Although a great deal of information is now available about weight loss, people keep making the same mistakes in their diets. We’re not referring to little slip-ups such as eating a piece of the pie that’s not on your diet plan; we mean big mistakes that can cause you to never reach your weight loss goal.
However, understanding these bad diet mistakes can help you develop the attitude that can help you achieve permanent weight loss.
The “All or Nothing” Attitude Can Backfire
Some dieters attempt complicated diets that can be almost impossible to stay on. They search their kitchens for foods that are inappropriate, and they throw away any such items they find. They plan on being the perfect dieter, and they will be, for a few days or even a couple of weeks. The problem is, it’s inevitable that at some point something will come up one day and prevent them from keeping to their diet. In their eyes, this one-time failure to follow their plan ruins their diet, which they then give up on immediately. They go out and buy all the food they threw away previously and proceed to gain back all their lost weight.
If this describes you and you’re an “all or nothing” dieter, ask yourself whether you really want to lose weight permanently, or do you just want to lose weight so you can then enjoy gaining it back. The right way to diet is to change your diet gradually, so your weight loss will be slow but steady.
Don’t Think of Your Diet as Being a Sacrifice
A second bad diet mistake is to think of your diet as being some sort of sacrifice. You don’t permit yourself to eat the foods you most enjoy while you’re trying to reach your target weight. You might have an effective diet plan and successfully lose weight, but what will you do when you reach your diet’s goal? Your attitude hasn’t let you learn to eat “bad foods” in moderation, so there’s a good chance you’ll lose control as soon as your diet’s over. It’s a better idea to include even “bad foods” in your diet – even chocolate (!) – so long as they’re in small quantities.
Setting Unrealistic Goals for Your Diet
Achievable goals are essential for any weight loss plan to be effective. The goals you set for your diet should be realistic, clear and put into writing. Although you probably have an ideal weight in mind for your target, it will probably be too distant and unrealistic to achieve immediately unless you’re only slightly overweight. Try setting a more useful target such as losing two pounds per week for the first five weeks of your diet, and then one pound per week for the remainder of your diet, until you’re goal is achieved. Some weeks you’ll lose more weight than you lose during others. Some weeks you might even gain weight, but if you use a graph to chart your progress you’ll see that these ups and downs are natural, and you won’t become disheartened.
Don’t worry, though, if you’ve been making these mistakes. Moving on is important in dieting, as it is with many other things. Learn from your mistakes and failures in addition to your successes. Never use a mistake as an excuse to give up and stop dieting. The only way you’ll achieve your goal permanently is by committing yourself to become a healthier person. Remember, eating normally means some days you’ll eat more than others. By learning how to enjoy food in moderation, you’ll have the best chance of avoiding these three bad diet mistakes.