Ever “break” your diet and continue to overeat? Lose your motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle? There’s a term for that. It’s called the “Abstinence Violation Effect”. It’s a term borrowed from addiction treatment programs to describe the behavior of people who resume alcohol or drug abuse after a period of abstinence (Source: ACE Health Coach Manual).
Dieting can have the same effect, especially if you’ve ever followed a very rigid diet.
Say you were given a super restrictive meal plan to follow. Then the diet is over. Boom. You reached your goal. Now what? You’re free to eat whatever you like. That’s when the Abstinence Violation Effect kicks in.
This isn’t to say that diets are bad.* Diets CAN work if you define them as short-term periods of caloric restriction to lose weight and achieve a goal.
(***Dieting isn’t for everyone, especially for those with a history of disordered eating or problems with food restriction.)
The challenge is keeping the weight off when the diet is over – that is, making permanent lifestyle modifications to maintain your new weight. That’s where people really struggle.
Let me help you with your goals so you can lose the weight and keep it off in a way that suits your lifestyle and preferences.
PM me for one-on-one customized weight loss and fitness coaching.
P.S. I won’t give you a meal plan because that’s only setting you up for failure when the diet ends. Giving someone a meal plan is easy. Helping them make better decisions and form new healthy habits so they can lose weight and maintain their weight loss for life – that’s the real work.