Thursday, September 3, 2009

5 Warning Signs You Are Sabotaging Your Diet

If you've been on a diet for weeks-or maybe years-and are not losing any weight, you may be sabotaging your diet by sneaking in calories unknowingly, and skipping out on healthy nutrients your body needs. Are you engaging in the following behaviors that are keeping the weight on?

1. Sneaking treats to reward yourself for weight loss:
Once you've been following a low-calorie diet for a while you might feel like you deserve a reward! Unfortunately we are a society that rewards ourselves with food, so you might just hand yourself a candy bar or a cookie because you've been so "good". This may undo all the calories you went without during the rest of the day in your concerted effort to lose weight. Thinking "just this one won't hurt" is only fooling yourself.

The fix: Consider giving yourself a day or two each week where you can choose a treat, and stick strictly to your lower-calorie plan the other 5 or 6 days.

2. Not knowing how many calories are in what you eat: If you aren't used to reading the label on every food you eat (or looking it up on the internet) you may have a vastly different calorie intake than you think you do. One co-worker I used to lunch with was convinced she needed to be on an 800 calorie diet to lose weight-but she was actually eating twice that.She just did not know how many calories were in the foods she was eating, and she wasn't a very educated guesser.

The fix: Be aware of what is in the foods you eat by reading up on labels, restaurants, and fast food items that provide you with this information.

3. Skipping meals because you believe it saves calories: It's so important to keep fueling your body with energy at least every four to five hours. If you skip lunch and think you'll just wait until dinner time, stop and think about how often that actually happens. More often than not, we get too hungry to wait and sabotage our diet by grabbing something quick when we're desperate-as a result, it's usually something high in calories.

The fix: Be sure and take a break at 8 am, 12 noon and 6 pm (or thereabouts) to give yourself a nutritious boost of energy. If you really aren't hungry or don't have time, use a meal replacement beverage or bar to give you the calories, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to get you through the next several hours.

4. Shunning fruits, juices, and other nutrient dense foods to save calories: I know a lot of women who will skip the oj at breakfast time to save 60 calories, but will ignore the 100 calories they're drinking in a glass of wine with dinner.

The fix: Make room in your low-calorie diet for fruits, low-fat dairy products, and other foods that do contain calories, but also provide a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, or protein. Do away first with those that aren't contributing anything necessary to your diet.

5. Avoiding the scale: If you find yourself avoiding the scale for long periods of time, you know you're due for a weigh-in. Putting your head in the sand won't make your weight gain go away!

The fix: Get on the scale right now and take a good hard look at where you're at and where you want to be. What do you need to do to get there? Sit down with a pencil and paper and write down just one goal you feel comfortable with that you can take action on this week: having fruit for dessert, eating 3 meals a day, starting an after-dinner walking routine, or something else that is reasonable and simple.

If you've been trying to lose weight for a long time, and failing despite what seems to be endless dieting, take assessment of what you are really doing instead of what you wish you were doing!One step at a time, you can get back on that healthy eating plan you were aiming for in the beginning.

If you really can't figure out why the weight is not coming off, submit your questions to Ask The Diet Coach at and we'll figure it out together!

No comments: