It’s sad but true: it’s easy to turn into your own worst enemy when it comes to sticking to your diet. Here are three ways that you could be sabotaging your own weight-loss goals and tips to avoid getting in your own way.
1. You don’t keep healthy snacks handy
When you’re hungry it’s hard to pass up a snack, even if the snack is unhealthy or the sort of food you’ve pledged to avoid. You can protect yourself from unexpected cravings by keeping diet-compliant foods readily available at home, at work and even in your car.
These snack stashes also help protect you from chance encounters with forbidden goodies. If, for instance, a coworker brings in chocolate chip cookies, it’s easier to turn them down knowing you have some trail mix with chocolate chips at your desk.
You don’t want to get to the point where you reach for your snack stashes out of boredom, but staving off ravenous hunger will help you keep control when you’re tempted to stray from your healthy eating regiment.
2. You [try to] completely swear off your favorite guilty pleasures
Some people can stick by solemn vows to completely avoid their favorite indulgences forever, but the rest of us end up avoiding them for a while then binging later on.
For a more realistic approach, explore healthier ways to sate your cravings. If you can’t manage to find an acceptable substitution, impose reasonable limits on the volume and frequency of your consumption.
If you’re a sucker for french fries, give crispy roasted potatoes a shot. If you’re addicted to ice cream, try subbing in frozen yogurt. There are tons of healthier alternatives out there, and you might even learn to prefer them.
Sometimes, of course, substitutions do not do the trick. Whether it’s a matter of taste or texture, they fail to satisfy. In these cases, limit the frequency and amount of the “bad” food to keep from throwing off your healthy eating plan. Make it a side rather than an entrée, split a serving with a friend or see if you can order a kid’s sized portion.
3. You don’t hold yourself accountable
We’ve all done it: you order the healthy choice then have “a few bites” of your friend’s order. You take lots (and lots) of nibbles at a giant chocolate bar throughout the day. You hit the bar on a weekend, declare it a “cheat day” and go crazy ordering sugary drinks, fried foods and other unhealthy options.
Whether you’re logging your food consumption and leaving off these little transgressions or just keeping track of how “healthy” you’re being in your head, it’s tempting to give yourself a pass on minor infractions. At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t matter whether you “ordered” something or ate it on a “cheat day” or only ate 75% of it: your body cannot be tricked by your clever wordplay.
Be conscious of everything you eat and acknowledge it to yourself (or your diet log) to keep yourself honest and on track.
Sinclair Broadcasting is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we’re introducing Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness and prevention.
January Shape Up U.S. Month
February American Heart Month
March National Nutrition Month
April National Autism Awareness Month
May National Asthma/Allergy Awareness Month
June Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month
July UV Awareness Month
August National Immunization Awareness Month
September Healthy Aging Month
October Breast Cancer Awareness
November American Diabetes Month
December Safe Toys + Games Month