In the long run, dieting causes overweight. Nutrition and Diet experts take dieting disagree what diet is the best but hardly any of them question dieting itself. But if you look at the real life experience of yourself and those around you, you will notice that dieters are the ones struggling with weight. "Well of course! Thats why they are dieters. Their problems with weight have caused them to become dieters!" you might say. But I say that their dieting has caused them to struggle with weight even more. I assert that if you become a dieter, you will have weight issues for the rest of your life. As "outrageous" as my claims may seem, those who have been dieting for a long time know that its true. Somewhere along the way, someone told dieters that they have to keep paying attention to food and weight, and they bought into this false belief.

The country with the most books on diets also has the most obese people. Maybe you think that obesity caused all those books, but I am suggesting that all those books also caused obesity. Cause and effect can be a two way street. Obesity causes books on dieting and books on dieting re-affirm and cause more obesity. According to the "law of attraction" you get more and more of what you focus on, and that holds true in the case of overweight people.

Dieting causes overweight because it requires you to exert resistance. One of my core teachings is that what you resist will persist. When dieting you are conditioned to say "no" to eating, "no" to having sweets, "no" to hunger. This works fine for some time, but eventually it subtly draws your attention more and more into the things you are saying "no" to. Subconsciously everything you are saying "no" to, you are actually saying "yes" to, because you are directing attention to it. If you sit in a room where there are some snacks and some beautiful paintings, any non-dieter would be focused on either the snacks, the paintings on something else, but the dieter would be subtly focused on the snacks because of all the importance he has given the food issue. So it takes more and more willpower to resist that which is seen as a "temptation". Its much easier for a non-dieter to maintain good weight because they dont walk around preoccupied with food. The dieter is in the strange situation of needing energy to resist eating and then needing more food to get this energy.

Diet works at first, as long as you stick to its rules, be it TLC diet, atkins diet, weight watchers, DASH or any of the thousands of offers out there.The problem is that most of these diets cannot be upheld over long periods of time. Some of these methods require you to monitor yourself and what you eat and how many calories foods have every day. I dont know anyone who has the will to keep that up for the rest of their life. As soon as they stop monitoring themselves, their weight not only goes back to what it was before but often much higher than before because of all the suppressed desire that has accumulated. But in this you also have a little hint on what a more effective diet would be: If you chose a method of monitoring yourself that is easy to maintain for the rest of your life, then you can keep ideal weight. If you chose to improve your weight gradually, in very small steps, over a long period of time, you can keep ideal weight without the backlash. Quick weight loss and radical change dont work because they deprive the body of energy. And since the "body never forgets" it will pay you back by putting on extra weight. So you have already learned the first secret of real weight loss: Lose weight very slowly, over months. In this way you program a new pattern into your body without overwhelming your system. You more easily become accustomed to better weight. And you dont worry about fluctuations, because you have given yourself plenty of time. You release the pressure (the resistance).

Another problem with dieting is that external rules override your inner sense of when you have had enough food. The body is perfectly equipped to tell you when to start and stop eating. But with all those schedules and rules, this inner sense gets lost. And the moment you break your own rules, you are left without guidance, including the physical cues that you overrode for so long. Dieters are usually on an elevator all of their lives going up and down with their weight continually. They deprive themselves of the food they want and get a backlash later on when the pendulum of polarity swings to the other side and they ravage their fridges. People who diet have given up their own inner knowing and rely on external reality to guide them. So they eat not because they are hungry but because its "time for dinner". Or they refuse eating not because they are not hungry but because the diet-plan tells them so. So the second secret to dieting is: Cease external imposition, cease all dieting, cease all rules.

Feel your body and sense what it needs and what it doesnt. Also remember that there is a big difference between being hungry and craving. Food craving comes from emotional problems that should be addressed with emotional release. Emotionally clear people have a much easier time keeping good weight without much extra effort. When you feel cravings I recommend you do one of two things: Either sit down and breathe into them - put your attention into the areas of the body that are craving and to consciously feel and relax them. You will feel emotional charge lurking right behind them. As you feel them and let them pass through, they discharge and leave you relaxed and calm, without urgency to have to eat. Being hungry on the other hand is a natural function that should not be suppressed or overriden. Natural hunger does not insist on sweets or an exaggerated amount of carbs (lower your carb-intake after 6 oclock when the body winds down and does not need that many). Hungriness is also happy with other foods than sweets.

