It's Mid-January and you're already off your diet????
1) Too Much Enthusiasm: You may be saying what? How can I be too enthusiastic about getting fit for 2016? Answer: because you are trying to make too many life-altering changes at once. All too often, folks decide that during the first week of January, they are going to join a gym, start working out five to seven days a week, cut out sweets, stop drinking their specialty coffee in the morning and their cocktail in the evening, cut out bread, and start getting a regular eight hours of sleep every night. These are certainly all good goals to have, but they are not all good goals to have all at once. This is the main reason why the gyms and diet center meetings are all full in January and why the crowds have dwindled down by February 1. If you're trying to make too many changes at once, you're sabotaging your own success. Make one change. Enjoy your success. Then change something else. Take one step at a time until you feel you've mastered it. Then move on to another change.
2) Black and White Thinking: The well-meaning dieter decides that he's either on a diet, or he's not. Therefore, he's either depriving himself of all the things he loves, or he's stuffing his face with them before he knows he's going to be depriving himself. Stop thinking in the all or nothing. This is what they mean when they try to tell you that you shouldn't go on a diet, but you should have a "lifestyle change." What they are trying to tell you is that diets just don't work. The only exception is if you are trying to lose 10 pounds or less in a short period of time. Most people have enough willpower to sustain that, but if you have more than 10 pounds to lose, you will fail if you go on a diet. Don't be on a diet or off a diet. Change your thinking from black and white to grey. This means that you need to stop thinking that you can only eat carrots until you get to your goal weight. Carrots are good, but you need to know that you can have a brownie now and then and still lose weight. If you eat a healthful low-calorie diet 85 percent of the time and indulge in your favorite non-healthy foods 15 percent of the time, you will find that you are much more successful than if you try not to ever eat a brownie again. No one, and I mean no one, has enough willpower, to never eat their favorite foods. Even if you manage to lose weight by cutting out all your faves, you won't be able to keep it off. Do you really think you can go through life never eating chocolate again as long as you live? Make grey the color of choice for 2016.
3) Being the Expert: An ultimate way to sabotage yourself. You decide that whatever the experts say is wrong. You know better. That may work for MOST people, but you're different. You have a slow metabolism. You are big boned. Your mother was fat. Your grandmother was fat. It's just in your genes. You have to drink on the weekends to be sociable so their program is not realistic. You'd be thinking about food too much if you spent time counting calories, points, carbs, etc. They don't know how busy you are. You don't have time to cook like that, besides, it's way too expensive. Almost any of the weight loss plans out there will work, but you have to actually listen to what they are telling you. The reputable programs out there are based on scientific knowledge. They do know more than you do. If you think you have a medical reason you can't lose weight, make a doctor's appointment and have it checked out. If you think you'll lose your friends if you order a diet coke instead of a cosmopolitan, maybe they aren't very good friends. It takes less than five minutes before each meal to determine how to count it. Do you honestly not have five minutes before you eat to stop and think about it? Fresh, quick, healthy, and inexpensive recipes can be found for free all over the internet. Can you really not find either the recipes or a ready- made grocery store meal, or are you making excuses for yourself? Do you really know more than they do? If so, why didn't you already lose the weight in 2015? 2014? 2013...?
4) Negative Self-Talk: Stop and think a minute. How often can you catch yourself speaking badly about yourself? Do you say any of the following things to yourself?
-- I can never lose this much weight; I don't know why I should even try.
-- I've always been fat. I've learned to be comfortable in my body because I could never lose weight.
-- I'm stupid. I don't know why I even try.
-- I already cheated, I might as well enjoy myself.
-- I'm so lazy. It's useless.
-- I should just give up. What made me think I could do this?
I'm sure you can think of plenty more. If your best friend spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, would he/she still be your best friend? You must change the way you speak to yourself, or you'll just have one more reason why your 2016 resolution didn't happen. Start telling yourself some of the following instead:
-- I can do this. I really want this. I'm going to take it one step at a time.
-- Just because I've always been heavy doesn't mean I can't change. If I do what I've always done, I'll get what I've always had. I can make a change.
-- I'm smart enough to learn how to do this. I'm going to do it.
-- I made a mistake. I got off track. That's ok, I'll just get back on track now. Everyone makes mistakes.
-- I have more energy when I get enthusiastic. I can do this. I just have to be positive.
-- I should keep doing a little at a time. It will add up and I start seeing success.
5) Pay to Play: Many of us rush out to plunk down our hard earned money for someone to tell us how to do it. We get the shiny new book, the coach, and the food. That's all well and good, but are we actually reading the book, listening to the coach, and eating the food? We put it in our minds that we've paid good money to lose weight, so now let's just sit back and let it happen. We don't work it. We go through the motions by showing up, but we don't play the game. In other words, maybe we read the book, but we don't take the suggestions and use them. Perhaps we religiously go to meetings, but we don't actually take any action on our own afterwards. Maybe we hire the coach, but we exercise less often, fewer reps, or with less form than suggested. We buy the right food to eat, but we don't cook it properly, or worse, it rots in the fridge. We somehow expect that if we are paying for it, that it will just happen. If we don't play by the rules, we lose the game and not the weight.
These are just a few of the major mistakes we make when we make new year's resolutions to lose weight. If you really, honestly, truly want to lose weight in 2016, take baby steps. Think in terms of a lifestyle change and colors of grey instead of black and white. Listen to what the experts are telling you and heed their advice. Speak in a kind forgiving manner to yourself, and if you decide to pay someone for help, take full advantage of the help. Just because you pay them to lose weight doesn't mean that it will fall off of you with no effort on your part.
Let's chat. Please leave comments. Did these tips help? Are you still on track with your New Year's resolution?
Best wishes. Hope to see less of you in 2016.