Monday, January 12, 2015

Trying to Lose Weight? Avoid the #1 Mistake Dieters Make

“I’m going on a diet!” That’s the first thing most people say when they want to lose fat or weight. But if that’s the first step you take, you’re already doing the wrong thing and setting yourself up for failure. Let me explain why.

Losing weight is as much a mental game of desires and discipline as it is a physical game of calories eaten and burned. Your body weight and composition reflects your inputs and outputs over time. If you change any of these for long enough, your weight will change accordingly. So, with enough time, any sort of change in diet will change your weight. But once you go back to your previous way of eating, your weight will return to that weight.

For example, you may lose a few pounds by starving yourself for a day or two. But when you stop fasting and go back to eating like you used to, you will return to your pre-starvation weight a few days later. All of that suffering will have been for nothing.

Fortunately, the same thing happens if you eat too much for a day or two. While your weight may go up for a few days, you can return to your pre-feast weight just by going back to your previous eating habits. So don’t freak out and punish yourself for indulging once in a while!

Now, how does this relate to going on a diet? When most people say “I’m going on a diet”, they are implying making a temporary change to their eating habits. Since they think it’s only going to be temporary, they’ll try almost anything to reach that arbitrary target number. Once they reach their target weight, they go back to their pre-diet eating habits. And to their dismay, their body goes back to the pre-diet weight. This is the #1 mistake people make when attempting to lose weight: trying to make a permanent change in their body by making temporary changes in their actions.

So, if dieting doesn’t work, what can you do? Rather than “going on a diet,” use the following mindset: “I’m going to change my diet!” This implies making permanent changes which will yield lasting results. In the end, this is what we really want for our looks and for our health.

With that in mind, choose methods that you can sustain indefinitely right from the beginning. In my book, The One Minute Workout, you’ll find a whole chapter called “What Should I Eat?”on making sustainable changes to your eating habits. One of the simplest techniques from that chapter that you can use right away is to only make small changes at a time. Doing so will enable your mind and body to adjust to the changes and allow them to become part of your eating habit. This is a lot easier than “going on a diet” where you do will-busting things like starving or depriving yourself of your favorite foods!

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