Focusing only on the short term
An unsustainable, extreme diet plan is a one-way ticket to watching your weight yo-yo on the scale for the next year. If you are on a diet plan that can only work for a short period of time, then any success you do experience will go away once you can no longer restrict yourself in such a way. This is a major trap that a lot of dieters put themselves in. Instead of trying to rush the “get-healthy” process with unhealthy crash dieting or extreme restrictions, try to stick to a diet plan you can achieve daily year round.
Even just going on a one-hour walk daily while trying to get in the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables per day can be a good, realistic long-term diet plan to follow. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t need to be extreme to work. If you are looking for quick results for health and weight-loss, bad news…. There aren’t any.
Depriving yourself completely of any of your favorite foods can drive a person mad. It divides foods into “good” and “bad” categories. Anytime you indulge you feel guilty and anytime you are depriving yourself you feel starved and left out at events and dinner parties. This cycle can become a dieting prison. This is what the “cheat day” is for, or just trusting yourself to make healthy choices more often than not.
Being in constant dialogue with yourself to rationalize every food choice you make. Stop trying to rationalize your eating habits, eat what makes you feel good and leave the negative self-talk behind. There is no way to rationalize overeating or eating something that is bad for you in the long run other that you want it and have decided to eat it. Eat that “bad” food and enjoy every moment of it, then move on!
Being stressed out can derail any diet plan. Stress can fuel poor food choices psychologically, but there is also a chemical element to this kind of dieting sabotage. When you are experiencing stress you kick into survival mode, our body’s fight-or-flight response releases high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). This causes your blood sugar to drop leaving you with salty, sugary, fatty, cravings.
Most people think they are mentally indulging when they are stressed and reach for a comfort food, but actually their body is chemically craving richer, fattier foods. There is still the emotional aspect of treating a bowl of mac n cheese like it’s a security blanket from childhood, but it is all driven by a spike in cortisol production.
Trying exercise like yoga or tai chi can help you burn calories while releasing stress. Dieters that meditate daily are often much more successful in achieving their weight-loss goals. They are lowering cortisol levels daily and increasing mindfulness that can lead them to make more mindful choices surrounding their eating habits.
Leave the word “diet” at the door and starting living a holistic and healthy lifestyle that is suitable for the long run. Your health and maintaining the right weight for your body type should be a life long commitment that doesn’t bring on more stress. Dieting and exercises shouldn’t all be about how you want to look or the number on the scale, it should be about your energy levels and feeling good.