Are you tired of suffering through unsuccessful diet plans that leave you looking exactly as you did before you started? Do you ever feel that no diet plan will work? Then, perhaps you have fallen victim to one of the seven deadly diet sins. These sly demons work in manipulative ways to ensure that your attempts at a healthy lifestyle are squandered. To counter their deceptive methods, follow the tips below, and you can finally win the weight loss battle.
Lust: An intense longing for something
Oftentimes, following a diet plan means restricting or banning foods from your diet. As a result, a craving for the “taboo” food arises. To tame this powerful sin, it’s important to view all foods as equal, and plan to incorporate small treats into your diet plan. Consider reserving 10% of your total calories for your favorite treat foods. For example, if you’re on a 1500-calorie diet plan, reserve 150 calories for a treat.
Are you in the habit of cleaning your plate, or eating until you feel over-stuffed? To beat this dieting sin, try rating your hunger/fullness before and during each meal (-3 is starving, +3 is stuffed, 0 is neither hungry nor full) to gage how much food you need to eat. Try to keep the rating between -1 and +1 at all times. This will keep your hunger hormones in control, and help prevent overeating.
Greed: An excessive desire for calorie-dense foods
Greed is a vicious sin that works hand-in-hand with gluttony to corrupt your diet efforts and pack on the pounds. Americans are addicted to sugar-filled, fat-laden, calorie-dense foods. It is all too easy to skip the fruits and vegetables to make more room for dessert, French Fries, or the main entrée.To break this pattern and regain control of your diet, use the MyPlate portion tracker to monitor how much you’re eating. MyPlate is a simple plan that divides your plate into five sections, one for each food group. Just stick to the suggested portions and you’ll lose weight in no time.
Wrath: Uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger
After many failed attempts to lose weight, we are often flooded with feelings of anger and hopelessness that we allow to dictate our diet choices. Instead of fixing the problem, however, this only continues the cycle. But before you beat yourself up, understand that not all diets are right for everyone. If one diet doesn’t work for you, try a different one or consult a dietitian to create a customized plan just for you. Some plans that are a worth a try are DIET-FREE and DASH.
Envy: An insatiable desire for something you don’t have
It’s hard not to be envious of celebrity’s tight and toned bodies, especially when they’re constantly displayed in the media. In reality, however, few people actually look like supermodels. In fact, with all the makeup and airbrushing today, even supermodels don’t look like supermodels. (Check out this short video to see what I mean!) With this in mind, embark upon your next weight loss journey with the goal of being the best you, and forget the unrealistic images that celebrities portray.
Although 80% of weight loss is diet, it’s still important to participate in regular physical activity to maintain weight loss and overall health. Exercise helps maintain muscle mass and bone density to prevent skeletal problems and ensure mobility later in life. It also programs the body to store excess calories as glycogen in the muscles as opposed to fat. This, in turn, shrinks the size of fat cells and gives you the toned, lean body that you desire. If you have difficulty finding motivation to exercise, try forming a workout group. Studies show that groups provide support and camaraderie, which increase the likelihood of you sticking to your exercise plan.
Pride: Excessive self-esteem; conceit
Pride may be the biggest diet sin of all, as it impairs our ability to ask for help. Despite years of failed attempts to get healthy, we resist the urge to seek help. However, consulting with trained professionals can be one of the best ways to lose weight. Here’s a list of professionals you should consider including on your weight loss team:
- A Registered Dietitian: A dietitian can monitor your weight loss journey and provide the expertise that will allow you to finally conquer your diet sins.
- A personal trainer: If you need motivation to exercise or are stuck in an exercise rut, a personal trainer is a great addition to your weight loss team. If your budget is tight, look for a group class.
- Your family and friends: The more people you have to hold you accountable, the more likely you are to stay on track to a healthy lifestyle.
Avoid these 7 deadly dieting sins, and you’ll be on your way to virtuous, healthy weight loss.
Like this article? Read more weight loss tips from Nicole Geurin, RD.
Written with assistance from nutrition intern, Natasha Fowler.