One of the biggest myths about dieting and weight loss is that it’s a temporary solution. Every one thinks you work hard for a short period of time and magically the weight will stay off. When you set out to lose weight by changing your diet, that should be something that you adopt permanently or, over time. If you don’t do this the weight will slowly creep back on.
However, just making those changes might not be enough to keep the weight off because, as creatures of habit (and being prone to take the easy route) there are easy ways to slip and sabotage all of your hard work. Here’s some quick things you should be looking out for that could bring your weight loss progress to a screeching halt.
- Falling back into old habits. Let’s start off by coming right out and saying that nobody’s perfect. We make mistakes, it’s all part of being a human being and that goes double for weight loss. Whether it’s a quick unhealthy snack or going head first into comfort food when you are stressed or going through some other drama. These kind of eating behaviors can be damaging to your weight loss goals. Again, it’s not about perfection. Yes, you can allow yourself a few “treats”. Willpower sucks and by allowing yourself to have these occasional treat meals will keep you from losing your sh*t. I advise all my clients to follow the 80/20. Where 80% of all your meals are clean and healthy and 20% are fun. I have them use this grid to help them better understand how they are eating. Here is where it get tough — when you get a case of the nibbles. These treats go from occasional to habitual and, eventually, becoming normal. If you feel like you’re slipping a little more often than you’d like then try keeping a food diary and at the end of the week look at everything you’ve eaten. This diary doesn’t have to be fancy. You can put it on paper, what I want you to note is time, mood and portions. If you’d like me to take a look and give you feedback, write down 3 days and send me an email.
- “Healthy” substitutions. A huge mistake that a lot of people make, especially if they’re new to dieting and weight loss, is trying to go for a healthy food choice over an unhealthy one that can be just as bad for you as what you’re switching out. One thing in particular is switching out fruit juice for sugary drinks like soda. We’ve been told all our lives that fruit is healthy, but if you’re not selective in your choices you could just be pumping yourself full of unhealthy sugars. Opt instead for something hydrating and equally delicious like herbal teas or (responsibly) flavored water. Here is a link to a list of foods that we think are healthy but they really not so much.
- Twelve of one, dozen of the other. A big part of maintaining healthy weight loss is making sure you portion your foods properly. The problem with that is that the reigning mentality when it comes to food is, generally, that more is better. It’s great to choose some light, air popped popcorn over salty, greasy chips but you should aim to be careful with your portioning so that you don’t end up eating just as much of your healthier snacks and foods just because they’re better for you than the alternative.