The dreaded diet. . . we’re told we’ve got to cut out everything we love and start eating a whole lot of things we don’t love, right? Works great for a few days or even a few weeks, but we all know what happens. . . we eventually give up and give in!
We give in to temptation because our willpower battery becomes completely drained! Monday starts off great. . . we get up have our “oh-so-healthy” egg whites with spinach (we wouldn’t dare eat a yolk!). Lunch rolls around when we eat our “rabbit” salad, and finish the day with the “not-so-lovely” tilapia and asparagus! Sound familiar? We’re feeling great because our willpower got us through day one! Now onto Tuesday. . . we need a little caffeine boost to get moving, and after our workout, we chug a protein shake. We’re feeling a little light-headed and hungry by mid-morning, but we vow to hold off until lunch, when we eat a chicken breast and broccoli (we wouldn’t dare eat a grain because we’ve been told how “bad” they are).
Mid-afternoon rolls around and we’re not quite sure we’ll be able to fight off those munchies, but somehow we do, and now it’s dinnertime, which is once again that “not-so-lovely” tilapia and asparagus (because fit people are supposed to eat tilapia and asparagus, right?). We wake up Wednesday and somehow power through another “perfect” day, although we’re super tired and hungry! Thursday comes and we just have to step on the scale. . . we’ve got to be down at least a pound, right?! WRONG! “Oh, this royally sucks!” is what we think to ourselves. We’re tired, moody and craving everything we “shouldn’t” have! We decide to push through and do pretty good, but by Friday, we’re exhausted, tired, hungry and our cravings are through the roof! “Oh forget it!” we think. . . “I’m having some wine and eating those chips that have been calling my name from the pantry!” By Monday, we’re lucky if we make it out of bed to get our double-day workout in. . . because we’ve also been told we need to work out harder and LONGER! This is also adding to our poor mood, increased hunger and cravings!
The typical diet is awful! Seriously. . . this may not be an exact picture of what you’ve experienced, but on some level, if you’ve ever dieted, you have experienced something similar to this. Diets tell us everything we CAN’T have. They usually come with a list of FOODS THAT ARE OFF-LIMITS! While the intention is good, the reality of it working is slim to none! So, how do we conquer this and truly live a life where we can lose weight and sustain it for the long run? We’re always told to “make it a lifestyle,” but when we’re starving, moody, tired and craving everything in sight, we can’t really make that a lifestyle!
Here Are 5 STEPS You Can Follow to Help You Lose Weight For Good:
- Make a list of all the foods you LOVE and figure out a way to eat as much of those as possible while still losing weight! – Wow. . . I bet you’ve never heard that before! Seriously, I want you to make a list of non-negotiable foods and make sure you include those in your diet. You may not get unlimited quantities or as much as you did before (because lets face it, what you’re doing isn’t producing weight loss), but you can find out how much you can enjoy and still reap benefits of weight loss! We all have a tipping point, and you’ve just got to figure yours out.
- Stock your refrigerator with the 2 Ps: Protein and Produce! Getting enough lean protein and fiber is critical in balancing hunger and cravings. If hunger and cravings aren’t balanced, weight loss will be short-lived because willpower will only get you so far!
- Learn your TRIGGER & BUFFER foods- Trigger foods are those that are halting weight loss and they are different for everyone. Buffer foods are those that help balance your hormones and get your results. Does drinking a glass of wine keep you from eating the house down when you get home from work? OR does drinking the glass of wine open up your appetite to drink more wine and make poor food choices? If you answered “yes” to the first question, then wine is a BUFFER food for you; however, if you answered “yes” to the second question, the wine is a TRIGGER food for you. We want to avoid TRIGGER foods and keep lots of convenient BUFFER foods around to balance hunger and cravings!
- Stop OBSESSING over food! – Food is food. . . it will always be there! If you’re constantly obsessing about what you “can” or “can’t” eat, or what you’ll be eating at your next meal, or what you’ll order when you dine out with friends, you have an unhealthy mindset. Change on the outside must first come from a change on the inside. You have to shift your mindset and way of thinking about food. Developing a healthy relationship with food can take lots of time and is the reason so many struggle with losing weight. Take it one meal at a time and you’ll get there!
- Do SHORTER workouts!- Avoid over-training and focus on short-duration (20-30 minute) high-intensity workouts that include weights! Long runs or moderate steady-state cardio sessions will only set you back by throwing hormones out of whack and making you hungrier and more prone to store fat!
Give these strategies a try and let me know how you do! I practice what I preach and follow these steps myself!
Don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter HERE for even more tips and strategies on fitness, nutrition and mindset!