You started your diet on Monday, after putting it off a few weeks. For the first day it’s fine, you eat your salad, you go to the gym, perfect.
Then you get up on Tuesday, you drive past McDonald’s and it calls to you. You do your best to ignore it, thinking of the fruit salad you have in your bag.
You get to the office and there’s donuts and left over Christmas chocolates. You reluctantly decline. “I can do this” you tell yourself. Your stomach growls in disagreement.
When lunchtime rolls around, your colleagues order in. Pizza. Your mouth waters and your resolve waivers. You chew your salad miserably, thinking about that melted cheese and pepperoni you could be eating instead. An hour later your stomach growls again.
When you leave work you think what the heck, one chocolate bar won’t hurt, I won’t even get a big one. I’ve been good today, I deserve a treat. By eight pm you’ve eaten enough calories for the week and you are firmly living in the after binge guilt.
“I’ll try again tomorrow” you tell yourself as you look at your belly in the mirror with disgust. You’re angry and disappointed in yourself. You go to bed bloated and unhappy and the next day you don’t even bother trying.
The truth is, you were always going to fail. You’d have to have amazing willpower to succeed. And let’s be honest, not many of us have that.
So, how do we lose weight then?
For starters, stop thinking of it as being on a diet because it will be much harder if you decide it is a diet. Instead, address every unhealthy choice as it happens.
For example: you are in the shop buying lunch as normal. Usually, you would choose a bacon, chicken and lettuce sandwich on white bread, a chocolate muffin, and a bottle of coke. Why not swap out the coke for a bottle of water, the muffin for a fruit bag, and the white bread for wholemeal?
You haven’t changed your usual routine drastically but you have picked a healthier option. If you are being serious about losing weight, every time you eat you should go through this thinking process. Try and pick healthier options rather than labelling it a diet and trying to live on salad forever.
Another thing you should remember about diets is that they usually end. People on diets then go back to eating as they were before and put all of the pounds they lost back on. You aren’t on a diet; you are changing the way you live. It’s permanent.
The trouble is that as soon as you deny yourself something, you want it even more. So don’t deny yourself things. Try to pick healthier options in all of your meals/snacks but also remember that everything should be in moderation.
Now apply the same rules to exercise. Usually you finish work out and sit on the sofa watching TV for three hours. You’re exhausted, we get it. Why not pick a healthier option though or incorporate it into your usual routine. Why don’t you take the dog out for a walk for half an hour first? You haven’t missed too much TV time and you’ve done some exercise. Everyone’s happy.
Try to make little, healthier changes everyday and you will start to lose weight without thinking too much about it. Obviously, this is not a quick fix but it is the best way to get healthier and stick to it. We know it’s hard. But those Christmas chocolates won’t work themselves off, will they?