Most of my blog posts are about what works and why.
This is my post on why you CAN’T let a number define you.
This is a post on why you need to have evolving goals as you move forward in your health journey.
This post is going to be a bit different because I’m going to talk about what habits don’t work and why.
When I changed my mindset, I became consistently successful. I’ve always had this all or nothing attitude, and if I had a bad day of binging on crap, well, diet blown, might as well quit.
That mentality did me no favors and would often set me back on the weight gain roller coaster.
Re-Evaluating A Thought Process
There was no epiphany, no exact moment of wonder, it happened gradually and I became aware of these changes in hindsight.
Here, I think, are 6 important things NOT to do when trying to lose weight, get healthy, or change eating habits:
- Eating ‘Diet’ food – Diet drinks are diet foods are so full of crap and can make your cravings worse. Stick to real foods and allow yourself full fat treats once in a while. The key to success is moderation. In real world living, most people need to learn how to balance life in moderation. We can’t always be on vacation (although I want to), always sit back and do nothing (sometimes, I could use a bit more of doing nothing), or eat what we want when we want (chocolate brownies…sigh).
- Perfection – There are those people who can and do give up foods and bad food habits for life with zero recidivism. Most of us can’t. And being super rigid can lead to overeating and a spiral back into all bad habits. It’s happened to me over and over again. Moderation. The key word in everything. I make a goal to try and eat healthy 80% of the time.
- High Expectations – Don’t expect overnight results. It takes time to establish new habits and lose weight. Patience is important, difficult, but important when trying to make changes.
- Being a Prisoner to the Scale – Using the scale as the only measure of success is a terrible habit because it doesn’t give the whole picture! Take measurements and pictures for a more thorough assessment of how you are doing.
- Not eating enough – Make sure you’re eating enough at each meal. If you aren’t eating enough, there is a much higher chance you will turn into a human vacuum later that night. Keeping satiated will help with your success and won’t set your body into starvation mode.
- Not Planning Ahead – How will your daily schedule affect your lunch? Do you have to work late? Kids have sports? How will you get dinner on the table? Plan your meals based off your schedule. If you are going to be in your car all day, then plan portable meals and pop them into a small ice chest. I did this last year when I felt like a taxi driver and was in the car from 12-5pm. I packed my lunch and afternoon snack in a small Coleman. It kept me from grabbing fast food those two days per week.
Eating healthy is much easier if you can create habits to build a strong foundation. Finding a system that works for you and your living situation is key. I do believe that these six tips are pretty universal in terms of creating a solid blueprint.
At the end of the day, have a plan, eat whole foods when you can, and don’t rely on the scale. Most important, be kind to yourself!
One fundamental tip that many people lack when considering another trek down the weight loss path is a lack of confidence. Believing in yourself is the most important thing you can do for success. I wrote a post on how to have confidence when trying to lose weight. Check it out here.