A desire to lose weight can be something we think about several times a day. Upon waking, when standing on the scale first thing in the morning, when selecting what to wear, when going to the cafeteria for lunch, when thinking about ‘deserving’ that new dress (or not), when regretting that pair of smaller jeans we bought for motivational purposes – the list goes on.
So, the day comes when we decide ‘this is the day I’m starting my diet.’ Usually, after 2-3 days, or 2-3 weeks, one tires of the restrictions and additional thoughts of weight management and, in 91% of cases, the diet fails. Self-blame follows and the old habits arrive shortly thereafter.
Why do the diets keep failing? Where are the errors in the foundation that prevent the house from standing strong? Why is this always so hard? The good news is, the diet is probably faulty, not the individual, and yes, many common pitfalls can be avoided with a little planning.
5 ways you’ll know your diet is set up for Failure
1) Booby trap Number 1
Your diet is not designed for your typical day and typical week. The diet sounds good on paper but does not mention anything about rushed mornings trying to get out of the house, restaurant or airplane foods, how to find time to shop and cook in a completely new way, how to eliminate or substitute snacks in the car, grocery store aisle, and TV armchair, etc.
2) Success Problem Number 2
Your diet does not have failure built into it! If your car breaks down on the road, normally you wouldn’t consider standing by the roadside forever. So if an extra ice cream is eaten, it does not mean that the diet is ‘over’ and we’re doomed. If a day of dieting is not perfect, there needs to be a guidance system in place to get back on track without much ado. Understanding detours, preparing for them, and maneuvering a few of these makes the dieting journey more likely to be successful.
3) Wobbly Foundation Problem Number 3
Taking a couple of steps back, did we answer the question why we want to have a new weight in the first place? If we are at our personal best, what will that give us? What values are showing up? What images are motivating above and beyond the idea of suffering through another plain salad? Capturing the long term, deep spirit of wellness should feel very good. A life well spent, a legacy left behind, a chance to play with grandchildren and participate fully in life at any age. Make a list of the real reason of going on a diet.
4) Negative Motivators Create Problem Number 4
The diet was started with a feeling of lack, fear, self-hate, overwhelm, victim feeling, jealousy, hopelessness, and a bridge to build about as big as the Golden Gate, with goals way out beyond the fog somewhere. The negative inner voices are criticizing all day, yet are responsible for us diving into the box of cookies at night! A diet set up this way is a vicious circle. What would the inner Goddess say? Or the courageous warrior who is ready to fight for what is right, even in the face of all odds? Making self-loving, empowering decisions in the here and now will create a huge shift.
5) Going-it-Alone Pitfall Number 5
Your diet was set up all alone and is based on sheer willpower. This is a sure sign that the diet is going to be draining. Defending one’s choices at parties, at the office, with friends, or at the family dinner table can make the program seem like you’re the ‘odd man out.’ Support comes in many shapes and sizes; in individuals, groups, apps, organizers, lists, etc. Positive support that is integrated into the program will boost chances of success more than 60%, so it is worth the effort to let your self be cheered on.
Like any endeavor, a weight loss diet needs careful planning and a 360 degree approach. Effective preparation and problem solving tactics, in advance, will pave the path to sustainable healthy habits.