Shedding the pounds is something that you want to lose as fast as the New York Subway. The real question is do you want to see fast results or lasting results? Your body is like a car, a well-run machine with the proper fuel (nutrients). There are some tricks that are better than others, but most importantly what is key, is keeping a well-maintained car running. There are deadly sins you can adopt that can sabotage the journey. With the holidays quickly approaching, here are the three deadly sins of dieting.
1. Deadly Sin #1-the Quick Fix
The first thing many want to see is melting away the pounds fast. Who doesn’t want a solution that is quick and easy, whether it’s the popular low-carb, ketone, high protein, liquid, no-sugar, or cabbage soup diet.
What has been found is that you can keep up with the diet initially, but you can’t sustain the diet for lifetime results. Although fad diets have quick results, they usually have arbitrary rules, and a few could even be a danger to your health. Steer clear of this deadly sin that claims to help you lose weight very quickly.
The average person should aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week (1750-3500 weekly caloric deficit through exercise and nutrition). Also, work to avoid a diet that promises that weight loss can occur without exercise. Have you heard the saying you can’t out exercise a bad diet?
Not exercising is leaving off the peanut butter and just eating the jelly when a peanut butter and jelly sandwich requires both ingredients. Just like a PBJ, you can’t have one without the other: both exercise and a well-balanced diet are vital.
Another important thing to prioritize is to avoid a diet that limits food choices or doesn’t offer balanced nutrition. A meal plan should include a variety of proteins, good fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and natural sugars.
2. Deadly Sin #2- the Readiness Factor
You don’t need another New Year’s resolution that doesn’t see the light of day. What is more important than a mind made up? As Les Brown says, “You got to be hungry.” Anything you do well, you need to do it with laser-focused intensity. Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support.
Change involves recognizing that you are ready to move forward making the decision, committing to it, and following through with your decision.
Here are a few key takeaways in successfully moving from readiness to action:
1) Make a plan that you can carry out. It is important to create a plan that is simple and easy to maintain. Another helpful way to carry out plans is to use a tracker or calendar. You can find convenient apps via Android or Apple platforms that create the opportunity to easily track your nutrition and fitness goals through MyFitness Pal or LoseIt!
2) Start small. You have established your goals, now you must break down your goals into small action steps. Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds. Realistically, a 10-pound weight loss goal is going to take you approximately 4-6 weeks. The real question is how are you going to lose that weight. One goal could be remove weekly fried foods from your daily routine, aiming to eat not more than one fried-food portion a week.
Another goal, for a person just beginning a fitness routine, begin walking 3 times a week for 15 minutes for 2 weeks, increasing by 5 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes. Starting small gives you the confidence boost you need for sustaining the healthy behavior and change.
3) Attack one behavior at a time. Take one bite at a time. You can find that you run into problems when you change too many habits all at once and way too fast. Decide to focus on one change at a time.
If you are working on your nutrition plan, focus on eating more fruits for the first 2-weeks, then in weeks 3 and 4 add in the vegetables. You can consider increasing your fiber intake in weeks 5 and 6. Maybe in weeks 7 and 8 you incorporate more daily water intake. Another week you focus on getting 8 or more hours of sleep. You want to create a holistic and sustainable you.
4) Solicit support. No one wants to let their walking buddy down. Your buddy will help you to not sabotage your weekly meal plan; send a couple of friends your weekly weight loss or gain each week. Accountability partners work! Accountability partners are designed to be your mirror to a healthy lifestyle and will serve as motivation that gives you the weekly jump start you need on your weight loss journey.
3. Deadly Sin #3-Microwave Society Addict
With increasing technological advancements, many have become accustomed to instant gratification -- when you see it you get it! Today, waiting is a nuance. Where kneading bread is in the distant past, today you pop something in the microwave and ding, your food is hot and ready. Social media floods your feeds with nice houses, cars, clothes, great adventures, and holidays. Is something missing?
Wait…. maybe the work and/or sacrifice that was made to obtain the lifestyle you see on your feeds. While everyone wants instant gratification, when it comes to weight loss, the microwave mentality doesn’t work.
Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. Weight loss requires work, hard work. Who’s ever thought, I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to stop eating the French fries, drinking the pop, or putting the dessert down. I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to get up in the morning, walk or take a fitness class after work?
Does this sound familiar, I am going to lose 10 pounds by making cabbage soup every day or going on that liquid diet? What it comes down to is, are you willing to work to achieve that weight loss goal? It’s now or never, it is time for you to re-train the brain.
You must realize that everything thing must be built on a solid foundation, for lasting results. What foundation is more solid, a house built on rock or a house built on sand?
The foundation you lay is essential for you to prevail. Anything that is worth doing takes time, and anything worth doing is worth doing it. Remember, change your mind, change your life!