1. It's not fair: Why do others get to eat whatever they want?
The truth is you can’t compare yourself to people who are not on the same journey as you. In other cases different people respond differently to different foods. Some people can eat pizza every day for months and not gain any weight. While others like myself need only look at it and the pounds pile on. It’s probably why I was confused about the importance of eating well for so long. My husband ate anything he wanted and was totally ripped so for years I failed to make the connection between my eating habits and inability to lose weight. And truth be told, whatever food you are coveting will always be there, a week, a month or a year from now.
2. Hunger is a bad feeling.
Actually hunger is a normal response when you are trying to lose weight. You are eating less food than you are accustomed to eating. The times where you eat less food than you burn are the times when you lose weight. The sooner you embrace it and look at it as a positive the easier losing weight will become. In fact if you are trying to lose weight and you don’t feel a little hungry now and again, chances are you’re eating too much and need to cut back so you can lose weight. Please note that I’m not talking about starving to the point of being weak and tired. I am referring to eating just below the number of calories you need on a day to day basis with just enough of a shortage that you will lose weight gradually.
3. I have to resist cravings at all costs.
There are three things about cravings. The first is the harder and longer you fight a craving, the more likely you are to give in to it and eat not just one cookie but the entire box. Also, cravings can sometimes be a signal that you are missing a key nutrient in your diet. I remember going on an extremely low carb diet for months and developing an insatiable craving for cupcakes. I probably could have gotten rid of the intense cravings by eating a bowl of oatmeal daily. Finally, cravings can be psychological. So while my body had a definite need for carbohydrates at the time, my mind developed a fixation on cupcakes and the more I thought about cupcakes and the fact that I could not have them, the more I wanted them. Understand your cravings and take the right steps to work through them.
4. I don't need a meal plan or an exercise program.
I can’t stress enough the importance of planning your meals and exercise. You could try to wing it but if you leave it to chance, the outcome is less likely to be favorable. I am extremely busy and am always running from one thing to another. If something is not scheduled then it is not happening. I have to schedule time to grocery shop, time to prep my meals and time to eat my meals. I also have to schedule my workouts, from when I am going to the gym to what I am going to do at the gym. If you are going to be successful in your weight loss journey you must plan for it.
5. Some foods are "evil,"and should be avoided forever.
Everything is ok in moderation. The issues come when you eat certain things on a regular basis. It is also important to note that during a weight loss phase it may be best to avoid certain foods altogether, knowing of course that if you so wish to eat them again, you can reintroduce them gradually and eat them occasionally. A really good example is alcohol. I love my margaritas as much as, maybe more than the next person. However I have now come to realize that when I am working towards a specific goal it is best to avoid it because it contains many empty calories that are of no real benefit, it affects my performance in the gym and impairs my judgment thereby increasing the chance that I will eat other things that would hinder weight loss.
6. Food makes me feel better when I'm emotional.
This is the most difficult form of wrong thinking to undo. When you are suffering emotionally it is very difficult to think and act rationally. By design we try to do everything we can to get rid of negative feelings. Unfortunately we have conditioned ourselves to be comforted by food. Here is a thought, if someone or something is hurting you, why would you punish yourself further by eating something unhealthy? Recognize your triggers, whether it is people or situations and manage them differently. Come up with a plan and do something to distract you. Call someone, go for a walk, take a shower or go to bed. Usually if you can remove yourself from the situation or the moment you can overcome the situation. In life you will always have difficult circumstances however, you can learn to overcome them.
7. It's OK to take a break because I don't feel like eating well or exercising today.
Hmm, not really. When it comes to weight loss, consistency is key. EVEN when you don’t feel like it. And most times a break turns into a never ending struggle. How many times have you stopped going to the gym and had a really tough time getting back into it? Or worse, after successfully kicking the sugar habit, you eat a little and before you know it you’re addicted again and eating even more. Now this should not be confused with working out when you are actually sick. No one should try to be a hero like that. It’s not impressive and it will do more harm than good. I am talking about pressing through bad moods, bad days, lazy days, and lack of self-control days.
For each idea or wrong form of thinking there is a direct opposite idea or thought. Looking back on each of the wrong thoughts about food and weight loss, are you going to be prepared to counter them whenever they occur with either an opposite statement or opposite action?