By Nutrition Expert
Tuesday, April 28, 2009.
For weeks now the fridge has been off-limits, the gym has been your Mecca and you’ve shunned your usual revelries at the weekend. There you are in the queue at the cashier in the supermarket, armed with your trolley full of fresh fruit and vegetables and low fat ready meals when suddenly you are confronted with the confectionary stand.
Your resolve crumbles and as if the efforts over the past weeks meant nothing, you give into temptation. You grab the king size chocolate bar and “no’’ you tell the assistant “there is no need to pack that”.
You’ve devoured it before you even reach the car.
By the time you get your shopping into the boot and return the trolley, guilt rears its ugly head and you want to cry. ‘That’s it’, you tell yourself, ‘I am officially a failure’.
If you can identify with this type of response, it’s time to reposition your mindset when it comes to dieting. What we have here is the kind of all-or-nothing mindset that WILL lead to failure - one of the many diet blunders that can sabotage a weight-loss plan.
A ‘slip’ like this will not ruin weeks of effort, not recovering from a ‘slip’ quickly and getting back on track will. How we think about food and our bodies are the real problems we need to face to successfully lose weight. Becoming aware of the mistakes we CAN make is the first step on the road to preventing diet blunders.
Use this checklist of diet blunders to assess how your attitude to eating measures up.
1. Binge eating before going on a diet.
2. Fasting or cutting calories to lose weight. This sends your body the message that you are starving, and your metabolism will slow down to preserve the fat you are trying to shed!
3. Expecting to lose more than one to two pounds a week. Any more than this is simply the result of lost body fluids and valuable muscle tissue.
4. Skipping meals, especially breakfast. Eating regular meals prevents the dangerous “famine-then-feast” syndrome.
5. Skipping smart snacks. "Smart snacking" keeps your metabolism high and your appetite in check.
6. Substituting coffee, tea or diet soda for energy-producing meals, snacks or water.
7. Going to a salad bar and stacking up on cheeses, meats and pasta AND globs of fatty mayonnaise or salad dressings while thinking you are choosing the diet option.
8. Having an “on a diet” or “off a diet” / all-or-nothing mentality rather than simply eating wisely.
9. Thinking of any food as “bad” or “forbidden.” Food is food - anything in excess is bad for you, anything in moderation is OK.
10. Not exercising at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Exercise is crucial for boosting your metabolism to more effectively burn calories.
11. Losing weight to look good... for someone else.
12. Believing that when you shed the weight, you’ll be a different, better person. You already ARE a great person.
13. Relying on diet pills, shakes or other products that promise miraculous weight loss. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true...
14. Thinking of weight loss as something you HAVE to do, rather than something you WANT to do.
15. Focusing on foods to avoid, rather than foods to include.
16. Buying, preparing and eating your meals on the run. A hectic lifestyle prevents you from enjoying and feeling satisfied with the many good foods you eat.
17. Considering losing excess weight as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end: a healthier body and a happier out-look.
18. Not watching your fat intake. Calories consumed as fat are converted into fat on the body more readily than the same number of calories consumed as protein or carbohydrates.
19. Not reading and understanding labels. Just because it says 95% fat-free doesn’t mean that it is healthy. It COULD mean that it’s 95% sugar!
20. Failing to take charge the moment you discover you weigh in two pounds over your desired weight. When your waist band gets tight do something about it. Don’t buy the next size up!