Did you know that 5 out of 6 dieters fail? That means that 85% of dieters either don’t lose any weight at all or gain it back and then some within 3 years according to a recent review of almost 900 different diets. No wonder they keep developing new diets, it’s a profitable business.
I have good news for you though, these odds can be in your favor if you play your cards right. Most well-intentioned dieters fall victim to the same 7 mistakes. I wanted to shine light on these common dieting blunders and provide the solutions for avoiding these to attain true weight loss success that you can maintain for years to come.
So, what are they?
#1 Not eating enough. Many think skipping meals or severely reducing caloric intake will help them drop pounds fast. Unfortunately, most experience extreme sugar cravings, and often times break down and binge on unhealthy food options later in the day. When you skip meals, you not only throw off your blood sugar levels leading to extreme cravings, but over time you can actually drastically reduce your resting metabolism to the point in which you plateau and can’t lose a pound. The best strategy is to eat 3-5 times per day, starting with breakfast within an hour of waking.
#2 Counting calories. The popular thought of thermogenesis encourages dieters to eat less calories then they burn and they will automatically lose weight. There are two problems with this line of thought. First, the reported calories have about a 20% accuracy rate. Second, the quality of that food is much more important than its calorie make up. 200 calories of a kale salad is much different that 200 calories of a glazed doughnut. Often times, dieters opt for less caloric, less nutritious items to shed weight instead of focusing on eating whole foods consisting of animal protein, veggies, fibrous starches, and fruits. Focus on eating healthier, and weight loss will come.
#3 Trying to be perfect. As humans we expect behavior change to be automatic and if we fail to stick to rules we have set for ourselves that we are not meant to succeed. Most often times dieters will set too strict of rules, thinking it’s all or nothing, that even the most disciplined are bound to slip up. Give yourself some leniency when trying to create a new behavior, and when deciding your goals set something fairly easy to attain. When goal setting with a client, we set realistic workout schedules and eating behavior goals that they feel 100% confident they can stick to. Think of eating clean 80% of the time and you will start to see changes.
#4 Relying on the scale weight to mark progress. Weighing yourself daily can be a bad way to measure progress. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client lose only a few pounds yet their circumference measurements and bodyfat percentage has reduced drastically. Using the scale weight as a measure of whether your exercise and eating routine is working can lead you to quitting too early. Take circumference measurements and pictures to track progress. You will be surprised how misleading body weight can be.
#5 Being aware of your environment. I always ask my San Diego personal training clients about their professional, social, and home environment. Here’s why, despite your best intentions, if you have a spouse, or co-workers who keep junk food around, or pig out on fast food it is going to be very difficult for you to be content with your healthier food. I always encourage my clients to clean out their kitchen of temptations, and tell their friends and spouses that they are going to work towards eating healthier and would love if others could be supportive of it. If they care about you, they will try to support you anyway they can, so do not be afraid to ask.
#6 Emotional triggers. Let’s face it, life can be downright stressful. And we all have our unique ways in coping with an emotional event or time in our life that may not be the healthiest, eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s, watching a Real Housewives marathon, drinking an entire bottle of wine, or two. When life gets stressful, be careful of the urge to ditch your new found healthy habits for less than healthy old habits. Create an alternative plan to substitute for these creature comforts so that you don’t completely sideline and never get back in the game.
#7 Biting off more than you can chew. Doing a complete overhaul on your life is just setting yourself up for failure. That’s why I hate the 21 Day Challenges and Detoxes because they are impractical. Expecting someone to completely do an overhaul on their life is not realistic. Pick one behavior, maybe two, and work on that first, and master it. Once you have engrained it into your life then work on another habit, and so on.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful on your road to health and wellness success. If you feel like you have been on a dieting roller coaster for more years then you would like to acknowledge, maybe it is time for you to work with a San Diego fitness trainer to get on track to a balanced healthy lifestyle. Feel free to reach out to me at 858-877-0787, to discuss how I can get you to your goals.