Dieting can be both good and bad for you and your waistline. On the plus side, dieting helps you make wiser food choices – allowing you to drop to a healthy weight for your body type and height. On the other hand, drastically cutting out calories and major food groups is almost like setting yourself up for failure, since drastic diets can’t be maintained for long periods of time.
Diets are work! They require you to stay disciplined, but as soon as your old cravings attack it can feel like torture to stay on your eating plan. There are other reasons why sticking to a diet may be hard for you. If you are an emotional eater, a hard day at the office can prompt you to kick your diet to the curb and drive through the nearest fast food joint on the way home from work. Being too restrictive with what you can eat may cause your body and mind to feel deprived, which only increases the risk of falling off the wagon.
The key to dieting is to do so with your habits in mind. Here are a few ways you can overcome common diet-busting roadblocks in your daily life:
Don’t beat yourself up
You’re on a diet and you have a slice of pizza from the food court because it not only smelled delicious, but you were feeling really hungry. Instead of thinking your diet is completely ruined, vow to yourself to move past it. A slice of pizza isn’t going to ruin all the hard work you’ve done up to this point, so beating yourself up about it isn’t going to help. Instead, enjoy the pizza as a momentary splurge then remind yourself to make better eating habits in the following days. To avoid unhealthy temptations in the future, eat at home before running errands or stash a serving of nuts or fruit into your purse on the way out the door.
Don’t restrict everything
When you need to drop a few pounds, cutting out virtually every food group seems to make sense at the time, but it might actually be worse for your diet endeavors. Even on a diet, you can have your favorite foods in moderation. To keep you on track, treat yourself once in a while to things you like. Instead of ordering a large meal at a restaurant by yourself, split it with a friend. That way you’ll enjoy a meal out without consuming all of the calories on your own.
I’m guilty of this. When I’m in hurry or trying to drop a few pounds, I tend to skip meals. This is one of the worst things you can do to yourself on a diet because it makes you eat like a fiend later on. Skipping meals also causes your blood sugar levels to dip, which give you headaches and deplete your energy. Eating something every two to three hours will keep your blood sugar levels stabilized so you feel great throughout the entire day. Constantly giving your body healthy food will also keep hunger and cravings away, in addition to boosting the metabolism. It’s important to eat a combination of healthy carbohydrates (like whole grains, fruits or vegetables) with protein to keep you feeling satisfied.
Trying each of these tips will ensure you stay on track and reach your goal weight. Dieting can be healthy when done correctly. Even though you’ll cut out many of the fattening foods you used to eat or crave, treating yourself once in a while will increase your success. Enjoying your old favorites in moderation while adapting to a healthier eating plan will allow you to make better lifestyle changes in the long run.