1. Crash Diet
I was the queen of going on crash diets whenever I had a vacation or big event coming up.
Why it didn’t work: The problem with doing this is that I would follow a set of rules for a certain amount of time and throw them out of the window when I reached my goal.
Solution: I experienced drastic weight loss when I took the time to understand food and make a lifestyle change. I have been able to maintain my current size for over a year and don’t feel restricted in any way.
2. Counting Calories
The premise behind counting calories is fundamentally a good one. In order to lose weight, calories out need to exceed calories in.
Why it didn’t work: I reached a point when my sole focus was on a number and not the quality of food thereby setting myself up for failure. The truth is anyone can slash calories and eat less and less food but that has negative effects on basic body functions and overall well-being.
Solution: When I began to focus on eating more of the right food and creating balanced meals that contain key nutrients I lost weight fast. Interestingly, I lost the most amount of weight when I began eating more food.
3. Too Many Bites and Nibbles
On their own bites and nibbles don’t add up to much. I would reason with myself and say oh, it’s just an extra teaspoon of peanut butter, surely it shouldn’t matter.
Why it made me fat: While I understood the importance of balance and allowing myself a bit of something that I was craving so I didn’t feel deprived and go crazy there still needed to be some structure to it.
Solution: I found it was best to eliminate bites and nibbles and schedule a treat/cheat item once a week. That way I knew it was coming and when it came it remained structured so I could continue on my meal plan without getting seriously derailed. I recognized that I needed to allow myself these items in order to make weight loss easy.
4. Not Measuring Food
Even after I learnt how I needed to eat and what I needed to eat I used to slack on my serving sizes. I would eat half a rotisserie chicken and argue that protein was good right.
Why this was problematic: While I understood the right combination of foods to eat, I was exceeding optimal caloric intake. The healthy foods I was guilty of eating too much of were oily fish, nuts and fruit.
Solution: When I became more mindful of the appropriate serving size and measuring the food I ate I lost weight with no problem. I also learnt not to have too many calorie dense foods in one day and to space them out appropriately.
5. Eating Out Without A Plan
Everyone who knows me well knows that I love eating out. For years this was the thing that made it difficult for me to lose weight.
Why this kept me fat: When I ate out I repeatedly fell into several traps. These include ordering what everyone else was ordering, sharing plates with people who were not watching what they were eating and being tempted by the pictures on the menu and ordering something that would clearly be bad for my diet.
Solution: Most restaurants have a menu on their website. I became diligent about looking at the menu before I went to a restaurant and would make a decision without too many external influences. Sometimes I decided against going to a restaurant if I knew there was nothing healthy for me to order.
6. Setting Unrealistic Goals
I used to set unrealistic goals for myself and was bitterly disappointed when I didn’t achieve them and would throw the towel in. For a long time my unrealistic goal was that I wanted to be thin.
The reason why it kept me fat: It was such an absurd and unrealistic goal that I embarked on drastic and unhealthy tactics to achieve it. With periods of extreme deprivation came periods of extreme binge eating and the cycle continued
Solution: When I set the small goal of simply losing 10 pounds I was kinder to myself and allowed myself to take a practical approach to achieving it thereby giving me successful weight loss.
7. Not Planning Meals for the Day
After I had learnt the right foods to eat I still carried on about it rather aimlessly and ate whatever struck my fancy. Most times I had healthy food in my house but it the meals remained unstructured.
Why it kept me fat: I discovered that I would over eat whenever I threw my meal together randomly. By the time it was lunch time, I had forgotten how much I had eaten at breakfast and put together food without any thought about how it worked with my previous or future meals.
The solution: When I started to create meal plans it helped because I knew in advance what I was supposed to eat at different times, I was more likely to stick to my plan and less likely to over eat.
Are you doing some of these things and keeping yourself fat? What commitment will you make to yourself to help you eliminate these bad habits and see amazing changes?