Has your diet come to a complete halt? It could be because you are making these 5 big dieting mistakes.
1. Top of the dieting mistakes, Changing everything at once.
So many of us have an all or nothing mindset, which does hold us back in terms of weightloss. What that means is we go for it 100% and try to change everything at once. We change our eating, start going to the gym every day, stop all food that might be deemed bad. It’s like we are Olympic dieters going for that gold medal.
The trouble with this dieting mistake is that it is unsustainable. We cannot cope long term with so many changes all at once. We must make changes in small incremental steps. This is because our unconscious is used to how things are now. In our mind we are safe and alive. When we change everything at once our unconscious is out of its comfort zone. It wants to pull us right back into what it knows. Hence we end up going back to our old patterns.
To make change sustainable, list all the changes you want to make and prioritise them into what you want to change first.
Work out how you are going to change each step. Change that one thing first and wait till it is a permanent change before you go onto the next change.
Now this will take you longer, but it does mean that these new habits will stick for longer. This is what leads to permanent weight loss and avoiding these 5 big dieting mistakes.
2. Stop obsessing over the scales
Some of us step on the scales once even twice a day. In reality we are going to fluctuate our weight a little throughout the day. An extra 0.5lb or 1lb is not going to make any difference because that will come off as quickly as it goes on.
The scale is only a guideline. Use it only once a week and only so you can track your progress. What happens is we get caught up in the numbers and then base our emotions on those numbers. We start feeling happy, angry frustrated by the number rather than noticing our achievements and what has caused us to slip up during the week.
There are other ways to track your weight, for instance; by measuring our waist, chest and bum. Trying on old clothes that used to fit us and noticing how closer we are to fitting in them again. Measuring your fitness and strength ability is much more satisfying. Weigh yourself once a week, just don’t get your emotions caught up in it.
3. Not working on your mindset.
This is a biggie that you do not hear about that often. Many diet and slimming companies focus on the food and exercise and not the mindset. It is one of the dieting mistakes because it is the thing that everything comes from. Our unconscious is the driving force behind all that we do and we may not even be aware of it. This is where our thoughts come from which then leads to our behaviours. It is what drives us to binge or go for that chocolate cake. If we only focus on the outside, we are always going to go back to our same patterns, because we have not worked on our thoughts.
We often want to stay away from this bit because it is a dark and murky world. It is grey instead of black, so where do we start?
Start by practicing mindfulness, observe our thoughts and behaviours around food and always ask WHY…..
4. Ignoring your hunger cues
We do this because we want to stop overeating. A thought is that by ignoring our hunger it will go away – sorry no. We get better at ignoring our hunger. We then learn to switch off the mind/stomach connection and then we are dissociated from our bodies.
Now, this is where we need a bit of common sense and tuning into our bodies. Doing well on a diet is when we are tuned into our bodies and able to read what it needs. The common sense part is if you have just eaten and you are still hungry, it makes sense that you are probably not hungry. If we are it could be because we are nutrient deficient and our bodies are craving greens, vitamins and minerals. Eat an apple or some fruit.
Say we have not eaten for a while, but it is not the time to eat, go with your body and eat. Because if you switch off the hunger signals all that happens is it starts at a 3 and before you know it, it has moved to a 10 and then you are ravenous and that is when you reach out usually for junk food.
Listen to your body and eat something but make it as healthy as you can. Fruit is a good option here, grapes, apples, oranges, they are light and nutritious.
5. One of the big dieting mistakes-Calling sweet foods treats
I hear this a lot. People say ooh I am just going to treat myself by having 1 chocolate. We set our mind up that this unhealthy food is a treat. We reward ourselves with it when we are good. Only it is not a treat, giving ourselves diabetes and sugar is not a treat for our bodies. We then reward ourselves is by chocolate or some other unhealthy food instead of learning to reward ourselves intrinsically. By that I mean, learning to say positive affirmations to ourselves or telling ourselves we have done well.
To stop this being one of the dieting mistakes, re-phrase the word treat to calling the food by what it is. I am going to have 1 chocolate today. Cut the word treat out and give yourself praise and reward.
Vanessa is a hypnotherapist specialisting in weight loss. She helps you to work through the emotional and psychological reasons stopping you to lose weight.