THE Diet Trap

Elle India|February 2020

THE Diet Trap
An ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset is the biggest enemy of weight loss, finds Meenakshi Iyer after yet another failed diet attempt
I have two nutritionists and a personal trainer on my speed dial. I work out 60 minutes a day, at least five times a week. I obsessively track my physical activity on my Apple watch (successfully closing all rings is a personal high; and mind you my targets are set higher than presets). For people who have never met me, I may sound like the fittest person around. Yes? *beep* Wrong answer.

I am 10kg overweight, borderline diabetic, have had episodes of bulimia as a teenager, an emotional eater and have always, ALWAYS struggled with body image issues. I have constantly yo-yoed between weight loss and weight gain, and I have mostly been overweight my entire life. There have only been two periods in my lifetime when I felt genuinely happy in my body: one was when a bad break up led to revenge body that lasted a couple of years and another was during my pregnancy, thanks to pre-natal yoga that kept me sane. Barring these two blissful times, the extra weight always managed to creep back up.

I have tried every diet humanly possible (16 hours of fasting? Done! Only low carb meals at night? Done! Salads and soup for dinner? Done and done!). But nothing ever helped me keep the weight off; instead, it fuelled bingeing and stress eating. If my meal plan read salad for dinner, I would follow it up with a doughnut.

And before I knew it I was back where I started, undoing hours spent in the gym. Now, in my 30s, I feel like I have been on this hamster wheel for far too long, but at the same time I am too scared to get off it.

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February 2020