One of the hardest parts about dieting is sticking to your diet 7 days a week. Anyone can diet for a few days in a row, but dieting over the weekend can be a real challenge. This is just one example of why many dieters are not experiencing success and feel like they are on a never-ending diet. They make progress during the week and then they mess it up over the weekend.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you are on track for losing one pound of fat this week. That means you are in a 3,500 calorie deficit. After a week of strict dieting, you decide to treat yourself to a cheat meal. You want a burger and fries but in an attempt to choose a healthier option you decide on a Margherita flatbread (which is 1,400 but you didn’t look at the nutritional information). It even looks healthier next to your husband’s greasy chicken wings and French fries.
Your husband also ordered a small appetizer, which you nibble while you sip on a generously poured glass of red wine. Without you realizing it, you already consumed well over 2,000 calories – and that is just one meal. The next day you recall all your good choices and treat yourself to another small treat and you are proud of yourself because you skipped dessert and didn’t partake in all the other higher calorie options that all your friends were enjoying. After the weekend, you weigh yourself and wonder why you didn’t lose any weight after such a great week of paying such close attention to your food choices.
This is just one example of how people sabotage progress. One minute, you are on track to weight loss and the next minute you erase several days of progress in less than 30 minutes.
The Power of 7 Days a Week
To break this unproductive cycle, the first step would be to commit to sticking to your diet until you reach your first significant goal. This could be as small as five pounds or as big as twenty pounds. The trick is setting boundaries and sticking to them before you enjoy that sought-after cheat meal. Creating goals and guidelines will help you end the never-ending diet.
Here are some more tips to combat mistakes that often prolong a weight loss breakthrough.
10 Tips to Break the Never-Ending Diet’ Cycle:
1.) Avoid diet hopping.
Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way. If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
2.) Never attempt an unrealistic diet.
I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
3.) Don’t rely on the quick fix.
We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
4.) Be realistic.
If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting, and working toward, your goal.
5.) Be honest with yourself.
People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
6.) What you don’t know can hurt you.
I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”! The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
7.) If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining.
Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
8.) The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work.
Like my cheat meal example, many people diet all week only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are on that never-ending diet without reaping a reward.
9.) Never underestimate the power of the calorie.
Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating. The more you understand calories, the better.
10.) Commit to dieting the right way.
A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.
Scripture of the Day:
It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory. – Proverbs – 25:27
Mantra of the Day:
I will not erase all the hard work I did in the gym this week with what I eat in the kitchen this weekend. – Bonnie Pfiester