No one wants to diet—ever—but almost everyone does at some point. There are five pitfalls that not only sabotage weight loss but also make it harder to try again after every failed attempt. Here’s how to avoid them…
1. Don’t Rely on Willpower
Never avoid sinful foods. Instead, look up healthy versions and have plenty of them prepared before starting your diet. When you have a sugar-free, dairy-free, blueberry-coconut cheesecake in the fridge, you’ll be deaf to the calls from the toxic sweets aisle. Lemon-thyme baked vegetable chips keep your hand out of the hip-expanding trans-fat potato chip bag. Make a list of the worst culprits in your regular routine and have angelic versions on hand before you start.
2. Have Dessert for Breakfast
Look up the recipe for an all-raw brownie made with pure ingredients (make it once on the weekend; you’ll have a full tray for the week or longer). Now top it with your healthy cheesecake. Both foods are also perfect places to add power foods and supplements: Matcha tea powder, raw unsweetened protein, Siberian Ginseng (excellent for your brain), MCT oil (pure brain food), etc. This will do two things: A) You’re starting your day with brain-feeding power food, and B) Diet? What diet? You’re having fudge brownies and cheesecake for breakfast! It sets the right tone mentally, physically, and emotionally.
3. Don’t Start With Juice Unless…
Firstly, never have fruit juice. Ever. Never jolt your system with sugar that’s been stripped of its fiber. But even if you polished off your Diet Halo and you’re having all-green juice, make sure you have a plan for what you’ll be eating an hour later (like your power fudge brownie). If green juice is all you have between the time you wake up and lunch, the vending machine will play tricks on you by 10 a.m. (and a grumbling tummy is no fun).
4. Don’t Set a Time Limit
By designating one week or a certain number of days for your diet, you’re setting yourself up to go back to bad food habits at the “end” of your diet (you’re also programming your mind into thinking healthy eating is a jail sentence you want to break free from). That said, “forever” might feel overwhelming, so don’t set any time limit, long or short. Assume your new choices won’t be for any certain number of days and perhaps not forever. Turn your focus on #1: learning how to make your favorites in healthy ways using clean ingredients. You’re not on a diet; you’re on a culinary exploration.
5. Don’t Advertise
Some trainers suggest telling everyone about your diet so that it’ll create accountability. You don’t need that pressure and you don’t need the judgment should you fall off the wagon. Cry Wolf Syndrome can kick in, and you might get people unintentionally discouraging you: “Another diet? How many minutes are you going to last this time?” Keep your goals to yourself and enjoy the other kinds of comments that come with success: “Have you changed something? You’re looking fantastic.” Should you fall off the wagon, shrug it off and move on, which will be a lot easier to do without feeling like you’re under a microscope and having people ask you how much weight you’ve lost every day.
What’s the first sugar-heavy, overprocessed food that you’re going to replace with one containing only pure ingredients? TIP: raw food connoisseurs have this down to a science; borrow from their recipes. It doesn’t mean you need to go all raw.