If you are on a diet and exercise program (or just one of the two), there are many obstacles you will likely face throughout the process – occasions that make temptations more difficult than normal, plateaus, and more. We all will have obstacles to overcome during our weight loss journey, but there are a few things to avoid that can ultimately prevent you from quitting before you ever see success. Read on to learn the top things to avoid while dieting.
Diet Mistake to Avoid: Weight Loss Goals that are Unrealistic
All experts say it is key to not set an unrealistic goal for yourself, as this ultimately leads to almost guaranteed failure. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, expecting to do so in a month is virtually impossible (not to mention unhealthy). So if you set this type of extreme unreachable goal, and then don’t meet it, you will be disappointed in yourself and likely give up. Setting this unrealistic goal will also cause you to not feel pride in the success you did have. If you were dieting and exercising and managed to lose 8 pounds during that month, that is a true success that should be celebrated. But if your goal was 20 pounds, that 8 seems minuscule.
Diet Mistake to Avoid: Comparing Yourself to Others
In addition to setting goals that are unrealistic, comparing yourself to others is never a good idea. This is true all the time, actually, but especially when dieting. We all are aware that pictures of skinny models have been photo-shopped and enhanced to create the perfect image – or what has been decided is the perfect image – and so we tend to not push ourselves as much to look like them. However, what about the neighbor who lives down the street and lost her baby weight seemingly before she left the delivery room while you are struggling to lose yours and your child is going off to college? Or when you go to the gym and you see someone that doesn’t seem to work out as hard as you but has a more defined body than you? Those are the times that comparing yourself to others will do the most damage.
We tend to put celebrities in a different category from ourselves (after all, they have more money, time, personal trainers, make-up artists, etc.), but then we set ourselves up for failure by comparing ourselves to those on the same playing field as us. But everyone’s body, metabolism, etc. is different. If you went on the exact same diet and exercise program as another person, you may lose a different amount of weight, lose it in a different area of the body, or a variety of other differences. Instead, remind yourself that your diet goals are specifically by, for and about you, and don’t torture yourself by comparing yourself to anyone else.
Diet Mistake to Avoid: Rushing Things Along
When you first start dieting or exercising, you tend to immediately feel better about yourself. Sometimes even the same day you begin. But then you put on clothes and they don’t fit any more loosely or you step on the scale and the number hasn’t changed. That’s because it is working from the moment you begin, but success and results take time – don’t rush things along when dieting. Remember the 2, 4, 8 rule. It takes at least two weeks to see a difference in your own body, four weeks for friends and family to notice, and eight weeks for the rest of the world to see it. Oddly, sometimes you can be steadily losing weight for a few months, no one will even notice, and then suddenly they will look at you and notice that you are 30 pounds lighter than you were the day before. It happens to us all, and if you expect it to take time, you will be less likely to quit your diet when no one has noticed after just a couple of weeks.
Diet Mistake to Avoid: Eliminating Certain Foods Completely
It has been said before, but it is important to mention here – if you eliminate certain foods from your diet completely, one of two things usually happen: either you consistently crave that food until you binge on it, or you fill in the space of that food with something else not much better for you. Take, for example, the person that cuts sodas out of their diet completely – they often consume just as many, but they get diet sodas instead. This does lessen calorie intake, but isn’t much healthier for you. If you love chocolate, but tell yourself you won’t eat any at all, you may lie in bed awake at night simply wanting a chocolate bar until you drive yourself to the point of eating a king-size candy bar. Instead of eliminating certain foods, opt for low-calorie treats that won’t completely ruin your diet and will allow you to indulge a little in the food you love.
Diet Mistake to Avoid: Believing What you See in the Mirror
It is true for almost anyone dieting, particularly those of us that have battled weight for a long time. You start out seeing a certain image in the mirror, then you lose weight, but the image in the mirror doesn’t change. It’s the same reason that we don’t see ourselves age, we simply see what we have seen for a long time. Sometimes it even happens that the scale has a lower number, the clothes sizes are smaller, and everyone you see will tell you how great you look, yet that image in the mirror has not changed at all. One of the best ways to combat this dieter’s mistake is to actually take pictures of yourself (a great idea is the before picture followed by a new picture each month). You may very well be surprised to see that the image in the picture looks nothing like the one in the mirror.
Thanks for reading our article! Now that you know what to avoid while dieting, you can achieve success without as many setbacks! Visit our store at ThinSlim Foods to find great low-calorie, low-carb snacks to help you along the way.