Do you ever wonder why, despite how gung-ho you are at the start of the process, you can’t seem to stick to any diet you’ve tried, for long? Dieting is challenging because it incorporates either some type of food restriction, undereating requirement or sacrifice. These dieting pitfalls will cause you to suffer and to ultimately fail over the long term. Even after failure, some time will pass, and many of you will have the urge jump right back onto the diet train again, maybe spending money on a new idea or concept, only to be unsuccessful once again. In the off-chance that you are successful with losing weight during the diet, after you reach your goal, if you go back to your former eating habits the weight just seems to pack back on. No matter what way you look at it, dieting is a dangerous, never-ending cycle that often causes real harm to your metabolism, hormones, muscles, skin and emotions.
We eat for three reasons:
- Physiological needs: the drive for fullness and fuel; this need is biology based.
- Psychological needs: to help control stress hormones, which helps improve our short term mood; tub of ice cream anyone?
- Hedonic needs: purely because food tastes good and we just want it; this is the reason why I can’t say no to chips when they’re out. I think this is the most powerful reason for eating junk food. It tastes soooo darn good so it’s enjoyable to eat!
Food can’t be only about fueling you, it must be allowed to comfort, celebrate, and support you too. Here are 3 dieting pitfalls for you to keep in mind, when you are trying to change your eating habits forever, not just for a short-term, often damaging, diet.
3 Dieting Pitfalls
When you are trying to improve your eating habits forever, stay away from these 3 dieting mentalities that will cause you harm over the long-term.
1. Food restriction has to happen.
I don’t know of a diet plan out there, that doesn’t have you restrict some type of food. Even the Keto Diet that encourages you to enjoy bacon and cheese with most meals, has you restrict beets and peas from your diet!?! Food restrictive thinking such as “I can’t eat XX ever again.”, eventually leads you to crave the restricted foods. Time and time again, I’ve seen that these cravings eventually lead a person to brake down and binge eat the desired foods.
2. Only Eat When You’re REALLY Hungry.
Dieters are taught to ignore hunger pangs, that it’s a natural part of the process. The problem is, if you try to tell your body you’re not hungry, it may work for a little while, but eventually you’ll give in to your cravings. This dieting pitfall occurs because of caveman days. We are genetically programmed to eat high fat foods in large quantities when we’re hungry because thousands of year ago. There was no guarantee when we were going to get our next meal back then. Now, we have as much food as we want at our fingertips. Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes makes obtaining food so much easier. We don’t have to walk further than our door step to enjoy any high fat, processed delicacy. When we’re extremely hungry, we may be able to eat ‘healthy’ options some of the time, but eventually, due to our biological programming, we’ll give in and eat the high fat foods we crave.
3. Strict Sacrifices must be made.
There’s a belief that dieting success is reliant on the ability to make sacrifices. Strict dieters secretly reward themselves for skipping a calorie-laden dinner out with friends or when they volunteer to be the designated driver to avoid alcohol calories. The problem is, food is often associated with good times, celebrations and being social. When sacrificing dieters finally relax their eating rules for a special social occasion, many of them can’t get back to the extremely restrictive way they were eating. They end up ‘falling off the wagon’ for weeks instead of just enjoying the occasional calorie-laden treat here or there. The ‘All or Nothing’ approach never works, it doesn’t last over the long term.
If you still believe that a diet is the best strategy for you to take right now, pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs and avoid these 3 dieting pitfalls. In my next blog, I’ll take you through some strategies you can incorporate to become healthier over the long-term.
To Sum it up…Diets Aren’t Forever
Do you ever wonder why you can’t seem to stick to any diet over the long term? Dieting for any length of time is challenging because it requires either food restriction, undereating or ‘tough to stick with’ sacrifices. The dieting pitfalls I’ve detailed above, cause suffering and lead to failure over the long term. Stay tuned for my next blog, where I take you through some other strategies you can follow to increase your health forever.