Don't Let These Common Pitfalls Derail Your Diet

The first few days of a new diet often have you feeling gung-ho and eager to make a healthy change. However, it can be difficult to keep up the enthusiasm week after week, especially if weight loss is slow to come. Keep in mind, though, that a healthy weight loss rate should be close to two pounds per week. While you may lose more at first, when you are making healthy changes for the long-term, weight loss should be slow and steady.

So, when your journey towards weight loss inevitably encounters a few road blocks, it’s important that you don’t let them doom your diet all together. To help you steer clear of these common pitfalls, or at least help you navigate through them, Devin Vicknair, PhD, Behavioral Health Coordinator at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Center for Weight Management, offers these helpful tips:

Pitfall #1: All or nothing mindset. Some people are all-or-nothing thinkers so when they are following their diet protocol they are all in and tend to have positive results. Unfortunately, if the same person strays from their diet protocols, they are all out and tend to struggle to return to their diet.

Safety Net: Instead of the all-or-nothing approach, recognize when you detour from your diet and forgive yourself. Then, focus on moving forward and make your next decision the best one you can without shame or guilt.

Pitfall #2: You feel deprived. People can feel deprived and restricted when trying to lose weight. It’s the classic example of being told NOT to think about an elephant and immediately you think about an elephant.

Safety Net: Recognize when you want something that may not be on your diet and decide if you want to intentionally eat that item and how it will impact your goals. If you choose to intentionally eat the item, you are still in control and have the ability to make your next choice a healthy one. You can also look for a healthy alternative of the item to satisfy what might just be a temporary craving.

Pitfall #3: You let the scale measure success. The number on the scale is not the most important aspect of weight loss. Too many people fall into the trap of measuring their diet success based on weight alone. While a scale may be great at measuring weight, it’s by no means the best measurement of success.

Safety Net: You must be patient with the ebb and flow of dieting results. Success is better measured by how you feel, how clothes are fitting, how much energy you have and the elimination or reduction of medical problems. But most importantly, recognize that prioritizing yourself with healthy habits is a great way to ensure lasting physical and mental health.  

Pitfall #4: You’re tired of dieting. There are times when you may feel like the diet is just too hard. This can certainly happen when you made a drastic change from the usual diet and lifestyle you were used to.

Safety Net: It is vital to find a diet that connects with your lifestyle and is practical to sustain for lifelong change rather than just quick weight loss. Give yourself time to reflect on your dieting plan and explore other options. Also, reconnect with your goals and motivation for weight loss like heath, energy, unrestricted activities, longevity and financial health.

Pitfall #5: You don’t ask for help. Making an exciting change, like eating a healthier diet, can be difficult to maintain for the long term.

Safety Net: Instead of trying to face dieting challenges on your own, make sure to ask for the help and support of friends and family. They may enjoy dieting right along with you. Furthermore, utilizing the experience of experts, like the dedicated team at the Center for Weight Management, will help to ensure lasting weight loss. With a variety of services, including bariatric procedures, medical weight loss and a comprehensive aftercare program, you will receive personalized care at every stage of your weight loss journey.

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