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Now that you’re committed to changing your life for good, staying focused is a must. But when you’re on a life-changing journey, it’s hard to stay on track at every stage.
Danger zones are inevitable. ClickFit has identified the six most common diet dilemmas that our members encounter. Here’s how to overcome them.
1. Diet dilemma — hunger
You might want to lose weight fast, but starving yourself, skipping meals and snacks, and generally not eating enough to provide your body with energy will, sooner or later, derail your diet.
When you feel hungry and deprived you’re much more likely to overindulge at some point. So, opt for three main meals a day with healthy snacks in between. This should give you the perfect balance of nutrients and energy to power steady weight loss without hunger.
2. Diet dilemma — eating out
According to research by John M de Castro, published in Physiology and Behavior, meals enjoyed with friends are larger and take longer than meals eaten alone.
You can’t avoid eating out for ever, so a well-formulated eating-out plan allows you to plan your response to dining challenges. Here are a few suggestions.
The group dynamic influences how much you eat. Try not to get carried away in the moment but stay mindful of your own consumption.
3. Diet dilemma — the lure of the vending machine
The 3 p.m. slump is a red light moment that leaves you vulnerable to temptation. Once again, planning ahead keeps you in control.
Whether you’re at home or in the office all day, keep a stash of healthy snacks to hand. Examples include:
4. Diet dilemma — liquid calories all day
The calories in drinks slip down without you noticing.
You can mindlessly guzzle hundreds of extra calories throughout the day while satisfying neither hunger nor thirst.
If you can’t get through the day without the sweet fizz of your favorite soft drink, switch to a diet version. Then intersperse sweet drinks with water or tea to stay hydrated and alert.
Fruit juices, sports drinks and smart waters are also loaded up with calories and should be approached with extreme caution.
5. Diet dilemma — the weight-loss plateau
One of the most dreaded diet derailers is the weight-loss plateau.
You've been doing everything right, exercising and eating well and the numbers on the scale have been steadily dropping. Then suddenly: zip, zero, nada.
Although this might be difficult to digest (haha), reaching a weight-loss plateau is a normal, natural part of your weight-loss journey and no excuse to give up.
First of all, congratulate yourself on your achievements so far. Then, shake things up a bit. While it sounds counter-intuitive, it might help to increase your calories by 100 or so a day for two weeks to stimulate your metabolism. Decreasing your calorie intake further may result in slowing down your metabolism, so starving yourself is not the answer.
This is also a good time to try a new form of exercise, or to crank up your current exercise program a couple of notches.
Continue to weigh and measure your foods and stick closely to your healthy eating plan. Your body will eventually respond. As long as you are not gaining, you are still making progress.
6. Diet dilemma — not keeping track
A recent study which investigated behaviors that support weight loss found that the women on the study who kept a food journal lost nearly 6 pounds more than their counterparts who did not monitor their eating habits so closely.
“For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the number one piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals. It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are not paying close attention to what you are eating," says Anne McTiernan, the study’s leader.
Your food diary is your most useful tool for achieving — and maintaining — successful weight loss. People who use it at least 3 times a week lose the most weight. The more often you log your food each week, the more likely you are to change your eating behaviors permanently.