“Why am I always craving sugar?”, “Why am I always hungry?”, ”What happens at 4pm to make me raid the cabinets?”
These are all common questions we receive when counseling clients on weight loss. They’re understandable too. Let’s think about your last diet..
When you started your diet, did you feel deprived or were you significantly restricting your calories?
Our first thought when dieting is to significantly restrict calories in order to lose weight faster. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this, at least in the long term. Cutting calories too much or restricting calories in addition to working out can lead to feelings of deprivation. Your body also fights back, and the scale will stop moving in the direction you want it to. Instead, start finding things that you can make small changes to. Instead of two glasses of wine at night what about switching to one glass, or even saving the glass for the weekend? Instead of your daily pumpkin spiced latte what about brewing your own coffee at home and adding 1 tbsp of pumpkin coffee creamer. Making small changes like this can help you naturally cut back on calories.
When you started your diet, were you eating balanced meals and snacks consistently throughout the day?
We hear a lot from clients that they have a protein shake for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and maybe an apple during the day but something happens around 4pm when they walk in the door from work. It’s like someone takes over their body and brings them right to the cabinet. Sound familiar? Instead of eating like a bird during the day, only to be starving come nightfall, stick to balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Each meal and snack should have a substantial amount of protein and fiber to help keep you full.
When you started your diet, did you cut out all of your favorite foods at once?
Everyone has a favorite food, whether it be homemade cookies, pasta, bread or even soda. Thinking of your brain as a 2-year-old child. What happens when you say, “No don’t touch that?”, the urge for that 2-year-old to touch it just went up significantly. The same goes for your brain. As soon as you say “No I can’t have that” you end up wanting it more. Instead of eliminating all of it at once, make a plan. Having two sodas during the day? What about cutting back to one and having a sparkling water in place of the second one? Nightly sleeve of cookies? What about having one right after dinner and saying, “I can have another tomorrow”.
When you started your diet, did you adapt the all or nothing approach?
If you hit the trifecta with all of these common diet mistakes, you’re not alone. The all or nothing approach to weight loss doesn’t work. We need to show our bodies grace. Focus on one or two small measurable goals each week for you to conquer. Once those goals are met, set one or two more. Setting realistic goals will not only help you establish healthy eating habits, but it will also help you from getting the hungry horrors.
All of these diet mentalities can lead to an initial weight loss, but ultimately because you’re feeling so deprived your body fights back. It triggers your cravings and feelings of deprivation which ultimately leads to binge tendencies and “failure”. The “failure” can lead to frustration and more binge tendencies. This happens right before you attempt to “get back on track”. It’s understandable that your diet isn’t working. So, when are you going to give our dietitians a chance? 😃