5 Ways Your Approach Toward Dieting May Slow Your Progress
When you’re trying to cut back on unhealthy foods and eat better, it’s very easy to develop a bad attitude toward food. If that happens, your diet isn’t going to work because you won’t be able to sustain it in the long term. That’s why so many people end up fluctuating their weight all of the time rather than losing the weight and keeping it off. In some cases, a bad attitude toward food can develop into an eating disorder of some kind and that’s incredibly dangerous.
If you’re starting a diet, make sure that you’re aware of these tell-tale signs of a bad attitude toward food.
Less Is Better
Calorie counting can be an effective way to manage your weight but some people misunderstand it. Most people need around 1500 to 2500 calories a day depending on their gender and size. If you’re eating more than that, you’re likely to start gaining weight. If you reduce your caloric intake, you can lose some weight. However, this is a very simplified way of looking at food and it doesn’t take other important things into account. Your body gets the nutrition from your food and if you’re not getting everything that you need, you’re not going to be healthy. You might lose weight, but you’re actually a lot less healthy. That’s why it’s important that you don’t have a ‘less is better’ mentality toward food. You can’t just decide that you’re going to lose weight by skipping meals or having tiny portions when you eat because you’re depriving your body of vital nutrition.
In more extreme cases, this attitude can spiral out of control and develop into an eating disorder like anorexia. Sufferers believe that they are larger than they are and that any food is going to make them put on weight, so they simply stop eating at all. If you feel that you might be in danger of developing an eating disorder or you know somebody else that is, you should read a new guide from the clinicians at Tapestry for more information on how to tackle it. If you don’t deal with this attitude toward food early on, it can develop into a more serious problem and even put your life in danger.
Good and Bad Foods
Labeling foods as good or bad is something that pretty much everybody does when they’re dieting. Chocolate is bad, but an apple is good so have one instead. It makes sense because you’ve had a healthy snack instead of an unhealthy one. But in reality, that attitude towards food makes you way more likely to snack on unhealthy foods over time. There are studies that show the brain wants something more if it is forbidden from them. As soon as you label a food as bad, you’re going to start craving it more and that’s when you’ll be more likely to crave and snack on things that will make you gain weight. A lot of people will tell you that the best way to start a diet is to get rid of all of the chocolate or crisps from your house and never think about them again, but that’s not going to happen and you’re just going to end up craving them more.
It’s actually a more effective strategy to accept that sometimes, you’re going to eat unhealthy food and that’s fine as long as you’re only doing it occasionally. That way, you might have a bag of crisps every now and again but you’re not beating yourself up about it and trying to restrict yourself so you’ll have fewer cravings.
I’m Never Eating That Again
This is a common way that people try to lose weight. If you love cakes and you eat a lot of them, it’s easy to blame your weight gain on that alone. It’s only human, we all want a simple solution, so you tell yourself that if you just never eat a cake again then you’ll reach your goal weight in no time. This is bad for two reasons and they both have to do with motivation.
First off, that’s ridiculous, you’re never going to go your entire life without eating another cake again. When you eventually do have one, you’re going to feel like you’ve failed at dieting and you’ve undone all of the hard work because you’re placing all of the blame on this one single item. That means your motivation is going to take a big hit and you’ll be more likely to just give up on the diet entirely.
The other problem is, if you’re gaining weight it’s usually not just one thing. There are a lot of foods that people don’t realize are filled with sugar or they’re eating too many carbs or they’re not active enough. If you want to lose weight you have to change a lot of different aspects of your diet and lifestyle. Most of the time, cutting out that one food isn’t going to solve all of your problems. That causes an issue because you’ll carry on for weeks without eating that one food and you probably won’t see that much change. Then you’re going to think, what’s the point in bothering with this diet if it doesn’t work?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cut out bad foods, but you can’t put it all down to one thing and hope for an easy fix.
Cheat days are another technique that people use in dieting because they think that they can satisfy all of their cravings in one day and then eat well for the rest of the week. This doesn’t really work for a couple of reasons. First off, on those cheat days, you’re likely to end up eating way more unhealthy food than you normally would have done before you started the diet. If you’re not careful, you won’t actually be changing the amount of unhealthy food that you eat in a week, you’ll just be cramming it all into one day, so you’re not going to lose that much weight.
The other problem is that you’re always focused on that cheat day. The rest of the week is just something that you have to get through so you can get to the unhealthy food that you’re craving. When you’re trying to eat well, it’s important that you enjoy it, otherwise, you’re not going to keep it up. If you’re only focused on the unhealthy foods that you’re going to eat on your cheat day, you won’t spend as much time preparing delicious healthy meals and enjoying them, so eating will feel boring and you’ll struggle to stick to your diet.
Instead of having a scheduled cheat day every week, it’s much better to just allow yourself the occasional indulgence and try to find healthier alternatives to your favourite treats that you can have instead. That way, you’ll learn to actually enjoy your new diet rather than it just becoming a chore.
Everything In Moderation
Sometimes, this is good advice. You can have a healthy diet if you don’t have any strict rules, you just make sure that you’re not eating too much of one thing, especially the unhealthy stuff. But there are two types of people; there are some people that can have a few squares of a chocolate bar and then put it away and then there are the people that can’t stop once they’ve started and they’ll eat the whole thing. It’s important that you recognize which kind of person you are. If you’re the first kind, the moderation angle can work well for you. But if you’re the second kind of person, there’s no point kidding yourself because you’ll just end up overindulging all of the time. The problem is, you’ll keep telling yourself that it’s fine, you’re still doing well because you’re having everything in moderation when, in reality, you’re actually still eating loads of unhealthy food all of the time.
If you want your diet to be successful, you need to make sure that you’re not looking at food in a black and white way or putting severe restrictions on yourself because that rarely works. Instead, you need to take it one day at a time and accept that sometimes, you’re going to eat things that aren’t good for you, but that’s fine as long as you’re eating well the majority of the time. You need to watch out for feelings of guilt as well. If you eat something unhealthy it’s tempting to write off the diet and feel guilty because you’ve ruined it, but think logically about it. You might have had one slip up but if you ate well for the rest of the week, you’re still doing great.
Above all else, don’t expect any quick fixes. It’s going to take a long time so don’t get disheartened if you don’t see results right away.
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