be telling myself that I’ve failed, as I had originally intended to go juice-only for 28 days – but luckily I’m not on a diet 😉 I did eight days on juice (bar the odd Hunger SOS and a bowl of soup on Day 6) which is more than I’ve ever done before, so I’m delighted with that! I’m also continuing on the plan, and doing three juices during the day and having a salad, soup, or some roasted veg in the evening.

The best thing about this is it feels sustainable; I can see myself continuing this long after the initial 28 days is over, and have no problem with the thought of doing it until I reach a weight that feels good for me. I expect that I’ll end up becoming a bit less strict with myself as time goes on, but that’s the great thing about it being *my* choice. Yesterday I was planning an afternoon tea with my best friend – she lives a couple of hours away so we don’t see each other that often, and when we do we like to treat ourselves to something fancy! With my old mindset I probably would have said either I *can’t* go because I *can’t* have cake (and therefore depriving myself not only of cake but of a lovely afternoon out with my friend), or I would just have given up the diet so I could go and do it. However as we were discussing it yesterday I found myself mentally working out what I could do to work around it – making sure I juice fresh for the rest of the day, for example.

The thing that sums it all up for me, is that this is not about dieting, or depriving yourself of the things you secretly want; it’s a lifestyle change, and it’s about putting yourself and your health above everything else – even chocolate biscuits 😉

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