Below are the 5 main reasons I see clients struggle with changing their eating habits. I am sure many of you will be able relate to these experiences. I know changing any habit – especially eating habits – is never easy but it certainly can be done.
#1 Depriving yourself
Losing weight is not about removing foods groups or eating as little as possible. However, for some reason many of us have turned to these methods at some point or another when trying to drop the pounds. Don’t deprive yourself! There is no need to. You can eat the foods you love and still lose weight. You may have to switch some things up and reduce your portions but you never have to completely give up a food or follow strict eating rules.
#2 The “I’ll start Monday” weekend binge
We have all been there. Yep, you know what I am talking about. The “I am going to start my diet on Monday so I will eat whatever I want this weekend” binge. This is bad news for a few different reasons. First, you are going into changing your eating habits already thinking you have to give up all your favourite foods forever – why else would you want to eat every single one of them on a Saturday night. Like I already said you don’t ever want to feel deprived. Second, if you start off depriving yourself then it is likely that change will only last a few days if that. So now you just ate an obscene amount of calories and you still went back to your old eating habits anyway. Third, creating healthier eating habits does not happen over night. It is a gradual process that takes time. It is very unlikely you will wake up Monday morning – after spending the entire weekend eating whatever you want – with brand new healthy eating habits ready to go. It does not work that way.
# 3 You think you are eating healthy
When clients say to me “I haven’t lost any weight and I’ve been eating really well”, I then ask them to write a food diary. So every single thing they eat they will write down. What usually happens is their calories come from processed foods and they don’t realise the calories that these contain. Eating the high calorie processed foods plus lack of exercise is the equation to weigh gain.
When people get motivated to lose weight they’d run out and fill their kitchen with lean cuisines and weight watchers frozen meals along with “diet” granola bars, snacks, and everything else. These meals and replacement snacks do not satisfy the average person and when that foods gone the Chinese takeaway is on speed dial.
Start eating clean foods and cooking for yourself, understand the true meaning of healthy eating. When you fill your body with nutritious wholesome food you feel better, look better, and overall perform better.
#4 Not prepared
Planning meals and snacks will help you avoid the junk foods. One of the worst feelings in the world is sitting at work and being hungry with no healthy food options available. You start to feel desperate because you’re hungry and know sugary fattening processed vending machine junk or starving are your only two options. Therefore, in my experience, the best way to make sure you eat healthy foods is to have them ready when you need them. This goes for when you are home and when you will be out of the house all day long. Taking a little extra time on the weekend and/or at night to prep meals for the next day will help immensely with developing healthier eating habits.
#5 Depending on willpower instead of being disciplined
Willpower is a word often used when we talk about changing our eating habits. However, for those who have sustained their weight loss, creating healthy eating habits is about being intentional and disciplined with your food not constantly having to tell yourself no. When you are disciplined you are creating a lifestyle that is supportive of your eating habits. Therefore, you take the time to think about and plan your meals in advance. Willpower should be reserved when you are in an environment you do not have control over. For example, when people bring donuts into work, you are at a party, or something of that sort.