I hate committing to a diet. More so, I hate committing to a diet that also requires exercise. Why havent we invented magical syrup that just burns calories for us? Surely theres some fad diet that really works where I dont have to do anything but eat what I want and magically stay thin.
Yeah, not likely.
Losing weight is a commitment that goes from habit to lifestyle choice. You have to commit to eating healthy, no matter what. And many times, fitness instructors and dieticians will scold you for having things like cookies and chocolate or not exercising every day. So what can the regular commitment-phobe do to try and stay on track?
Dont quit cold turkey.
Not all of us are built to quit cold turkey. Before I really made the lifestyle change I needed to, I started by cutting out foods that were the worst—candies, soda, a ton of sweets to get me through the day. Quitting outright seemed miserable and very un-fun. I started out by cutting candy for about two weeks. Then, soda got the ax. I found that quitting things in stages helped me stay on track and avoid any withdrawals or crashes along the way.
After a few weeks, I had cut out most of the foods that were more habit than need. It can take a long time to break a habit, so keep yourself mentally aware of what youre eating throughout the day. If you find yourself reaching for a sweet or soda, its not because you need it, its because youve formed the habit of wanting it.
Dont guilt yourself if you cheat.
Guilting yourself about anything, really, isnt a great mentality. I often found myself reaching for a candy bar in the two weeks I wasnt supposed to be having sweets. It was more of a habit than anything else, but most of the time I stopped myself from actually eating it.
However, when that failed and I ate the forbidden fruit, I moved on. I didnt sit at my desk after lunch and mourn progress lost. I chalked it up to knowing that its a habit I need to break. Realizing that most of it is habit really helped me get my eating under control.
Dont eat less because you think it makes you lose weight.
Too many times Ive heard both men and women say they need to eat less. However, eating less can actually have the opposite desired affect and can make it much harder to lose weight as your body goes into starvation mode. Slimming down on portion sizes is usually a better idea, but cutting out meals all together can damage your body and make you feel like crap.
Instead, substitute. As I began cutting out sweets and soda, Id replace them with things like fruit, nuts, and flavored water. I dont mean sports drinks, either, which often have a ton of sugar and sodium. Try freezing lemons or fruit and investing in an infuser water bottle to give your water a little more interest.