Cheating On A Diet: Avoid The Tailspin!
Whether it's your first time trying to lose weight or if you're an experienced calorie-counter, there is always the temptation to cheat.
Waking up to the smell of bacon, driving past the local McDonald's, or even something as trivial as a commercial for Popeye's new chicken and a biscuit combo can set off a craving that breaks your willpower and has you reaching for the car keys or moves those once steady legs to the fridge.
Here are some thoughts on how prevent a tail-spin.
Keep things in perspective
Remember that nobody is perfect! A small slip in your diet can actually prevent a total breakdown or food binge down the road and striving for perfection in your weight loss program will only hurt your progress in the long run.
The book, The Secret is Out, puts it best when it says, "the dieter who strives for good health has drive, while perfectionist dieter is driven." The perfectionist dieter will set their goals high and struggle trying to accomplish them due to self-recrimination following any little slip along the way, whereas healthy dieters will also set the bar high but have far less frustration trying to get there due to there ability to keep things in perspective.
No matter how many cookies you pass up at the grocery store, or how many holidays or parties you make it through without overindulging, chances are at some point you're going to give in. An important thing to understand is that your craving, or need to cheat, is all in your head and not a real physiologic need. Nobody needs the high-fat, salty, greasy or sugar-ridden foods they crave. Even though cravings are sure to pop up from time to time, there are several ways to reduce the actuality of a cheat occurring, and, even more importantly, there are more ways to get back on track immediately afterwards.
How do I get back on track?
Cheating doesn't mean failure! The biggest mistake people make is thinking that cheating is equivalent to failure. It is important to keep your goals in mind and be patient with your weight loss.
The extra pounds you're trying to lose didn't accumulate overnight so understand it will take time to reach your weight and overall health goals. If you're trying to lose 20 pounds, slipping up and putting 2 pounds back on after losing 10 doesn't mean you failed - it just slowed you down. Don't focus on the 2-pound weight gain, but instead look at the big picture and focus on the weight you've lost.
Two-steps forward and one step back is still a step in the right direction. The trick is to reduce your steps backwards in the future. Forgive the indiscretion, but don't forget it! Consider the situation, feelings, or reasons surrounding the occasion and come up with some strategies to avoid the same thing from happening again.
Vacations, sporting events, weekends, and parties are easy places to lose control of your diet; however, avoiding these occasions makes you miss out on fun times and leads to additional feelings of deprivation. Sometimes actually planning for an occasion where you will not follow your program (within reason of course!) will help you eliminate cravings in anticipation of that event and keep you from abandoning your weight loss efforts afterword.
Instead of playing the hermit card and staying in your exclusive dieting shell, plan ahead and create a plan on how to bounce back afterword or reduce the unhealthiness of a situation. Bringing your own healthier food or side dish to a party or cookout is an easy way to reduce calories.
As for a sporting event, eating a healthy meal before the game with fill your stomach and help fight the temptation for the foot-long "frank" and bucket of cotton candy. Just remember to mark down the occasion ahead of time to make sure you aren't cheating too often. Take some time in advance to plan how you are going to bounce back or come up with a strategy to better control the unhealthy situation.
Doctors Roizen and Oz, authors of the You On a Diet, cleverly explain how to bounce back from a cheat. They use the analogy of a GPS on a trip to explain how you should think on a diet. They write: "[If you make a wrong turn on a trip,] the GPS doesn't berate you, doesn't scold you... Instead, all it says, very politely is this: "At the next available moment, make an authorized U-turn."
This idea of getting back on track using a "U-turn" is not only clever, but is an extremely easy, lighthearted way to keep you from beating yourself up after cheating.
Attitude is everything!
Keep a positive attitude about your diet. Weight loss is a journey so don't let one mistake derail you. Keep your goals in mind, remember that nobody's perfect, and that giving up on yourself and your weight loss efforts will get you nowhere on your path to better health.
When a cheat occurs don't get depressed - just make a "U-turn" and get back on track. Even though the cheat may slow you down, don't let it put you in reverse! Remember the ultimate goal is a healthier you.
Lisa M. Davis, Ph.D., PA-C, C.N.S., L.D.N. is Director of Research and Development for Medifast. She holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University with a focus in Obesity Research, and she is currently the Director of Research and Development for the Medifast Program, a leading portion-controlled clinically proven weight loss program and co-author of the book, Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Health. Click here for more information.
November 3, 2014
6 Single Serve Must-Haves For The Dieter
You have probably noticed that single serving size products are hot items right now – walk down any aisle in the grocery store right now and you’ll find 100 calorie packs in just about everything!
While most of these items earn thumbs up because of their instant portion (and calorie) control, some are better than others. Many are nutritionally void, so don’t fall prey to impulse buys and “extras” to your diet just because they come in tiny packages.
