For someone who is new to “dieting,” you might find yourself more frustrated now more often than any other time. You’re doing everything right – you’ve dodged the cookies at work, you’re cutting out carbs late at night, you’re drinking more water and working out until your body feels like it might fall apart. You’re doing your best to eat more frequently, you’ve increased your cardio and you’re even keeping a journal – so what’s up?
Before you give up (again), deem yourself a complete failure and someone who will never lose weight – STOP! You may have just made a few minor mistakes and just haven’t realized it. And that’s okay. We don’t know a lot in the beginning (not as much as we think we do) and we are just starting to learn how our body reacts to certain foods and such. If your scale hasn’t been budging lately and your motivation is dwindling, lets see if one or more of these might be the answer.
5 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters
Giving Your Eating Habits a Complete Overhaul Right Away
Did you start this new lifestyle off by throwing out all of your “bad” food in the garbage, stocking up your fridge and cabinets with healthy items and swearing you’d never eat junk again? Big no no! You can’t realistically spend 10, 20, 30 plus years of bad eating habits and late night binges and expect to be able to quit cold turkey and be successful in the long haul. It might be a temporary patch, but bad habits and years of being sedentary are a hard thing to break. Don’t be so drastic – leave some wiggle room, especially at first.
Trying to Eat as Few Calories as Possible
The statement “cut calories to lose weight” is definitely true, but some people take it to an extreme. Our bodies require a certain amount each day to properly function and keep us and our energy in tip top shape. Cutting calories too much, for too long, can wreak havoc on your metabolism and actually hinder your weight loss goals. There is a formula to all this madness – it’s called your BMR, or basil metabolic rate. By putting in your age, sex, weight, height and current activity level into the equation you’ll get two numbers – the smaller number is how many calories your body requires to function and the bigger number is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. To lose one pound this week, subtract 500 calories from the bigger number for a total weekly deficit of 3,500 calories, or approximately one pound of fat (click here to use the BMR Calculator on this website).
Having The Diet Mentality
“Diet” is my least favorite word when it comes to fitness and nutrition topics. The word “diet” to me just says, “starve, bare minimum, rules, hungry, frustration, deprived” – nothing that sounds exciting to me. Surveys have shown that those people who consider themselves on a diet lose less weight and encounter more problems than those who look at it as a lifestyle change. Your mindset should be “something more permanent, not quick until I lose these last 20 pounds.” Literally, a lifestyle change. And it doesn’t have to mean you never get to eat something bad every now and then! When dieting you can sabotage your efforts by telling yourself, “I can’t go out to eat anymore, I have to give up everything I love – even my social life is suffering!” Change your focus from solely losing weight, to being overall healthy – mentally and physically.
Cutting Out Certain Foods Altogether
I’m pretty sure we have all done this one – even if for just a week or a month. Labeling certain foods as no-no’s will only backfire and you will crave them more. Giving up a specific foods like flour, carbs, sugar, even dairy or considering certain foods “off limits” because you may lose control around them isn’t what will solely provide results and melt all that weight off of you. My definition of a healthy relationship with food is being able to stick to it forever and being able to include all the foods you love too, in moderation. It is possible with practice and patience. Everything is okay in moderation – but moderation is what you must practice perfectly. Perfect practice makes perfect!
Only Focusing on Calories (not all calories are created equal)
There is more to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle than calories alone. Not all foods that are high in calories are bad for you. Avocado, all natural peanut butters, salmon and nuts which are higher in calories per serving are way more nutritious compared to things like pretzels and soup, which may have around the same amount of calories per serving. Calories are the key to weight loss, but don’t put things like healthy fats, protein and complex carbs on the back burner to save on calories.
So, has this changed your outlook? Remember – this is the first step in realizing true success with weight loss. Success with weight loss isn’t temporary – it is long-lasting, for the rest of your life. Life is the keyword – make this effort a lifestyle change. 🙂
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