It’s still considered the beginning of the year and you’re wondering, “How am I doing so far on fulfilling my diet goals?”. If your answer is anything but great, then take the next few minutes to read on to find out why you might be one of the many who fall victim to the death of DIEts.
1. Your goals are unrealistic
“I wanna lose 20 pounds by the end of the month.”
Does this sound like you when you realize you only have a few months until your annual beach trip but you still have to somehow fit into that bikini you’ve been side-eyeing all winter? Or when your company holiday party is just days away and you’ve gained more than a couple pounds from back-to-back birthday party gatherings? (Tell me why everyone’s birthday is in January?) Or how about when you’re going to Aunt Zelda’s for that dreaded family reunion and you know for a fact she’ll call you out on how much you’ve grown… sideways.
The short answer is, your goals may simply be unrealistic. 20 pounds in a month is almost 5 pounds a week. Let me show you a little math:
Losing 5 pounds a week is asking for a deficit of 17,500 calories a week. If you consume the average 2,000 calories/day, you’ll have to skip 8.75 meals every week for the next four weeks to get remotely close to your 20-pound weight loss goal.
Not cool. The one thing you don’t want is to win is the title, “Grumpy Mary” for the rest of your life, do you?
Solution: Do the math and plan ahead. According to CDC, losing 1–2 pounds a week is considered a healthy weight loss goal. If you have to lose 20 pounds, plan ahead 4–5 months. Easier said than done, right?
“Feel Good Point”
Not to worry. Usually, you know when your next family reunion is, or which lucky Saturday your best friend’s destination wedding day will fall on. Open up your calendar right now and look ahead 4 months. Cross out that month and replace it with the words, “Feel Good Month”. This is when you will notice the most change in your body and feel good if you’re losing the recommended 1–2 pounds a week regimen.
Be keen to your progress by checking in every week. Set a weekly reminder to weigh in and evaluate and set a separate weekly reminder of your “Feel Good Month”.
For example, my calendar has a reminder that notifies me every Friday at 5pm that “March is my Feel Good Month”. This weekly reminder doubles up as a motivator which has prevented me from overindulging at my company’s Friday happy hours.
2. You’re just rolling with the punches
In this day and age, there is an event or a meeting for everything. Events and meetings always have complementary food that is easily overlooked as a snack. But how about when you have three meetings one day and an event to attend the next day? A mental note of the last time you ate isn’t enough information for you to make your next dieting decision a wise one.
Solution: Write it down.
Starting from the first day of your healthy life journey, keep track of what you ate, how you felt, and the exercises you did. Keep a journey solely dedicated for this and do this daily. This information is valuable to look back on when your diet goes south. Find a pattern, find your triggers, and plan on doing something about it. If you didn’t quite make it to your goal weight at the end of the week, look back over your journal and see what went wrong. If you want your own copy of our Food Fitness & Feel Journal, drop me a note!
3. You’re not eating
Wait, what? Yes, it’s true. Your body is smarter than you think. The more you restrict, the more frantic your body becomes because as it knows you will continue to restrict the amount of food you’ll eat. Your body will latch onto every calorie you consume and not allow it to burn off quickly. Let’s think of it as your body going into survival mode. Instead of getting mad at your body’s survival mechanisms, be thankful that this mechanism works!
Solution: Eat nutrient dense foods. There are such things as empty calories. These are something processed foods contain. Eating a single baked potato will leave you feeling fuller longer than eating three bags of Joe Schmo’s Vitamin Fortified Potato Chips. Learn to pick and choose what to put in your body and stop filling your body with unnecessary calories.
When in doubt, always aim to eat the food in its rawest form. For example, eat grapes instead of raisins. Baked chicken instead of tenders, potatoes, instead of … you know the drill.
4. You’re getting fooled
Brands love to make you think that you’re doing your body a favor if you eat their food. “Natural”, “Fortified”, “Enriched”, “__times more than__”. These are all marketing tactics that do a good darn job to confuse you to think what you’re about to pick up will have those exact effects on your body. Anyone can put anything on the front of packaging. If you think about it, a bag of tortilla chips can claim to be packed with vitamins when in reality, it may only have 5% of Vitamin A and no other trace of vitamins.
Solution: Educate yourself and learn how to read and decipher the nutrition facts. Know what to believe and what not to believe on a food label. Hiring a health coach might be a good investment if you don’t exactly know where to start. Ask me to for a free guide to Choose A Qualified Health Coach.
5. You’re not enjoying the process.
Yes, it’s absolutely possible to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. You’ll continue to feel amazing when you are enjoying the food you’re eating and the exercises you’re doing. Perseverance and balance are the keys to your diet success and that is why we encourage you to find a professional like a certified health coach who can help you every step of the way. If you’re interested in hiring a qualified health coach, make sure you choose your coach wisely.
Solution: It’s mind over matter. Positivity is key in being healthy. If your mind is healthy, your body will mirror it. The more positive you are, the more opportunities you’ll scope out to make positive changes. Healthy dieting should never be chore, it should be a lifestyle.