Today’s guest blog post from Jacky G (blogger for Dr. Stephen Gullo’s blog) has a ton of tips for those of us who’ve been holding onto a little excess weight. Keep reading to find out why what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working and for help in designing your own personalized diet.
We all start new diets with the best of intentions. We swear off desserts and vow to drink only plain tap water. And we feel pretty virtuous about it. For a few days. But the scale doesn’t budge, and then that tiramisu looks sooooo good.
So we do a little bargaining…. If I eat just a little dessert tonight, I’ll skip breakfast tomorrow to make up for it. But the bottom line is: your diet isn’t working. You’re not failing your diet; your diet is failing you.
Many diets are based on the tired old ideas of portion control, eating in moderation and willpower. But how many times have you told yourself that you’ll just eat four potato chips… and then you end up eating half the bag?
These strategies don’t work because they don’t account for the underlying psychology of food issues.
This is Why Your Diet Isn’t Working!
For example, we all have food triggers – those foods that you just can’t stop yourself from scarfing down, whether it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, Sara Lee cheesecake, or yes, even healthy-sounding Raisin Bran (which has a surprising amount of sugar – 18 g per cup).
When you’re overindulging on a food you love, it’s awfully hard to use willpower, portion control and moderation to stop yourself.
Instead of using these failed dieting strategies, reevaluate yourself and your underlying food issues. Do you stress-eat? Do you always have to have popcorn during a movie? It may feel silly, but go ahead and write all that down. Make a list of all of your food triggers.
You may want to keep a food journal for a few days. If so, write down not just all the foods that you eat, but what you were doing and how you felt when you ate them. Identify your eating patterns and habits, and use them to design a diet that actually works for you.
Tips for Designing a Diet that Works for You
For example, make a list of healthy food substitutions that you can use in place of your food triggers. A good food swap has fewer calories, reduced sugar, etc., but it also satisfies your cravings. This helps you avoid food deprivation, which is a big reason that many diets fail.
If you’re a potato chip eater, try flaxseed crackers instead or maybe even homemade kale chips. If you routinely sprinkle sugar on your otherwise healthy whole grain cereal, use zero-calorie stevia instead. Stock your kitchen with these healthy food swaps and keep your food triggers out of your home.
As well, plan your weekly menu in advance (yep, write that down too) to avoid unhealthy food temptations.
Approach your new diet with a different mindset. It shouldn’t be a magic bullet or a quick fix, but rather your new diet is a better way of living. Remind yourself that tasting a cheesecake is temporary, and that you’d much rather fit into that spectacular cocktail dress you just bought.
About the Author
Jacky G. specializes in writing about health, fitness, and medical topics. She writes a weight loss blog for Dr. Stephen Gullo, a renowned expert in the field who has helped some of the biggest names in Hollywood reach their weight loss goals.
What are some of YOUR food swaps? Are you pumped to try some of these suggestions out?