‘I’m an Eating Disorder Specialist—Here’s Why Your January Diet Won’t Work’


I have been a psychotherapist for nearly 20 years. I specialize in eating disorders and borderline personality disorder. In my experience, both are common in girls. I have worked with families from different cultures around the world and have found it to be very beneficial in the eating disorder field.

Historically, many thought that eating disorders were prevalent only in Western countries, among wealthy girls who wanted to look like the pictures they saw in magazines, but this is completely true. In places like Asia, the proportion of girls with eating disorders has increased significantly over the past decade.

I am currently the International Program Director of the Residential Eating Disorders Program based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It combines highly advanced medical and education, volunteer programs and skills development for young people aged 13 to her 26.

Fiona Yasin is a UK and Internationally Registered Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Supervisor. She is the founder and clinical director of her The Wave Clinic. She told Newsweek why she believes our attitudes toward dieting and weight loss need to change.
Fiona Yashin

Why Diet After Christmas?

From celebratory cakes to traditional Christmas dinners, there are many fun holiday traditions that revolve around food. There are so many candies on sale at Christmas, even in places like drugstores that normally sell pharmaceuticals and beauty products.

So we get all this information about celebrations that are somehow tied to food. I think eating is very difficult not only for people, but for many people.

If it hadn’t been so difficult, I don’t think there would have been such a diet spike since December 26th. enjoying. But then there’s something that says, “That’s no good. You’ve done something wrong and you’ve got to undo it with a diet.”

Many of us punish ourselves after Christmas. Then talk about summer’s “holiday body.” In other words, it’s like running a calendar based on body type and food consumption.

Why Diets Don’t Work Even in the New Year

From my point of view, there is no benefit to dieting or dieting. There are a lot of studies on diets because dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry, most of which show that it doesn’t work in the long run.

In many cases, there is some short-term difference, but most evidence suggests no change within 6 months. It’s not because people fail. Because if you have to do something to change the shape of your body, it will be difficult to maintain it.

When I explain this to my patients, I say: , I have to do something every day to fit in those shoes – it’s going to be constantly uncomfortable. I think the answer is no.

Another example is when a baby is born. All babies are measured for weight, height and head circumference at birth. For most babies, that size is what Mother Nature intended and means it falls in a certain place in the percentile.

For example, let’s say you are in the 75th percentile. This means that only 25% of babies born in the same pregnancy as you are bigger than her. But as you get older, you want to fit in a standard size six or eight. Everyone wants to push back to the middle of that percentile.

When it comes to calorie counting, again, not everyone fits the average number of calories they are told they should consume. If it says ‘must be ingested’, it doesn’t take into account our uniqueness. As with that diet, it doesn’t take into account whether you go to the gym, your age, or whether you’re menstruating.

Why dieting is dangerous

woman on weight scale
Most fad diets don’t give long-term results because returning to a normal diet causes your body to return to its natural weight, says Fiona. Stock Image.
Getty Images

For young women, dieting is often a learned act. For example, one of my patients growing up saw her mother constantly on the treadmill or out walking the dog, but she also talked a lot about her clean eating plan. Did. She made sure she only ate certain foods. She limits gluten, meat and sugar. So my message to this girl from an early age was, “She shouldn’t eat this.”

When she went to school, this patient was not very popular. Having had this experience in her own home, she started doing it knowing what clean eating was and what she could legally remove from her diet without questioning anyone.

After that, the diet took hold. The young man quickly started to lose weight, so at school he got a lot of comments like “You look great” or “You look great”. I also got my first boyfriend.

She continued to lose weight rapidly, but she also continued to receive confirmation that she was getting smaller. rice field.

The diet was followed and mixed with exercise until her periods stopped and her hair started to frizz. It was due to

At the same time, her mom was really happy because she had people in her house who “eat clean”. So while her mother may have done well on this diet to some extent, this young person did not.

She eventually had a heart attack that slowed her heart to the point where she squatted on the floor and couldn’t even stand up again.

She was hospitalized, but her parents found it very difficult to accept what was happening, so they discharged her and took her home. When she found out, the doctor told her that her life would be in danger if she continued dieting and exercising.

But by this point, her brain had been wired to seek validation in her weight loss, which made it very difficult to quit. have a much worse prognosis than

Breaking the vicious cycle of the “January diet”

calorie counting for women
Fiona says calorie counting is problematic because everyone needs a certain number of calories a day. Stock image.
Getty Images

One thing you can start thinking about instead of dieting is your health. If you enjoyed Christmas — if you enjoyed spending time with your family, having dinner with your loved ones, or picking something out of the selection box, that’s fine.

When we punish ourselves for overeating, we often start labeling both ourselves and food as good or bad. think. Hamburgers are neither good nor bad. There is no feature because it is just a hamburger.

If we can start changing the language about eating, thinking that food is just food, that all food is inherently okay, then we can start changing the way we feel the need to punish ourselves. I believe.

Another example is concepts such as New Year’s Eve ‘little black dresses’ and summer swimwear. Clothing is made to cover the body, and the body is not designed to fit.

lose weight safely after christmas

If you’re thinking about losing weight, I think the first thing you should think about is why. What do you think will change when you get smaller? How will things get better? Will I be happier? Would you like to make more friends? These are very important questions to ask yourself and can often dissuade yourself from making a very impulsive decision to diet.

If you find yourself gaining size or weight over the Christmas holidays, it’s probably because you’ve been participating in more meal-based activities than normal.

We encourage you to return to your regular diet and stay active. Do not over-exercise. However, if he can exercise as he pleases 2-3 times a week, it is much more beneficial for the body than any diet. It makes me feel happier than restricting my diet.

Fiona Yasin is a UK and Internationally Registered Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Supervisor. She is the founder and clinical director of her The Wave Clinic. You can access their website here.

All views expressed in this article are those of the author.

told Newsweek editor Monica Greep.



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