If you are trying to lose weight, aren’t getting the results you want, and want to give up… stop! Take stock and see if you have fallen foul of these ‘diet traps’.
1. If no one sees you eat it, it has no calories
This might sound ridiculous, but you might be surprised to find that many people act as though these were true! It is easy to turn a blind eye to what we actually eat and drink during the day. Being true to yourself with a daily food diary can do wonders for breaking through a diet plateau. Keep a small notebook in you at all times and make a quick reminder of everything, and I mean everything you eat and drink during the day. It’s just too easy to forget what you eat, especially if you are used to eating on the run. Mothers with small children at home are especially at risk. There are hundreds of unwanted calories lurking in toddler leftovers. Corners of vegemite and toast, half-chewed milk arrowroot, and the last sips of chocolate milk can wreak havoc.
2. You aren’t diligent about planning your meals and healthy snacks
As a weight loss coach, I’ve yet to meet the person who consciously decides it’s their lifetime goal to put on weight until they are obese and desperately unhappy about how they look. Usually, it’s a result of one or two decades of no-so-good food choices and not finding time to exercise that leads to packing on the pounds. Once you have five or more kilos to lose, it is going to take a deliberate change in habits over several months to get rid of the weight. This is where many folks run aground in their weight loss journey. They fail to plan. It takes conscious planning to do something different for the length of time that is required to get the results you want.
If you are not the type of personality that plans, ask yourself this. How many times do you find yourself looking for something to eat and resort to quick takeaways, vending machines, or skipping meals instead? Start planning ahead by keeping a bowl of fresh fruit at home and at work at all times. Fruit is great for a healthy snack. Prepare your lunch to take to work, so you won’t be a victim of vending machines. Get up early so that you have time to start the day with a healthy breakfast, instead of grabbing a skinny decaf on the way to work and a diet coke for morning tea.
3. You’ve fallen subject to fad diet ideas
Keeping a balanced view of all the food groups will help you have a big enough repertoire of healthy food choices to keep you motivated and interested longer.
“You can’t look at foods individually,” says Dayle Hayes, M.S., R.D., a nutrition consultant in Billings, Mont., and a member of the Council for Women’s Nutrition Solutions. “Any time you eliminate whole food groups or foods that are a major part of your diet, you wipe out important nutrients.” For instance, if you take this diary, you zap a great source of protein. If you turn your nose up at high-fat fish like salmon, sardines, and herring, you eliminate a top source of omega-3 fatty acids.
“The ‘bad food list’ is one of the oldest gimmicks in the world of fad dieting,” adds Robyn Flipse, RD., a nutrition consultant in Ocean, N.J. “As long as people can blame certain foods or food combinations for their excess weight, they don’t have to tackle the bigger issues, like planning, shopping and preparing meals for themselves and doing some form of physical activity on a regular basis,” she says.