For many, losing weight is a goal that always seems just out of reach. With conflicting messages abounding, it’s hard to know what advice to follow since different diet plans seem to work for different people while not working at all for others. Dominique Fradin Read, a board-certified physician trained in anti-aging and preventative medicine, has some advice on bad habits that need to go today regardless of which diet plan you choose.
The first habit to ditch is the guilt over the times you’ve tried to diet but didn’t reach your goal weight. Don’t think of those as failures, but rather as opportunities to learn about what works and does not work for you. Take those previous unsuccessful attempts as data points to jump off from instead of evidence that you’ll never be successful.
Skipping the Gym
While changing your eating habits is an important part of slimming down, engaging in some form of physical activity is also beneficial, especially for better mental health and overall well-being that will help you stick with your healthy habits. If you find yourself too hungry after a workout and worry about self-sabotage, start with light activities like gardening or leisurely walks.
Relying on Willpower
If there’s one thing a competent weight loss specialist can tell you, it’s that losing weight is not just about willpower. In fact, certain foods you consume, like simple carbohydrates and sugars, can increase hunger and make dieting unbearable. Instead of relying on a herculean feat of willpower, focus your efforts on stocking your kitchen with healthy foods and eliminating your known triggers.
Setting Unrealistic Goals
It’s okay to know the big-picture number you someday hope to achieve, but refusing to acknowledge the smaller milestones along the way can have you feeling discouraged. Celebrate the small achievements like climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded or going to bed without an evening snack. You’ll stay more motivated and will enjoy the process of losing weight along the way.
While there is mixed research on how much counting calories does or does not help, try to shift your focus instead to simply eating whole foods. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to eat as much as you want, but it’s the right mindset shift that will keep things simpler and encourage good habits to make real, lasting changes.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle for many people today. However, getting rid of some of the worst habits will make the journey easier and have you on the road to success.