Dieting: You’re Doing it Wrong

If you want to get rich quick, start a diet. If you want to lose weight quick, think again. Dieting is a billion dollar business. But many diets set us up for false and unrealistic expectations. Even those that do help us lose weight are often very difficult to maintain. What exactly is the problem? It’s all in the head. Well, maybe not all, but mostly. The way most of us think about dieting, is unhealthy and unsustainable. Let’s take a look.20131113-094311.jpg

We often see a diet as a quick fix; the way to fit into that dress for the party or look good for the High School reunion. What ends up happening is that we resort to unhealthy eating habits that might take off the weight but once the moment is gone, we go right back to our old habits. We’ve all heard it before, in order to lose and keep off weight, we need to make a lifestyle change. There is a lot that goes into lifestyle changes such as breaking bad habits, creating good habits, preparation, incremental change, etc. All of that is hard enough, if you throw in the fact that you are eating foods that you don’t enjoy, you don’t stand a fighting chance. When beginning to change your eating habits, experiment with all different types of foods and preparation techniques to find healthy foods that you actually like.

What goes hand-in-hand with the quick fix mentality is the expectation of quick weight loss. The internet is overflowing with ads that tout the ability to lose 30 pounds in two weeks or get a flatter tummy in 5 days. Don’t buy in. Buy from It took you a while to put on weight and will take a while to lose it. That’s fine. In fact, those who lose wait slowly are more likely to keep it off. Rome wasn’t built in a day (does anyone really know how long it took?) and patience in weight loss is one of the keys to success.

Finally, when it comes to dieting, many of us view it as an all or nothing proposition. If we happen to make a bad food choice (that’s a nice way of saying “I ate ice cream for lunch”), we figure that we blew our diet so why bother for the rest of the day or week. This is really just an excuse in disguise. There aren’t many other areas of life where we think this way. Most of us haven’t said “I missed work today because I woke up late, so I might as well take the week off”. Expect to stumble once in a while and prepare yourself to move past it and get back on track.

Dieting is not only about what you put in your mouth, it’s also about what you put in your head. Thinking smart is the first step to healthier living.

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