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After giving birth to two sons, health and wellness coach Julie Stubblefield found herself gaining weight. Years of yo-yo dieting and countless hours at the gym left her frustrated.

Then, in 2011, the Virginia mom said goodbye to dieting and began to follow her own philosophy: “Eat like you love yourself.”

“I stopped dieting and instead just started putting nutritious and nourishing food in my body as often as possible,” she says. Stubblefield dropped 20 pounds in two months.

The key to her success, she explains, was saying ‘no’ to dieting.

HOW DIET AND FITNESS PROGRAMS WORK AGAINST YOU

OVER-RESTRICTING FOOD

The Fit Mom Revolution blogger warns that quick-fix dieting programs market self-abuse. They often urge you to reduce or cut out whole good groups from your diet, like carbohydrates, she says, which can be harmful.

“When we say we shouldn’t eat them or we should limit a certain percentage of our daily consumption or what-have-you, we assume that they are bad,” she says.

When we label certain foods as “bad,” she explains, it makes us feel like we are bad people for eating them.

“Granted, yes, some foods are not the best choices for us to have on a regular schedule or basis, but it doesn’t mean we should ban foods from our bodies,” says the wellness coach. “It just creates an unhealthy relationship with them.”

Ask yourself the question, ‘Am I eating in a way that demonstrates true, actual love for my body and appreciation for what it can do or how far it’s gotten me? Or am I eating in a way that demonstrates hate?

BEING AT WAR WITH YOUR BODY

Diet and fitness programs can make us feel like we are at war with our bodies, according to Stubblefield.

‘No pain, no gain.’

‘Your sweat is your fat crying.’

Adages like these get flung around in gyms and stamped on fitness ads, says Stubblefield. And while they may motivate you to get in shape, they can send a negative message, she says.

 “There’s a picture painted that body change should create misery and be uncomfortable and that you have to really push yourself to the point of discomfort and restrict yourself to the point of further discomfort in order to see this change in your body, and that’s part of the self-abuse,” she says.

THE ‘GUILTY’ MINDSET

Many diet and fitness programs send a message that you’re lazy if you aren’t working to get thinner, which can make you feel guilty, says Stubblefield. The real issue, according to her, is that these programs set you up for failure.

“They don’t really want you to succeed because then you won’t need to buy from them anymore,” she says.

Credit: NBC News

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