Just because you’ve made the decision to eat right and lose weight doesn’t mean everyone and everything else is on board with your goals. Beware the many faces of diet saboteurs.
Dieting is a challenging endeavor. You have to plan your meals, document your intake and eat consistently. Many of us will have to skip the Starbucks line, bring our own bag lunch and hurry to the gym instead of happy hour. Successfully dieting would be quite possible if you worked in a gym, cooked all your meals, limited your party engagements and was surrounded by fitness-minded people. While ideal, it’s not realistic for the majority of us.
The majority of dieters have a family who may or may not be on the same fitness page. Some have friends who love to party and indulge in a drink or four! Many of us attend events and family engagements when food is plenty and support is not. All of us will struggle with opposing voices that fear the positive changes you are making in your life. These are called “diet saboteurs,” and they are the things in your environment that can and will destroy your diet.
Those who are closest.
It is a popular saying that “those who are closest, will hurt you the most.” In this case, those who are closest will tempt you the most! They can come in the form of your spouse, sibling or best friend. They will complain when you train, order your favorite food and bring home leftovers and place it right next to your Tupperware. It’s tough to overcome limited support, but you can overcome it by encouraging them to set goals with you. If they refuse, then try and spend limited time with them and build a new support circle around you that will be strong enough to tackle the lack of support you are receiving from those closest to you.
Don’t go to the grocery store hungry.
Eating consistently is one of the main rules in healthy dieting. You need to consume meals throughout the day to ensure you are fueling your body properly. When meals are skipped, people tend to overeat at their next meal. This can be especially problematic when grocery shopping and your eyes are as big as your hunger. Overcome this challenge by keeping trail mix in your car, bringing protein shakes in your bag and even stopping for healthy fast food options if you are unprepared. Overeating and under-eating work hand-in-hand so prepare yourself for the possibilities of busy and stressful days.
Finish all your food.
For those who have children, meal times can be challenging because often times your child will have leftovers that leave you wanting to finish. Sometimes it’s a handful of goldfish crackers or the rest of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In order to ensure you don’t break your diet, the best thing to do is pack their leftovers for future meals or throw it away. Small “cheats” here and there are not beneficial in the long run.
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It’s just one drink.
Social situations can be tough, especially when alcohol is involved. While abstaining sometimes seems like the best solution, avoiding your friends and becoming aloof can be taxing to your personal life. It’s important to create a lifestyle change in which you are able to “have a life” while also dieting. Dominic Current, a natural competitive bodybuilder and owner of five Max Muscle franchises in Oregon, suggests faking it, until you make it! “I order drinks that look like drinks. I am not a big drinker to begin with, so this practice has worked for me many, many times. I found that if I order just water with a lot of ice or even a watered down diet soda, people ask me what I am drinking. I tell them vodka and water or a lean rum and coke they leave me alone.”
Scope the menu.
When dining out, there are several food choices, but probably only five options that really meet your diet requirements. There are two areas of the menu that are safe to peruse: the salad and healthy choices section. Don’t tempt yourself by reading other parts of the menu. Order a calorie-free beverage, order your healthy meal and stay focused on your long-term fitness goal.
Give yourself time.
In changing your lifestyle, you need to give yourself time – time to become acclimated to a new diet and time to get results. Alfonso Moretti, a.k.a. “Angry Fitness Trainer” says, “A diet is nothing more than a learned lifestyle, so I suggest that trainees who are trying to eat a healthier diet slowly acclimate to new ways of eating over the course of two months. Slow and steady changes are more manageable than complete overhauls.”
Current says that his biggest advice for those making transformations this year is in one word: ‘time.’ “Give and allow yourself time: time training, time cooking and time for real results to happen. So many people want it to be fast, but you have to tell yourself the faster it goes away, the faster it comes back!”
By Maria Kang