- “I’ll get back on it tomorrow…”
- “I’ve lost control, I need to start again”
- “Tomorrow is a fresh a start”
Who has said one of these this weekend? Well don’t, it could be these little sayings which are sabotaging your long term weight loss efforts.
We hear people talk about: ‘it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle’ but that can be hard to understand. And even harder to put into practice. I want to share a few lessons I’ve learnt about weight loss which will hopefully help you stop loosing control and stop starting again.
After losing 7 stone and then battling to maintain that loss for over 6 years (with a lot of ups and downs) here’s some of my lessons learnt on how not to diet and how to make a healthier lifestyle.
Nobody has a perfect diet, and nobody has a perfect weight loss journey. There will be weeks were you eat cake and drink a bit too much wine, and you will gain weight. That’s OK- that’s what life’s about. And whatever you do: DO NOT punish yourself for being less than perfect. If you punish yourself for it, you’re only making yourself miserable and more likely to fail.
2- Let go the idea of ‘on plan’ and ‘off plan‘
when you think of it as on plan and off plan, it sets this big fat line that once you crossed over, it’s hard to cross back. So once you feel you’ve done something ‘off plan’ you carry on being off plan. It’s not a plan, it’s a lifestyle, some days might be healthier than others, that’s OK. There’s no line- just this slightly grey area in the middle between really healthy days and not at all healthy days. If you’re having a day more edging towards unhealthy don’t think: bah- I’ve been off plan, might as well start again tomorrow/after weigh in. Think, OK- so what can I do to balance this day a bit more so there’s some healthy choices.
Think of them as food ‘to be enjoyed‘. Cake is delicious, it’s amazing, have you tried it? I love it! Some days I want to eat nothing else! But I don’t eat it everyday because that wouldn’t be healthy. As delicious as cake is, nutritionally it isn’t doing a lot for my body, but it does do a lot for my happy face!
If I’m having cake- it will be enjoyed. I will cut a nice satisfying piece (not a tiny slither) and I will sit down with a nice cup of tea (or glass one wine) and I will savour every damn mouthful of that deliciousness. And then I won’t for a second think: I shouldn’t have had that/ what a mistake/ now I’m a failure I might as well eat the rest. As I enjoyed it, one piece of cake isn’t going to undo all the good work. And because I’m not: on plan/ off plan- I can just go about the rest of my day making healthier choices (with a faint smile at my happy belly full of cake).
When you see foods as ‘off plan’ or ‘cheats’ and you restrict yourself from eating them, then you are more likely to binge when you do eat them.
So what if you’ve blown out this weekend and eaten all the cake, and all the chocolate, and washed it down with all the wine. It’s OK. That won’t sabotage your efforts. OK, It might cause a little gain in weight, but that’s OK- nobody expects you to be perfect. OK is good enough to succeed.
Carrying on making poor choices and beating yourself up about it, isn’t the way to deal with it either. Don’t wait for some marker to start again, make some healthier choices today, right now. Start feeling back ‘in control’ right now.
Your body and your sanity will thank you for it!