However, if they help you stay on track because you would otherwise overdo it on the real sized package, then pick some up!
Below are some of my favorite portion controlled products. As you will see, the focus is on convenient and healthy since you know where to find the 100 calorie pack treats!
1. 100 Calorie Packs Emerald Snack Nuts. Even though nuts contain healthy fat and fiber – they are still high in fat, meaning higher in calories. Dipping your hand in the nut bowl too often can add quite a few calories to your day. Go nuts with portion controlled packs instead!
2. Bird’s Eye Steamfresh Singles. Now there is really no excuse to eat your veggies! Just pop one of these perfectly portioned bags in the microwave and you have a side of veggies in an instant!
3. Quaker Oatmeal Simple Harvest Instant Oatmeal. Yes, instant oatmeal is nothing new but what I like about these is that they are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than a lot of instant oatmeal. They even meet my criteria for a healthy cereal pick – less than 10 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams fiber.
4. 100 Calorie Bars (Hershey’s or Reese’s). Alright, you got me – these are not nutritious in the least bit! But, if you really need a chocolate fix, these will do the trick and in a portion controlled way! Sometimes, you just need the real thing – not modified versions of your favorites (like a lot of 100 calorie packs). Keep one in your drawer and not the whole box – like mini candy bars – you might not stop at one!
5. Pre-Cut Fresh Apple Slices. There’s something about a cold sliced crisp apple – yum! Now you can find them in single serve packs in the produce aisle. The bonus – they won’t brown like when you slice them yourself!
6. Sabra Hummus Cup with Pretzel Crisps. Hummus to go – genius! Carry some baby carrots along too and you have a healthy mini meal to go! This is a great pick when you are hungry but want something small from the grocery store.
Shauna Schultz, RD, has the nutrition solutions for all your weight loss questions.
October 1, 2008
5 Biggest Mistakes Dieters Make
We've all tried to lose weight. Most of us have failed. And that's why we are here today -- to find a way to take off weight and keep it off.
Diet.com has what you need to achieve all your goals. We know the mistakes dieters make. And we know how to help you avoid them.
5 Common Mistakes
1. Lack of support! There are oodles of studies that show dieters who go it alone are more likely to fall sooner... and to fail at lasting weight loss. There is strength in numbers.
2. Lack of a plan or goals! It's one thing to say, "I'm gonna lose weight!" It's another to say "I'm gonna lose weight by walking before breakfast, eating 1,200 calories and drinking eight glasses of water a day!" That's a starting plan. You also need a goal so you can see progress and celebrate milestones along the way.
3. Lack of fitness! A weight loss plan without a fitness component is like a... well, it's like a day without sunshine. It's a bright idea that's clouded by no way to burn extra calories. Dieters who also work out burn more calories. It's as simple as that.
4. Lack of time! If you have time to eat, you have time to diet. We come up with some of the worst excuses for a lack of time to diet. American Idol... Dancing with the Stars... and other must-see TV shows gobble up the time you could be using to work out.
5. Boredom! A weight loss plan needs to keep you interested and involved. Variety is the spice of a healthy life! Get bored with your diet or workout and you're more likely to give up... and plop back on the couch to watch TV!
So now that we know why so many of us fail, how do we fix the problem and drop a few pounds? Start with our 5 Solutions to the Top 5 Mistakes.
5 Super Solutions
1. A vibrant Diet.com community! Once you start blogging or responding to other members' blogs, you're hooked! And this is one addiction you don't want to lose anytime soon. Click here for a peek at what's in store.
2. Our Premium Membership lays the foundation for your personal weight loss plan! We can help you attain your goals. Our experts -- and your Diet.com peers -- will help you start with a plan that's proven to work. Click here and get started losing weight today!
3. A new and improved Diet.com fitness section! We realize the value of exercise; we also know that too many people aren't sure how to work out properly. Our fitness section -- and our caring and knowledgeable fitness experts -- explain the moves that'll make you slim down and tone up faster. Click here for a look.
4. An online diet program is ready when you are -- no more "no time" excuses! We’re here 24/7, so do what a million other savvy dieters have done -- link up with the Diet.com website on a daily (or nightly) basis. Just think: no driving to weight loss centers and no buying special foods or pills. It's a great plan for the time-challenged individual. It's a great plan for you!
5. Videos, blogs and special challenges keep weight loss fresh and fun! Diet.com is not your mother's weight loss plan. We've taken technology and mixed it with a diet plan that's formulated for you! You get your own profile page and your ability to post blogs and images as you want. And with featured writers like The Daily Comic, Diet Diva and Mr. Bad Food, you never know what crazy, informative features you'll find here!
OK, so stop making the same old mistakes and start losing weight... weight that you'll take off and keep off without surgery or pills. Click here and start now.
September 10, 2008