There’s nothing worse than watching someone want something so badly and yet they go about it all the wrong way. Weight loss is a prime example of this. I am constantly meeting people who are desperate to lose weight but yet are making mistakes that are not only sabotaging their weight loss goals but potentially harming their bodies, as well.
Common Dieter’s Mistake # 1: Your sole motivation is to get “skinny”.
Sure, we all want to be thin. We’re bombarded every day with toothpick models and the girl beside us at Starbucks in size zero skinny jeans. And it’s okay to have a desire to be thin as one of your motivations. But if it’s your primary motivation, you’ve got trouble brewing.
Ask yourself this, “am I focused on being skinny or being healthy?” Because once your mind makes that switch from wanting to be skinny to wanting to be healthy, you just untapped a whole new world of motivation, will power and determination. This paradigm shift will pull out resources you didn’t know you had. It will drive you to reach your goals in a way that simply wanting to be skinny could never do.
Common Dieter’s Mistake # 2: You rely on nothing but “diet” foods.
If you have a Lean Cuisine in your freezer right now, I’m talking to YOU. So go get it. Yes, right now. And now read me the ingredients. Uh huh…go on….yes…okay, so you’re stumbling a bit….sorry, what’s that? Oh, you can’t pronounce it? Oh, you can’t even read it?
NEWSFLASH: Food manufacturers don’t give a hoot about your waist line or your elevated risk of diabetes! The only thing they care about you losing is the money in your wallet when you buy all their products. Processed food is processed food — and putting a fancy “healthy” label on the front does not detract from the fact that it’s dead.
If it’s been made by scientists (in other words, you have no idea what the ingredients are and you wouldn’t know where to buy such an ingredient), than you can guarantee that it’s not real food! In fact, in order to trick your taste buds (and your eyes) into thinking that it’s fresh food, they’ve injected it with a myriad of preservatives, additives and colorings. So now you’re getting food that’s void of most it’s original nutrients AND man-made toxins to pollute your liver. You might as well write “I’m a Sucker” on your forehead the next time you go grocery shopping.
Common Dieter’s Mistake # 3: You buy fat-free EVERYTHING.
Repeat after me: Fat is my friend.
Now before you go about trying to burn me at the stake, hear me out. I was at the grocery store the other day and there were two obese women on either side of me. We were at the dairy section and I couldn’t help but notice both of them grabbing fat-free products. One put fat-free yogurt in her cart and the other grabbed fat-free cottage cheese. As I glanced in their carts, I noticed that nearly everything they had was fat-free this or fat-free that. Now, we all know that we need to be mindful of our fats but let’s not get all Atkins-crazy about it — the body needs fat! Just like it needs carbs and protein. So do yourself a favor and opt for the 1.5% cottage cheese and the low-fat yogurt. Then go eat an avocado while you Google “healthy fats”. My five year olds can tell you the difference between a “good fat” and a “bad fat” so you have no excuse.
Common Dieter’s Mistake # 4: You’ve cut out refined sugar from your diet (YAY!) and replaced it with artificial sweeteners (BOO!).
If Ninjas kidnapped me in the night and stuck me in a dark cell while demanding that I drink a soda before they’d release me for ransom, I’m telling you right now that I would pick the regular before I’d ever drink a diet. Of course, I’m assuming these Ninjas know their stuff about HFCS and could offer me a cane sugar soda but you get the point. I’d opt for real sugar any day. If you’re still on the aspartame band wagon, you must not realize that this chemically-produced additive wasn’t even adequately tested by the FDA before it’s approval in ’74 and has now been linked to all sorts of neurological disorders (that’s your BRAIN, people…have some respect!), including brain cancer in lab rats. In fact, 85% of the FDA’s public complaints are for aspartame-related issues.
I also come across hordes of dieters who still think Splenda is a smart substitute for sugar. Please tell me how eating CHLORINE is a smart thing? Anyone?
Splenda is chlorinated sugar and is just as guilty as it’s next-door-neighbor Mr. Aspartame.
And if you’re still not entirely sure you agree with me, ask yourself this:
In your best guess, what does your body think about having to process chlorine and foreign chemicals? Do you think that having to break down and eliminate them is as easy for your body as, say, maple syrup that comes from a tree? Or brown rice syrup that comes from a whole grain? These are sweeteners, too, but they’re ones that your body can assimilate without going into survival mode and putting your liver on red alert!
Deprivation is for dieters who don’t know how to eat well.
Finally, please remember this one thing: losing weight successfully is not about “dieting well”, it’s about “eating well”. That means eating foods that your body needs and not subjecting it to man-made concoctions. It means looking past a caloric number and appreciating what’s inside that calorie first.
Recognize that your body deserves premium fuel and you’ll see that food is not your enemy but in fact, it’s your BFF. Suddenly, your problem isn’t about struggling to stay under your daily caloric limits but instead, you’re feeling so full that you wonder how you’re going to eat all the calories you need! And then you enter a whole new world of “dieting”. Where your diet is no longer your calorie restrictions but your lifeline. And that’s when you stop dieting and begin living.