Losing weight takes effort and planning, but it should be something that you look at in a positive way. Realize that improving your eating habits can change not only your waistline, but is also a great investment in your overall health and wellbeing.
The following is a list of pitfalls to be aware of as your begin your weight loss journey:
Using the “d” word:
I think that “diet” is a bit of a dirty word. Say it to someone and more often than not it elicits feelings of fear and misery, rather than thoughts of positive change. If the word diet makes you cringe, change your frame of mind. Think of it as getting healthy, and making changes that will make you feel better and look better.
Being too restrictive:
Many people feel that they must completely give up everything they love if they want to lose weight. However, it is very difficult to succeed if a diet is too restrictive. And who wants to eat nothing but salad or grapefruits for months on end? Don’t try for an all-or-nothing approach. Instead, make a series of changes that you can live with in the long term.
Having unrealistic expectations:
This can be a tough one for a lot of us. The truth is that weight loss is a process: it cannot (and should not) be achieved overnight. Any fad diets or products that promise a lot of weight lost in a short amount of time are unrealistic, unsustainable, or potentially dangerous. If you set realistic goals and make smart choices, you will lose weight and be able to stick with it.
Not being accountable:
Not all of us are aware of the little things we may do that can sabotage our weight loss efforts (donuts in the break room, or cleaning your kids plates for them). Many people can’t even recall what they have eaten in the last couple of days. One way to be more accountable is to get a good scale and be sure to weigh yourself once each week. The other is to keep a food diary. Record what you eat and drink each day and how you are feeling. It will help you to be aware of your habits, and to track your progress.
None of us can be perfect all of the time. Inevitably we will all have bad days or minor setbacks in our weight loss journey. The key is not to let it completely derail you. If you overindulge, or skip exercising for a couple of days, don’t let it defeat you. Instead, acknowledge that you slipped, refuse to beat yourself up about it, and get back on track.
Making weight loss a chore:
See if you can begin to change your thinking. Weight loss shouldn’t be a process that you dread, or another cause for stress in your life. Start to think about it as a way to change your life for the better. Better yet, make it into an adventure: try new recipes, find fun outdoor activities, and get your family and friends involved.