We've all tried a diet plan at some point or the other, but all your efforts are futile if you aren't doing it right. Thanks Juliana for bringing to light the common mistakes we all tend to make when it comes to diet plans. We owe you one!
With the junk food and diet industries’ marketing campaigns that reach us in every corner of our lives, it’s a wonder that any of us are able to keep our weight under control. Diets don’t work – or at least that’s what we are told. The truth is that, statistically, diets do work. But only when we follow them. For this reason, it makes sense before committing to the latest fad diet to consider the following common mistakes most of us make before we take the diet plunge.
1. Keeping Other Habits Status Quo
Committing to a diet plan, whatever one fits you best, will most likely work better if you are willing to change up some of the other habits during your day that are normally built around how and what you eat. Dieters can easily lose interest in a diet plan when their normal eating routines are closely coupled with other familiar routines such as late night TV watching or hanging out in the kitchen for a good part of the day.
Try adding a walk into your day when you normally wouldn’t, or vary the places you go to eat your lunch – maybe the park instead of the office breakroom. Mixing up your other routines may make sticking to your diet easier.
2. Eating Away from Home
One of the easiest ways to fall off a well-planned diet is by eating out. The temptations of the outside world will drag you quickly from even the best laid plans, and it might not take much.
Start your new diet during a time that doesn’t involve eating out, such as at the beginning of the work week. Once you have a solid four or five days of your diet under your belt, your confidence and momentum will make it easier to resist the temptation of eating at a restaurant.
3. Too Much, Too Fast
Set realistic goals for your diet and weight loss plan. Many people find themselves in too much of hurry to lose weight quickly and, as a result, will end up getting discouraged early on.
The best weight loss regimes usually involve moderate changes to eating habits that are sustainable for at least 30 to 60 days. Consider looking at a program like Weight Watchers that encourages you to change your habits rather than a detox diet that «promises» a quick fix.
4. Too Little, Too Long
Like the overly aggressive lose-too-much-too-fast plan, a diet that does not give you enough sustenance for a long period of time can result in yoyo dieting. This is when you come off of a very strict diet you may have abided by religiously even for a significant amount of time, but the backlash is so powerful, it warrants an eating rebellion once the final days of dieting have commenced.
Choose a diet that does not leave you feeling too deprived for too long, one that will be easier to come off of and eat normally once you are done.
5. Crash Landing
Like the too-much-too-fast and too-little-too-long diet fallout, the crash landing is another high risk saboteur of the best laid diet plans. When old habits call out and beckon you home to the old way of eating, you don’t just cheat, you abandon your new ways altogether.
To avoid a crash landing, it’s crucial to not just pay attention to what your bad food habits are but also why you have them. You may realize that your struggles around your temptations with food contain other issues, like work stress, boredom, or even more serious issues like depression.
6. All-or-Nothing Syndrome
Far too many dieters believe that the only way to succeed is with religious adherence to their diet plan of choice. When they are able to follow whatever strict guidelines have been laid out for them to a T, they do well. Problem is, we all give in and cheat eventually, and that’s where things fall apart for these kinds of dieters.
Instead of taking a rational look at what they’ve done (say, eaten a sundae), they decide that the whole plan is ruined anyway and immediately return to their Super-sizing-and-heck-yes-I’ll-have-fries-with-that ways. If you cheat, admit it, own the mistake and do better next time. Honestly, a little bit of «controlled cheating can – paradoxically – help you maintain your diet plan for longer if you’re smart about it.
7. Using the Buddy System
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Isn’t it supposed to be good to diet and work out with friends you will support you and keep you honest? Well, yes, but only to a point.
While it’s great to have that support, you can’t tie yourself so closely to their dieting fortunes that you follow them the second they go off the rails. This is related to the problem many of us have when we get involved in serious relationships – when they eat poorly, it’s a lot harder for us to eat well. Use buddies, certainly, but be willing to show them some tough love and find someone else if they start bringing you down.
It Is Possible! Try to uncover what drives you to sabotage your eating changes. What were you feeling when you made a poor decision? What were you thinking about? Once you can identify these issues, it can be easier to keep them from defeating your goal to eat better!
Maintaining a good diet plan is not an insurmountable challenge. The key is to think of it as a lifestyle change, not a «quick fix». And when you make a mistake – don’t beat yourself up about it! Find a solution and try again.