The 5 Most Common Mistakes of Serial Dieters – Part 1

The thing about this weather is that you have absolutely no idea what you are going to be wearing from one day to the next.  And the problem with that is that you end up spending ages in your wardrobe.

And the problem with that is that if you are me, or a girl, or breathing even, you then spend a huge amount of time wondering what still fits you from last time you wore it!  And being really cross if it doesn’t!

It’s enough to make you weep.  And swear to go on a diet immediately.

As many of you know, I’m really against dieting. When I launched Juice Fasting in the UK in 2008 it really wasn’t meant as a weight loss tool.  I meant it as a way to hide micronutrients, sea greens and loads of strong tasting stuff into juices so you couldn’t taste them.

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Of course, when you take loads of micro nutrients you end up losing loads of weight.  So………………What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah. Dieting.

Dieting is bad, bad, bad for you. On so many levels.  However, restricting calories generally is a good thing. It helps you to live longer, be healthier, think more clearly etc.

So does that mean that if we eat less, but we don’t ‘Diet’ it’s good for you? Hmmm. [Whilst we all think about that, I have some tips down below on how to NOT diet]

The 5 Most Common Mistakes of Serial Dieters

Bad Habit #1: Going “on a diet” in the first place.

Since when did the word “diet” refer to something good? It implies restriction, limitation and a short-lived effort to get some quick results.  Surveys have shown that people who consider themselves to be “dieting” lose less weight and encounter more problems (such as plateaus and a lack of motivation) than people who are trying to lose weight by creating a lasting healthy lifestyle. Plus diets usually mean giving things up: favourite foods, dining out, desserts—even your social life.  Of course, when you tell yourself you can’t have something, you usually want it more.

Smart Fix: Ditch the diets for good.  Focus on creating a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious foods and small, realistic changes that you can live with for the long term.

Bad Habit #2: Overhauling your eating habits overnight.

How many times have you gone crazy eating all the “bad” foods you know you shouldn’t, only to promise to swear off them next week or next month or next year in an orgy of guilt?

How’s that working for you? No one can expect to change a lifetime of eating habits overnight.  To lose weight successfully and keep it off, adopt a way of eating that you can stick with for the rest of your life.

Smart Fix: Eating healthy isn’t about taking food away; it’s about eating MORE of the things that are good for you. To be successful, implement small, realistic changes to your diet. E.g. set a small goal like eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

Bad Habit #3: Giving up certain foods altogether.

Do you feel out of control when you’re around certain foods or do you believe you’ll get results if you were to just cut out wheat, gluten, carbs, sugar, or dairy?

A truly healthy diet that you can stick with forever will include all the foods you love. Unless you plan to give up ice cream or bread forever, then don’t cut anything out temporarily. Generally, people can give up foods like that for a while and see some weight loss success (usually because they’re eating fewer calories, not because anything about that specific food causes weight problems). But as soon as that food is let back into your life, the weight tends to come back with it.

Smart Fix: All things in moderation. Don’t focus on the foods you can’t have. Set goals to eat more of the foods that are good for you. This is a more positive way to get results. Plus, it will prevent crazed binges that can occur when you’re feeling weak.

Bad Habit #4: Only caring about calories.

Calories are key to weight loss. In fact, balancing your calorie equation (what you eat and what you burn) is what results in successful weight management. However, there is more to a healthy lifestyle than calories alone. Some foods that may be higher in calories per serving are actually healthier for you than foods that may be lower in calories (e.g. avocado vs. a 100-calorie pack of pretzels). So while calories count, nutrition matters, too.

Smart Fix: While tracking your calories, don’t forget to look at other key nutrients like protein and healthy fats (both of which can keep you full) and key vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. Make choices that meet your protein, fat, carbohydrate and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) goals.

Bad Habit #5: Focusing on the scale.

You want to lose weight, so you weigh yourself, right? Yes…and no. Weight is an easy way to measure your progress, but it doesn’t tell you the whole story. Even if the scale isn’t budging, that does not mean that you’re not making major progress toward losing weight and getting healthier. You can lose inches, get fitter, gain lean muscle mass, drop body fat, become better hydrated, look better and feel more energised without the pounds budging at all.

Smart Fix: Remember that the scale tells you only one thing: the total mass of all your body parts at a given moment.  Weigh yourself less frequently (about once every 1-2 weeks), and track all the other signs that amazing changes are happening in your body even if the scale doesn’t move. This is the best way to stay motivated for the long haul.