You already know that vegetables are good for you. And that being healthy involves some kind of commitment to drinking water and exercising. But what's really hard is understanding how you should apply all this diet knowledge.
Which expert should you listen to? How do you make everything work with your own lifestyle? How can you fit it all in when you don't have time, money, and sanity?
When you're really trying to lose weight, it can be so easy to get overly excited and motivated at first. You envision yourself hitting the gym every day and eating perfectly and maybe you even got yourself a new food journal with a new favorite pen.
Well, here's what you want to review before you start another diet.
1. Not asking yourself what you fear about achieving the body of your dreams
Just like any other activity, you have to get your head in the right place if you want to follow through. And the reason why a lot of people yoyo diet is because they don't feel comfortable with being that slender diva they imagine in their minds. You might not think this is you, because no one on a conscious level thinks that they want anything other than to be fit, attractive, and healthy - but on a subconscious level, there may be thoughts there that are holding you back.
Common thoughts: "If I become attractive, will people still want to get to know me for me?" "Wow I just lost two pant sizes. Yipee! Wait whoa....this isn't me...is it?"
So what kinds of believes to you have about your ability to make progress? Change disability to capability.
2. Not understanding how to "love yourself" when you want to change your body
Gosh, this is a tough one. Have you ever struggled to lose weight, sought out advice, and had someone tell you, "Girl, you just gotta love yourself." ? It's really frustrating to hear someone say you just need to think positively when you have something that you want to change about yourself.
The #1 thing you have to do before you start any diet is believe that you deserve what you're aiming for, and to talk about this vision of yourself in the present tense. Instead of "I wanna lose weight", you think "I am slender, my pants feel loose, and I look amazing".
The reason why you need to talk about yourself in the present tense is because you'll welcome the positive changes you'll see to your body. The biggest reason why people self-sabotage is because they didn't get themselves mentally ready for weight loss, and when they do lose the weight they don't understand how to think positively because they continue to think they have a problem when they don't.
3. Judging diet information without trying
Many people spend way more time ready about different dietary theories - calories, macros, paleo, vegan, high-carb, low-carb (the list goes on and on) and coming to a logical conclusion about why they think one expert is correct.
But everything is only a theory until you give it a try. Once you try, it becomes your truth. And that's the only thing that matters. So go out there and try something new and remember: if you don't like it, you can always go back.
4. Thinking you need to do more exercise to lose more
If you've been sitting the entire day then yes, you do need to move around to help regulate your weight - and it's not just about calorie burn, it's about getting circulation to your body which aids in digestion.
But if you are hitting the gym regularly and doing intense workouts and still not seeing results (actually, maybe you even find yourself getting bigger), then you need to rethink your strategy. Calming exercises with steady bringing can bring on bigger results with weight loss than high intensity training.
As Albert Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results." Only in your case, you've been doing more of the same thing, with gusto.
Believe it or not, your body is very sensitive and reacts to everything you do exactly in the way you treat it. So if you're not seeing the results you want, see about rethinking the strategy.
5. Not researching exercise results before you do your selected workout
If you want to look like a ballerina, do ballet. If you want to look like a swimmer, swim. Different exercises are going to design your body in a different way. The last thing you want to do is go to the gym and start lifting random weights and running on the treadmill and going to spin class thinking that just burning a lot of calories and sweating a lot is going to shape your body into the one you envision.
Be strategic by asking what kind of body you want and selecting the exercise accordingly.
6. Eating bananas when it's snowing outside
This is another way of saying "eat local, seasonal produce". Vegetables are packed with nutrients, but one thing people miss is this concept called "food energetics" which is about how a food affects our body in terms of cooling and heating.
An easy way to think of this is having watermelon on a hot summer's day - the watermelon is designed to cool off your body and help you acclimate to the climate. The last thing you want to do is cool off your body with watermelon during a blizzard.
So, before you start researching lists of "healthy foods" and importing coconut milk and bananas from the tropics when you live in a completely different climate, first you should find out what food grows locally and start there. Helping your body balance to nature is a huge step towards achieving a balanced body.
7 .Thinking that quality sleep is about the amount and not the timing
Have you ever gone to bed at 10pm, slept for 7 hours, woke up feeling amazing, and realized it was only 5am?
Now, think to another time when you went to bed at 2am, slept for the same 7 hours, woke up at 9am and felt groggy. How come you feel so differently despite getting the same amount of sleep?
Sunlight affects our body chemistry. It's what converts serotonin (what keeps you happy during the day) to melatonin (what helps you sleep for a long period of time at night). When you keep sleeping way past the time when the sun rose, it's likely that you feel very uncomfortable waking up because you're body chemistry was trying to change while you're still trying to sleep.
Sleep timing is really important to revitalization - not just the amount of sleep.
8. Forgetting to ask yourself what YOU like
How many times have you eaten foods you don't like just because you think they're healthy? That sure isn't an easy way to stick to a healthy habit. If you read nutrition information and a meal plan tells you you MUST eat tomatoes - but you hate tomatoes - you need to have the confidence to say "You know what? No, that doesn't work for me" and move on to find other healthy options that you do like.
Starting with healthy versions of what you already like is the best way to make long lasting transitions.
9. Trying to change habits instead of context
The reason why changing our habits is so hard is because it is often triggered by something in our daily schedule, our relationships, our job, and our activities.
If you're in the habit of eating cookies every time your boss yells at you, then changing from cookies to carrots probably isn't going to be a habit change that will be easy for you to make. Why? Because you still are triggered to crave cookies every time your boss yells at you.
Ask yourself how your daily schedule is influencing your choices, your options, and your habits - fixing anything here is going to help you make better choices, effortlessly.
10. Thinking that being healthy would mean not having flexibility with socializing
You did so well. And then someone invited you out for pizza. You don't want to miss out on socializing so you agree to go, vowing that you'll just order a salad. But then somehow that pizza sneaks into your belly. And another, and another. And you decide that since you already sabotaged your diet, you might as well eat the rest of the pie. Oops.
And, you fear that any kind of healthy eating plan is going to keep you from going out with people you want to interact with. But that's not really true - creating your own food lifestyle that resonates with you means acknowledging what moments have deep meaning to you.
If going out for pizza is something that you cherish, then technically it is a healthy way of living because it brings you joy and laughter with others. If it's not a moment that has a deep meaning to you, then missing out shouldn't be an issue - you can't catch them next time they go to a place that you truly cherish.