What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear someone talk about going on a “diet”? If you are like most people, you probably instantly thought about all the things you “cannot eat”. Maybe the word “strict” crossed your mind. Many times, when people talk diets, it tends to revolve around whatever the “fad” diet is. At some point, we have all been to the place of wanting results so bad we are willing to do whatever “fad” diet gives high hopes of FAST results. We hear someone had great results with “Keto” or “Paleo”so maybe we try that. Or what about those “all shake” diets? Before jumping into a diet, which tries to promise instant results, check out some of these insightful points to consider! This is by no means a negative approach, instead consider throwing out the diet and, instead, focus on making a nutrition change you can incorporate as a lifestyle!
You Expect Instant Results. We all get a little impatient with things in life. Many times while dieting we do not even give it enough time to actually see any results. We may get impatient or frustrated and fall off or just give up. When it comes to dialing in your nutrition, it is a process which takes time. There is no one size fits all plan, despite what some companies may try to get you to believe. Bottom line is, no one single diet will work for everyone. You have to trust a process of finding what works best for YOU!
You Avoid Certain Foods Completely. If you’re following a diet plan that completely restricts foods and food groups (unless it’s for medical reasons, allergies, intolerance, etc.) this can set you up for disaster! It could potentially cause you to burn out and binge eat, or when you do decide to have a “treat”, completely lose all self control. Yes, some restriction is going to have to be set if you want to see results. You cannot expect to eat the same foods in the same amounts and get results. Instead, become aware of what and how much you are eating. Be mindful of your food choices. Always ask if they will help you reach your goals. If the answer is no, maybe you should steer clear! By choosing to fill the majority of your diet with lean meat/protein, veggies, healthy fats, complex carbs, and some fruits you will find yourself staying fuller longer and will notice less cravings!
You’re Not Eating Enough. This is something I see all the time. People who want to lose weight start cutting calories, skipping meals, or think the less they eat the more weight they will lose. This couldn’t be more wrong!! Yes, in order to lose weight/body fat you will need to be in a calorie deficit. However, if you set your body into too much of a deficit, it will have the opposite effect. Instead, your metabolism will slow down, you will hold on to the last meal you ate, and survival mode kicks in. If this sounds like you, instead of skipping meals or counting calories, just focus on consuming 3-4 meals per day. Choose real foods and make sure you are getting protein, veggies, complex carbs, and some healthy fats with each meal. Once you create this habit, you can explore other options and ways to incorporate a sound nutrition plan.
You’re Stressed Out. Stress could be what’s preventing you from seeing results. There are a number of things causing stress in our lives on a daily basis whether it is work, family, even working out causes added stress. When you add on a new diet, this can add even more stress into the mixture, especially if it’s difficult to follow. When stress is high, it can create all sorts of havoc such as, weight gain, fat gain, muscle loss, sleep disturbances to name a few.
You Make Excuses A Lot. Excuses can come in all different forms. It could be as little as “I don’t have time to meal prep” so you decided to drink meal replacements shakes all day or find yourself in the fast food line. You begin to start justifying things, saying things like, “I worked out extra hard and ‘ate clean’ all day so I can totally have an oversized ice cream sundae loaded with all the toppings”. Everyone is busy and has things going on. If reaching your goals is important, you will take the time to make time. Look over all the activities which consume your time and ask if there something you could cut out or move around?
You Refuse To Change. Change is something which can be challenging for anyone. In order for us to reach our goals concerning nutrition, something has to change. We cannot expect to keep doing things the same way and expect different results. I like the quote, “if nothing changes, then nothing changes”. Not sure if it’s trademarked! Change doesn’t have to be drastic. It can happen in small steps. If you want to be successful in reaching your goals, start to pay attention to certain habits and behaviors. At some point you will have to accept the fact you may need to change certain things and understand, at the end of the day, you, and only you, are in control of your behaviors and the nutrition choices you make.
You Approach It With A Negative Mindset. Your mindset will make or break you. If you jump into a diet plan already thinking it won’t work, it probably won’t work! The mind is a powerful tool. Second guessing things, telling yourself you’ll never reach your goals, only to come to the “false” conclusion of you believing you weren’t strict enough, you were lazy, or you don’t have any willpower. STOP, right there. Starting with a negative mindset will stack things up against you before you even begin! Instead of thinking you failed, have some faith and trust the process. Start off with a positive mindset. Be mindful of your behaviors and choices. Believe in yourself and know you can do it. It will be hard and it will take time, but you will have to be patient and know you are in control.
You Think You Have To Give Up Your Social Life. You like to go out with friends on the weekend, you have lunch dates, you enjoy the nightlife, etc. You think you have to give all that up while you are on a diet. So you either cut off anything, which requires you to be social or you say “F” it and go all out on the weekends. Either of those options will not support a healthy lifestyle change! When it comes to social events, it just requires you to be more mindful and aware of what you choose to consume. Maybe you take a few extra minutes before going out to look over the menu and find the best option to support your goals. Maybe you choose to have only 1 drink verse 5. If you make sure to always have your goals in mind and choose the best option to support those goals, you are golden. Remember, you want to get commit to a nutrition plan you can stick with. Social events are always going to be there.
You’re Doing It Alone. Without a support system, starting a new nutrition plan can be overwhelming to say the least. Especially if you have people around you who do not understand why you are choosing to do it. By surrounding yourself with people who support your decisions, it will motivate and encourage you which will help tremendously. Taking it another step further, would be to hire a nutrition coach. They can help get you on the right path and help educate you along the way. Plus, it always helps to have someone there for accountability!
Hopefully some of those points gave you a different perspective on dieting. Instead of going on a “diet”, learn to make nutrition choices you can sustain for life! For more advice on all these topics come to our first nutrition seminar at CrossFit Elkhorn led by our nutrition expert Liz Jenkins. Give us a call or send us an email to sign up: 402-916-4623 or firstname.lastname@example.org