The other method to deal with cravings is to tell yourself "Alright, I will have sweets (or whatever you are craving) to eat, but a little later". With the way this thought is phrased you are neither exerting strong desire ("I will have sweets now!") nor Resistance/Denial ("I wont have sweets at all"). You are saying yes to sweets, but "a little later if I still want them then". In saying "yes" you are tricking the mind into non-resistance. As it imagines eating sweets, it already relaxes some of the craving. Having something to look forward to keeps it calm. So if you are serious about losing weight you must condition yourself to think not in terms of "Yes" or "No" but rather "Yes, later". Delay of gratification works better than denial of gratification. Denial will most certainly backfire. This is the core reason that dieters are just getting fatter and fatter with each decade.

To repeat the first three principles:

* Aim to lose weight slowly over a long period of time, realistically and gradually.

* Give up dieting and resistance and eating by external cues.

* Instead of saying "Yes" or "No" to cravings, say "Yes, later".

The fourth principle of weight-loss is self-respect or love. The cycle of failure for dieters usually looks something lime this:

a) Intend not to eat sweets

b) Upholds intention with utmost willpower

c) Has a relapse and eats sweets

d) Because of this one relapse, says "Ah, what the hell" and eats even more

e) Gives up the intention entirely

The two mistakes made are in a) and d). The first mistake, in a) is to state an intention or goal based on resistance. "I will eat no sweets" is a resistance-goal that can only be upheld with a lot of willpower and energy.
The second mistake d) comes from a lack of self-respect. People who respect themselves, say "Alright, you had one relapse, but thats alright. You are forgiven. Now back to my goal". People who do not respect themselves put themselves down for having a relapse. And as they put themselves down they lose more energy and then give up entirely. You can have a relapse either be a reminder of the goal or a reason to give up. Its your choice. Here is a better way to go about the whole thing:

a) Intend to maintain good weight over a long period of time, without dieting or too much effort

b) Practice a little self-control but dont overdo it

c) Make an intention of how you would prefer to react to relapses and temptations (instead of placing the intention never to eat calorie-rich foods again, visualize how you want to react and behave in specific situations where calorie-rich foods are offered)

d) If a relapse occurs, forgive yourself and enjoy the food. Continue with your goal after the relapse

c) Instead of radical change to the better and then to the worse, enjoy the fruits of long-term commitment.

The long-term view also teaches you to love yourself as you are. You need to accept yourself as you are rather than trying to force yourself to be like the covers of magazines. Its good to have good looking role models as long as it does not turn into self-criticism if you cant immediately meet those standards. Being fat does not always mean you are weak, it means that you dont understand how the law-of-attraction works. The "law of attraction" as taught in movies such as "The Secret" and numerous bestselling books is watered-down to the point of being dishonest. The law of attraction works as follows: If is much easier to maintain weight if you are already slim. But if you are not slim, you will have to invest plenty of conscious effort into it. That includes body movement, working out or sports. As you workout, you build a stronger belief. All physical action builds belief. In doing so, it will be easier to believe that you are losing weight and to respect yourself.

To repeat lessons 4-6:

* Respect yourself and dont allow relapse to turn into giving up.

* Instead of setting unrealistic goals, set specific intentions for how to react in certain situations (how, for example, would you like to react to a table full of snacks, or friends inviting you out to an "all you can eat" restaurant?)

* Add physical movement into the mix. But dont overdo it, that will only backlash into the opposite. Chose a program you can follow for years, not a program that is so difficult you will only follow it for a few weeks.

You cannot win with resistance. Everything that reduces resistance and strengthens belief is helpful. Goals that are too high, dieting, overstraining, unforgiveness, living by external cues, suppressing emotions as well as denial of gratification (rather than delay of gratification) build resistance. Gradual improvement, realistic goals, no external rules and diets, self-respect, following your inner sense and a little self-control and physical action as well as emotional wellness, release resistance and get you back to the state of flow that is normal to people who never began getting concerned about food and weight in the first place. And by the way: Similar applies to other areas of life.

Author's Bio: 

Fred Dodson is a spiritual life coach and success mentor since 20 years. You can read more of his articles at: