Have you been wondering how not to give up on diet this time?
Have you ever quit your fitness programme within few days of starting it? Then you are not alone. Disheartened and discouraged, we leave our efforts to remain fit midway.
Most of us have tried to lose weight at one point in our life. Some even succeed but only to regain what was lost with a vengeance. Why was that? Because we fell back to our old ways and decided to leave our diet and fitness regime and go back to unhealthy eating.
A lot of tips are written around how to lose weight but no one really reflects on why an individual gives up on his/her weight loss journey.
The use of behavior and lifestyle modification in weight management is based on a body of evidence that people become or remain overweight as the result of modifiable habits or behaviors (see Chapter 3), and that by changing those behaviors, weight can be lost and the loss can be maintained. So studies mention that if we modify our habits, then we can achieve a sustainable weight loss.
But still many are unable to change those habits that are detrimental to our health. And why is that? Because human mind, habits and psychology majorly impact the way we deal with weight loss efforts.
We need to first understand the reasons for resistance to change in an individual so that we can identify how we can overcome this pattern.
The most common reasons for giving up on a programme and how to deal with it
Lack of motivation
Weight loss process is hard. Exercising and eating food that doesn’t appeal to the taste buds is hard. Obviously, we need strong motivation to go through the hardship. We might look at people transforming and feel motivated, read about celebrities and feel motivated, read about weight loss tips and feel motivated but that is for a short term.
What works best is for long term is self motivation! Ask yourself every time you want to give up that why did you start it in the first place. Get into a discipline! Discipline works better than motivation.
Feeling of Deprivation
We always want to escape when someone points out that we are over indulging in food. We tend to eat more, when our favourite food like Pizza, Pasta, Burger, etc. is served. Going on a fitness journey means eliminating certain kind of foods. That gives you a feeling of deprivation. Over here you should change your mindset.
A person with nut allergy never eats nuts, a person with lactose intolerance doesn’t have lactose. They try to find the alternate way of eating. Similarly, you need to find the alternate way of eating where you can manage your calories. Else, do portion control. Just eat smaller portions of your favourite food.
It is important to create awareness for oneself when it comes to food choices. Don’t feel you are being governed. Rather think as a way to enjoy life better. Only good food need not bring you happiness, there are other ways to stimulate your environment.
Social Obligations and Acceptance
Have you been frowned upon when you refuse to eat cakes or sweets in office? Or you go for a social dinner or birthday parties and the host looks petrified about what food can be offered to you? Are you mocked at when you refuse hard drinks?
Out of fear of becoming a social outcast, you tend to force yourself into eating food that is not good for your body. Change your circle and mingle with like minded people. If you derail from your diet for one meal then fast for 14 to 16 hours and get back on track immediately.
Don’t let one cheat meal become into a cheat day. You can also carry your own drinks and food to a social gathering so that you can mingle with your choice of crowd without disturbing your diet.
People tend to feel ashamed to admit that they are over weight and that they are trying to lose weight. Most of the people feel that they should keep their weight loss effort a secret. It is better to admit and acknowledge your weight loss efforts so that others understand your situation and try to support you. You will also feel accountable socially to stick to your diet and fitness plan.
Emotional eating means eating food to comfort oneself. When you tend to eat chips, popcorns, french fries, cakes, chocolates, ice-creams, etc. to comfort yourself from boredom, emotional turmoil, stress, etc. it sends your body into a sudden high as sugars rise in your body with all these foods.
But then the sugars come crashing down making you feel worse. Alternatively, listen to music, dance, go for a drive, watch a funny movie to lift up your spirits. Make herbal tea or black coffee (not more than 2 cups in a day as it is high in caffeine) your comforting ally than sugary foods. Prepare healthy and fancy food at home like Lebanese salad from quinoa, cous cous with apricots, to satisfy your cravings.
It is human nature to feel restricted on a diet and the need to justify the occasional indulgences. Most of the people who derail from a diet justify it by saying that it’s just once a week. But in that one day, they create a major dent in their weight loss efforts.
Instead, identify just one meal in a week where you can indulge and give yourself a calorie allowance. Do not go over the calorie allowance during that meal. This way you feel more in control without losing your head to the process.
Over confidence once you reach target weight
A few people start celebrating too soon. ‘I lost my weight, reached my target weight, now I can eat whatever I want’ is their attitude. No, you can’t eat whatever you want. The minute you do that you will regain the lost weight. Moreover, they feel that a little out of control eating will do no harm and even if they gain some weight, they can lose it all over again.
So, in effect, weight loss starts with your mind. When you are able to control the negative thoughts and start on a productive journey. Remember, weight loss is a personal goal and you are doing it for yourself, for your own health and no one else.
Weight loss will make your feel better, agile and healthy.
To stick to a diet and exercise programme, one should
Make a lifestyle change
Focus on lifestyle change. It is more like a marathon than a sprint. You should not aim to lose weight as a short term goal for a wedding or birthday. You should make eating healthy and exercising regularly a habit.
Make a cheat meal plan
As discussed earlier, keep one meal a week as a cheat meal where you can eat your favourite food. Plan the meal, keep a calorie allowance and don’t go over it. It will keep your guilt at bay and help you sustain your healthy lifestyle.
Shift focus on health benefits
It would help to shift focus on the benefits of health rather than focusing on weight loss goals. A dietary programme can help increase blood circulation, help in increasing anti-ageing properties in your body, in controlling medical conditions, and reducing stress levels of the body.
Ask support from friends and family
Support from close friends and family need to be present. They need to exert polite and passive control over the individual on the diet plan rather than assertive control. It will help to motivate the individual for the consistent efforts.
Take up activity of your choice
If you don’t like gym, sign up for Zumba or any other exercise classes of your choice. The idea is to move around, boosting your cardio health and in the process burn calories.
Drink enough water
An adult should consume at least 4 litres of water in a day. It could be in the form of clear soups, coconut water, flavoured water, lemon water, chaas or plain water. Drinking water also keeps you full for long.
Be your own cheer leader
Lapses in the diet are a part of the journey of weight loss. One does not need to pin down or demoralise oneself due to the lapses (inability to follow the diet consistently). The aim is to get back on track immediately once you make an unhealthy choice.
Hope you liked the post on how not to give up on diet during your weight loss journey.
You can also read about the Mumbai street food that you can eat during weight loss, that will not sabotage your diet.
You can also take tips from the weight loss heroes who managed to lose a lot of weight with lifestyle management.
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