Here’s what to do, instead of what someone told you to do.

There’s a reason why every diet you’ve tried until now has failed. Think about it for just a second … You’re an adult. You pay your taxes. You make a lot of decisions.

You don’t call up any random person and say, “Hey, I need to get my car washed. Where should I do that?” Or, “Hey, I need to pay my rent this month. How do I do that?”

You don’t typically outsource commonsense advice unless you’re Oprah—and she has someone who actually does that for her, so that’s really a moot point.

But when it comes to dealing with issues related to food, some of the most important decisions you have to make, you’ll outsource that. Someone (a diet book author, a nutritionist, a personal trainer) will say, “OK, so you eat this and this at these times. Here’s how you prepare it. Here’s your shopping list.” And you’ll go along with that for about thirteen and a half minutes.

What that person is really doing is asking you to give up control, which most people don’t like doing. It’s not enjoyable and it can be scary because control makes us feel safe.

So because you’re an adult and you can make your own decisions, you rebel. Especially if someone is telling you to do something you don’t want to do.

You will get on board for a short time because you’ve seen the before and after photos, because that person is the expert, or because you know it’s what you should be doing, but at some point, you’re done. You “deserve” to choose a cookie.

Focusing on the why, not the what

I want to be clear that I am not bashing diets. Diets do work. But often we don’t work the diet because of our own deep-rooted beliefs.

For the most part, you probably already know what to do (eat real food, include a lot of plants in your diet, drink clean water, get moving, etc.). So why are you still reaching for the chocolate bar?

Today’s diet industry doesn’t focus on why we eat but solely on what we eat. It doesn’t get to the root cause of why you know what to do and still won’t do it.

Unfortunately, current solutions focus only on the body—the science of nutrition. Instead, you need to focus on why you eat not just on what you eat.

Right now, you are most likely eating to fill a void—something you want but don’t yet have. And I want to be very clear: There isn’t enough food—or sex, drugs, alcohol, shopping, meaningless relationships or gambling—in the world to fill that void.

People think that they just don’t have enough willpower to follow a diet, and they beat themselves up when they fall off the wagon. It becomes a vicious cycle.

They start feeling like they aren’t worthy or good enough, like they can’t do anything right, which only triggers their emotions and eating. But it’s not that.

Finding your power

In fact, it has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with finding your power. And I know you have it in you.

No one gains weight because he or she eats too much food. The reason you feel like you have tried everything only to have nothing work is because you haven’t done the right kind of work.

The real reason you can’t lose weight is because you keep focusing on the external and avoiding the internal. You keep focusing on the body and ignoring the soul. You’re only treating the symptoms but not getting to the root cause.

When you go all the way down to your core and you heal your soul, then the rest takes care of itself. When you heal spiritually, you can finally transform your relationship with food for a lifetime.

Maybe you have days when you say to yourself, “Ugh. I’ve had the worst day. I’m over it. I am going to drive through McDonald’s.” This is the time to tune in and ask yourself these questions:

… What am I really hungry for?

… What am I really craving?

… Am I craving comfort and feeling like eating this food will give me comfort?

… How else can I get comfort in this moment?

… What should I do for that hunger?

When you start to explore this spiritual hunger, you will come up with your own answers, not the ones that people are giving you from a diet book or a website.

The answers you choose will empower you, and when you follow through with your solutions, you’ll feel amazing.

Making the right choices

When you start to understand that everything in your life is the result of a choice and you become aware of what those choices are, you can then make different ones.

Remember, you have the power to choose in every moment. When you take personal responsibility, you create personal power.

When you can start to look at all the choices you have in every situation, that’s freedom—from food and in your life—like you’ve never experienced before.

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd, Thinkstock; Guille Faingold, Stocksy; DragonImages, Thinkstock; fizkes, Thinkstock