There is no greater reason to diet than for your personal health and well being. Those of us who are overweight know better than most the risks and possible consequences that may result because of our weight. Much like smokers however, the risks do not always seem quite so cut and dry until we reach our very own turning point. Whether your eating habits are born of an addiction to certain foods, an emotional need, or years of learned behavior and conditioning things will not change until you completely adjust your eating habits and your lifestyle choices.
Dieting for many has become a lifestyle in and of itself with people rapidly flip-flopping or yo-yoing from one diet to another with little success and growing despair over a sheer lack of results. The truth is that until you decide to forgive yourself for your failures and get right back on the wagon, so to speak, after falling off no diet is going to be successful. A simple diet isn’t going to magically make the pounds disappear and constantly depriving yourself of those things you enjoy most may have a more detrimental effect than a positive effect.
The number one thing most people need to learn is that dieting isn’t always a good thing. What most people who are overweight need more than anything else is to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into their daily routines. People scoff at the notion of taking the stairs or parking farther away and yet those are perfectly plausible methods of working a little more physical activity into your day. If those do not work for you how about learning to dance? Seriously, there are beginner dance classes in most communities that will welcome and invite dances of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels if you are willing to make the effort. What a great way to get fit, learn something new, and have fun without filling deprived.
Another great thing about an activity such as a dance class (consider ballroom dancing with your significant other) is that you are not eating or tempted to eat during the time that you are dancing in most cases. Another great thing is that you are burning those calories you didn’t eat. If dancing isn’t you thing, try joining a walking club or finding another hobby. Anything that gets you on your feet and away from the temptation of your refrigerator is a good thing when it comes to dieting and weight loss. You cannot lose a significant amount of weight by dieting alone. You must incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine in order to achieve those immediate and visually stunning results that many dieters are hoping to achieve.
Another pitfall when it comes to dieting is that people give up far too quickly. Just as the results are beginning and progressing people get tired of the process or frustrated that they aren’t accomplishing enough dramatic weight loss as quickly as they had hoped and give up all together marking off yet another failure when they could have achieved greater success than ever before if they had stuck with their original diet plan a little longer.
One more thing you should remember when it comes to dieting is that the scale can be your best friend or your worst enemy when dieting. If you are weighing yourself every day in hopes of watching the scale tick off yet another pound you are dooming yourself to failure. You will never achieve the results you are hoping for you if you are going into depressive bouts of Rocky Road or Chunky Monkey every night because you didn’t lose 10 pounds overnight.
When it comes to dieting there are very few diets that work. There are however, many lifestyle changes that when practiced consistently and aggressively will work. The thing to remember is that you are the one who must work because it is quite unlikely that any diet will.
So many people view dieting as some sort of cosmic punishment for not having the perfect body. They believe that enjoying food is somehow bad for them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to be completely honest with yourself, when it comes to dieting, it isn’t about giving up food or flavor; it’s about discovering new foods and flavors. At least that is what it is for those who truly love food as well as adventure.
There are many spices out there that can make even the blandest of foods a little exciting. Fish and chicken are popular diet foods because they are lean meats. However, adding a little blackening seasoning is a great way to put a little punch in your meal that will make it taste great without packing on the calories of dressing marinades or soaking in butter before broiling. You do not have to stop there. Italian seasoning can also add a little flavor to your kitchen without adding the extra calories that you are working so hard to avoid.
There are all kinds of seasonings that will work well in this instance. Many great seasonings for chicken also make great additions to chicken that will be included in salads for healthier lunches or salad wraps. Grains are good for you when you concentrate on whole grains. They are quite often the primary source of fiber in a diet and you need fiber almost as much as you need water. At any rate, simple things that spice up the same old lunch can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of food.
You can even enjoy the occasional treat when dieting as long as you do so sparingly. The key when dieting is to learn about proper portions and moderate indulgence. You can find all kinds of low sugar or low carb desserts on the market that you can enjoy sparingly. You can even find sugar free or low calorie candy in some cases though you should keep in mind that calories, particularly when it comes to candy you eat unconsciously add up quickly and you must pay close attention to those things you put into your mouth.
My point in all this though is that you do not have to sacrifice flavor in order to diet. You can live without butter; there are many substitutions on the market that are quite remarkable. But seasonings are a great way to add a lot of flavor for a tiny bit of effort on your part. Desserts are also great and you can find many dips and sauces that can be made with fat free or low fat mayonnaise or sour cream in order to cut a few more calories during your dieting process.
These dips and sauces can often make a great substitution, when paired with vegetables, for those chips and dips we love so much and often miss when dieting. Cucumbers, green, red, and yellow peppers, broccoli, and carrot sticks all have a nice little crunch to them that when combined with a good low fat dip can help cure the crave beast for greasy chips that often rears its head when dieting.
If you watch your calories carefully during meals you should be delighted to know that there are many little snack treats that are prepackaged in 100 calorie packs for your enjoyment. This means that you can indulge on occasion in those treats that you love most without sacrificing all your dieting efforts in the process. These snack packs have become one of the best marketing ploys since the invention of diet colas. We all want the benefits of losing weight and will readily admit that if it were a simple process we’d all be thin. However, having something like these hundred calorie snack packs to carry you through the worst of your cravings can mean the difference between dieting success and failure. They are definitely the difference in the old way of dieting and the new way of dieting without sacrificing flavor.
Dieting is far too often approached from the mindset of impending failure. Too many people have tried and failed so many diets in their past that they try the next new diet with the absolute knowledge that they will fail in this attempt as well. Guess what? They will.
Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or think you can’t you will always be right.” If you think you are going to fail at this diet you are dooming yourself to failure before you even deprive yourself of the first bite. Think about that before you begin because only a true masochist could find pleasure in perpetuating this vicious cycle without ever stopping to wonder why none of the other diets have worked for you. Henry Ford also said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”. In case you were wondering I would say his words are quite profound. Seriously though, if you do not examine the reasons for your failures you are certainly dooming yourself to repeat them and if you are already planning to fail why on earth would you even try?
You are the only person who can take control of your need to eat. You are the only one who can pay attention and notice when you are eating for emotional fulfillment and when you are eating from necessity. You and you alone can get yourself out of your chair and on your feet. You are the only one that can take the responsibility for the condition in which you find yourself. There are medical exceptions but even in these situations if you are trying diet after diet and failing over and over again then you must at some point in time realize that it is quite likely not the diets that aren’t working.
We must all be accountable for our successes and failures in life. It is no different when it comes to dieting. There are few better feelings in the world than for someone to notice and compliment your efforts. If you are very obese unfortunately, it may take a little more time for people to actually notice the weight you’ve lost. Too many men and women give up simply because no one noticed and that is an incredible shame. Give your dieting practices an opportunity to work before you decide they are a failure and you just might surprise yourself with a roaring success.
The truth is far too few people hold themselves accountable to their dieting and weight loss goals. This means that far too many people are giving up without really ever bothering to give it an effort. If you have an issue holding yourself accountable to your dieting plans, perhaps you would do well to diet with a partner. This helps you not only set goals but also to meet and exceed challenges along the way. A partner can also benefit from the partnership as he or she will be challenged and feel the need to perform better than if he or she were dieting alone.
You must hold yourself accountable to your stated dieting and weight loss goals in order to achieve any lasting results. If you have not had dieting success in the past, then perhaps it is time to bring some degree of accountability into the picture and make it happen.