Do you know the number on weight loss mistake dieters make? I'm talking about the very mistake that keeps dieters in a perpetual yo-yo cycle. I'll tell you what that is in a minute.
A person who has been used to eating everything all her life came to the realisation that her relationship with food was unhealthy and decided to make changes. She cleared her kitchen of all the foods she considered to be unhealthy and embarked on a very strict diet.
The first week was good because her willpower was in high gear and her motivation was up. She was on a roll, and nothing was going to stop her.
She weighed herself every day, and she could see the number of the scale going down. She was happy with the result even though she secretly resented the punishment diet she is on.
The second week came by, and she was still on a diet, but her willpower has started to dwindle. She jumped on the scale on day 10 and noticed she had lost 10kg already.
She has lost 10kg in 10 days!
It takes a lot of energy to make a full spin
She was delighted with the “progress” she was making.
Day 13 was not so good. It has taken every ounce of her willpower to get here, and she was reaching her breaking point. Well, her breaking point came on day 17. She was tired of her punishment diet and decided to quit. “This thing is hard. I will try another time again”, she said to herself.
Changing everything about your nutrition habits all at once requires a lot of willpower and energy. It’s like rotating around a circle in full speed; this approach will leave you drained and diminish your willpower.
You will end up in the wrong place
Making a 360-degree turn will take you back to where you started from and that is not where you want to go. You should be at the opposite end of where you started from by the time you're done with the change; you should not end up at point zero.
The best approach
How do you move from where you are now to where you want to be? You break the long distance into small steps!
It is not easy to change ingrained habits. You have been eating a particular way all your life, and it is not possible to change everything at once. The best approach is to break things down into small steps and make one or two changes at a time. We make things hard for ourselves when we try to change everything at once. Break the distance into small steps and take it one step at a time.
It takes less energy and less willpower to take a step than it takes to make a full spin, plus taking a small steps is manageable. Yes, you may not be moving at the speed of the person who is spinning through the circle, but in the end, you'll make more progress than that person.
Make 1-2 manageable changes and practice them daily for 3-4 weeks
It will be easier for you to reduce your food intake by 1/4 than reducing it by ¾. I know you want to reduce your calorie intake, but you must understand that it wasn’t yesterday you started eating like this. You probably have been eating this way all your life.
So, you need to set yourself up for success by making small changes. Start by cutting down your main meals by ¼, and make another change when your system has adjusted to that.
Most things in life have alternatives, and as humans, we must learn to choose the best options. There is more than one way to cook your plantain and white rice, and Agege bread is not the only carbohydrates option available. You can substitute oven roasted plantain for deep fried plantain, and you can get your carbohydrates from beans, sweet potato and plantain instead of white rice and Agege bread.
Substitute! Substitute! Substitute!
Always say NO to crash diets
Now that you know the number one weight loss mistake dieters make, you must be on guard so that you don’t fall for crash diets. Crash diets come in all forms and types, but they all have one thing in common: they eliminate most foods and are hard to sustain.
Yes, your weight will crash in just a few days of being on a crash diet. But you will gain all the weight back, with extra, as soon as you go off the diet.
Going on a crash diet is like making a 360-degree turn, it wastes your precious energy and takes you back to where you started from, and that is not where you want to go.
Make small changes that will lead you to your desired goal. That is sustainable. That is the best approach.