Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

5 Ways We Fool Ourselves into Failing at Weight Loss

John McGran, chief editor at Diet-to-Go, has been covering the fields of diet, fitness and health since 2000. He writes from the perspective of a dieter rather than a dietitian.

They say a fool and his money are soon parted. I say a dieting fool and his weight are doomed to stay together!

Today we’re turning our attention to the five ways we fool ourselves into failing at dieting.

1. I’ll start my diet Monday… or tomorrow.

The best time to start a diet is today… right now, in fact. I’m a procrastinator. I know how easy it is to set a future date to get started on a project or a diet.

But, by giving yourself extra days before getting serious, you’re simply allowing yourself to continue on with the bad habits that led you to being overweight in the first place.

And if you’re like me you’ll spend the extra days eating everything and anything, like a condemned man trying to gobble up all his favorites before his sentence is carried out. The end result: You’ll probably gain even more weight before you start dieting. Or, worse yet, by the time Monday rolls around you’ll lose the resolve that led you to consider a diet.

Do yourself a big favor and get started NOW.

2. I don’t have time for exercise!

Got a job that gets you out of the house early and doesn’t get you home until late? Got kids? Got other commitments?

Oh, boo hoo. Everyone is busy. That’s just how life is. If you want to exercise and burn more calories you CAN find the time.

I got up an hour earlier today to write this column. I could just have easily bypassed the computer and headed to the basement to walk on the treadmill for 30-45 minutes before the wife and kids get up.

And what about the evening hours? Do you really have to sit on the couch, glued to your TV, watching hour after hour of must-see TV? If you answered YES, then consider squeezing in exercises during commercial breaks or treadmill walking while you watch.

Better yet, force yourself to head outdoors for an honest-to-goodness back-to-nature walk.

You can lose weight without exercise; you won’t lose as much weight as quickly!

3. That extra slice of pizza or a dish of ice cream won’t hurt!

Recent studies show it’s all about the calories folks. Can you enjoy an occasional treat? By all means. Can you fit in a treat a day? Sure… if you really aren’t interested in losing weight.

They say nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I say let’s test that belief and all get thinner!

Seriously, it’s the treats and extra helpings that have helped us into bigger clothes, worse health and greater depression about our weight.

Don’t stop the treats. But make sure they are healthy treats. Fruits… veggie stix and low-fat dip… popcorn (without butter)… 100-calorie snack packs…

There are plenty if options. Seek them out and use them sparingly.

4. I hate sharing my feelings with others and will be fine going it alone!

As the many success stories I’ve written over the years show, dieters do better when they lean on like-minded individuals for support and motivation. By being held accountable for your actions you’re less likely to binge or “cheat” on your diet. Having someone to talk to or exercise with helps keep you on the right track.

Don’t go it alone. There really is safety in numbers. Studies show those of us who diet with support do better… much better.

5. All diets are the same!

Yes, it’s all about cutting calories and increasing activity. But no, it’s not about cutting out entire food groups or ingesting nothing but liquids.

Trendy diets come and go… just like your extra pounds. Coincidence? I think not.

It’s old school, but moderation is the key. Enjoying a well-rounded diet will help you stay the course without the boredom or yearnings that lead to straying.

A diet is simply an eating plan. So be sure to make it one that is sustainable. If you consider a diet something with a start and finish date, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Look at what you eat now and make better choices like diet soda rather than regular, skim milk rather than 2%, or more veggies and less meat.

For more helpful insight from Diet-to-Go Chief Editor John McGran, check out these articles:

See our Diet-to-Go review or visit Diet-to-Go now.

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September 24th, 2010

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