Hey Lady! If you missed my first installment of 5 Reasons You Can’t Stick to Your Diet (Part 1), please check this out as well!
Dieting and trying to change our lifestyles to move towards health and fat loss can be downright defeating some days. But try not to beat yourself up! IT. WON’T. HELP.
What CAN help though, is support, education and accountability! Check out my links for these, just in case you ever need them. I am right there with you girlfriend (hence the name of the blog ;). Ok—so let’s get into Part 2 of why you can’t stick to your diet!
1. You Aren’t Honoring Your Hunger
What the hell does that mean?! Isn’t honoring my hunger how I ended up this way?! Honoring our hunger means that we are paying attention to just how hungry (or not hungry) we truly are!
Ever eat something mindlessly, just because it’s there? Um…yeah. Like errrrrryday.
What if we actually stopped before eating something, and asked, “Am I ACTUALLY hungry? Am I just thirsty? Bored? Distracted? Upset? Happy? Alone?” The possibilities are endless with these questions.
What if we didn’t restrict ourselves and had what we actually wanted? Did you ever hear the old saying, “We always want what we can’t have”? The same rules apply—the more we restrict ourselves from something, the more we tend to crave it!
9 times out of 10, we are betting off to just eat what we really wanted in the first place, and just enjoy the hell out of it. Savor every bite, feel it on your tongue, really enjoy the taste of what you wanted so badly.
2. You Are Distracted While Eating
Speaking of enjoying the shit out of things, start this by taking away all distractions. Don’t eat in front of the TV, while driving, while scrolling through social media, or while reading. Be present with your food and your family, if eating together.
Put your fork down between bites, and take your time. This also allows us to cue into, you guessed it, honoring, our hunger!
Ever get the second portion of food when you’re already satisfied and maybe even full? Yep, me too. It’s mindless, “might as well” or “that was really good” attitude that can significantly increase our overall calorie intake, unnecessarily.
We will always have food available to us. We no longer need to forage, ration, or conserve (unless of course you have unique financial or resource circumstances, but I’m just speaking in general terms).
So that means, that delicious food you just ate and want to have more, is likely always going to be there! You can always recreate a recipe (I mean, you should be able to recreate a recipe lol), and have it whenever you’d like! Remember that office donut from Part 1? That’s what I’m talking about here…You can have it anytime.
3. You Don’t Know How off Track You TRULY Are…
Consider the ”80/20 Rule”. If we are managing and honoring our hunger 80% of the time, with wholesome foods, we can allow for 20% flexibility and still be on track. So how do we measure that? You’ve got to find what works for YOU and YOUR lifestyle.
Maybe you track your food using My Fitness Pal? How about a cheat meal on Saturday nights? Maybe you have a glass of wine 3 days per week. The possibilities are endless here…but the main point is, don’t just guess.
This is especially true and important on weekends! Weekends are usually a time for going out, having date nights, or getting together with family. How can you stay in control of your indulgences and abide by that 80/20 guideline?
- We can do this by planning ahead!
- Take a look at the menu where you are going so you know what choices to make. Then don’t even open the menu when you get there, so you aren’t tempted to change your choice.
- Going to a picnic? Make something healthy to bring along so you know you have at least one solid option.
- Planning on having drinks tonight? Get that workout in, and be sure not to overindulge in drinks the rest of the week, or prior to going out.
Remember, small steps and habits can lead up to big changes over time!
4. You Drink Your Calories
I’m not just talking about alcohol here, but we will get to that. Take a look at what you drink throughout the day. Iced Tea? Morning Latte? Orange Juice? Soda?
Consider the calories involved in these drinks, especially compounded every day! Consider switching to diet or light versions of these drinks if you feel you must have them.
What about artificial sweeteners?? Do your research on these, read articles and make your own decisions about how you feel about these, and how they make YOU feel.
Ok so what about ALCOHOL? Maybe you don’t drink EVERYDAY…or maybe you do?? Is a glass of wine or a finger of whiskey in front of the fire in the evening crushing your hopes and dreams of health and fitness? Doubtful, but maybe. But here are some things to consider:
- Why do you want to have that drink in the evening?
- Are you relaxing, or escaping something else?
- Is your drinking causing you to skip your workouts in the morning?
- Are you then making poor food choices (like eating when you’re not even hungry), because your inhibitions are lowered?
- Or is drinking just…a habit? Try giving it up for at least a short period, just to see what changes occur! You may feel much better, and you’ll likely drop a few pounds if that’s what you’re goal is!
5. You Don’t Understand Portion Control
NOW. We can REALLY go down a rabbit hole here, but here are the basics. (If you want a detailed explanation, check out my article on The Basics of MACROS).
All of our bodies respond to a macronutrient formula (a set amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), that will allow us to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain weight. These numbers are different for everyone and change as your weight changes.
Factors like age, sex, and activity level (including our daily jobs and purposeful exercise) play a role in these numbers. Interested in YOUR numbers? Check out my nutritional consultation for a free macros breakdown, specific to you and your goals!
Let’s talk about some examples of how macros and portion control go hand in hand?
For example, say in order to lose weight (aka, be in a caloric deficit) you need:
- 150 grams of protein
- 175 grams of carbohydrates
- 50 grams of fat
What does that look like in portion control standards?
- 5 palm-sized (or 30-gram servings) of protein
- 7 cupped handfuls or 25ish grams of complex carbohydrates
- 3-4 thumb-sized or 18-gram servings of fats
Now, you might be thinking, but what do I EAT?? Aim for whole, minimally processed foods 80% of the time (remember that 80/20 rule 😉 ). What is processing? Well, we use the “GREEN, YELLOW, RED” method, or the “Eat More, Eat Some, Eat Less” lists, respectively.
Here’s an example:
Eat More—White Potato
Eat Some—White Pasta
Eat More–Chicken Breast
Eat Some–Protein Powder
Eat Less–Protein Bars
Eat Less–Bacon (BOO!)
This life is all about balance. Most importantly, we want to live our lives without constantly on this roller coaster of feeling like crap because we can’t “ever stick to our meal plan!”, thinking, “Why can’t I just do this?!” or “I always fail at this!”.
Well guess what—you’re human. You have to eat to live and there are choices that will take us further towards or further away from our goals, seemingly at every turn.
Know that it’s ok to struggle. Know that it’s ok to make the “WRONG” choice or the unintended choice.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, beating yourself up about it, WILL. NOT. HELP.
Instead, find that balance that works for you. Stop obsessing, and make the changes you want, little by little, compounded over time.
Change your habits. Educate yourself. Do the work that will get you there, but live your life.
And most importantly, reach out for help and support when you need it! We are all in this together, and there is no reason to go it alone! You’ve got this 😉