Having a Short Term Diet Mindset Does More Harm than Good
I get it, you want to drop the weight as quickly as you can. You want it off so you can live the life you want without the extra pounds. The thing is, trying to rush the pounds off is not healthy. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.
When you try to rush along the process you make unhealthy choices, such as…
Eating too little.
Your body needs energy and it gets that from food. Depending on your weight your body needs a certain amount of calories to keep going and keep you energized. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist to figure out what that number is and don’t go under that. It may be tempting to eat as little as possible so you can drop pounds fast but if you eat too little that weight will come from your muscles rather than your fat. In extreme cases it can cause damage to your heart. Don’t do it!
Only eating super low calorie foods.
You always hear people saying if you want to lose weight you should eat more salad. Salad is great. It’s full of veggies, it’s filling, and you get a huge variety of nutrients. It shouldn’t be all you eat. Give yourself a variety of foods and make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Your body needs these nutrients to run properly and keep you healthy. If you go on eating only super low calorie foods for too long it will lead to malnutrition which can cause all kinds of complications.
Exercising too much.
Exercise is good. It’s an important part of healthy weight loss. Exercising too much can be dangerous, especially combined with not taking in enough calories. When you’re new to exercise you need to ease into your workouts. Even when you’re not new to exercise it’s important not to go overboard and injure yourself. If you find yourself performing strenuous exercise for more than 60 minutes a day it may be time to talk to your doctor to find out if it’s a healthy choice.
Even if you look at yourself right now and think it’s something you would never do, the “lose it fast” mindset can put you in a dangerous situation. Most people who start purging (throwing up on purpose) never thought they would be doing it, but after an accidental binge the guilt sets in and they think it’ll just be one time. Others just get tired of it taking so long and think it’ll be a good shortcut and they’ll stop once they lose some pounds.
The health risks here are HUGE. Let’s start with the fact you’ll feel tired all of the time because your body is lacking energy. The acid from your stomach eats at your teeth. After that it starts doing damage to your organs. It’s not good.
I know you want to lose weight but the “do it fast” attitude is unhealthy. Be patient. Create a plan that leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. Find some exercise you can enjoy and just take your time. It took you time to gain the weight, it’s going to take you time to lose it.
Understanding a Healthy Diet Mindset
A lot of people are under the false impression that willpower is the most important thing you need to lose weight. While it does help, having a healthy mindset is much more important. The way you look at dieting and your new lifestyle helps you make better decisions without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
There are a lot of aspects to a healthy mindset. Unfortunately most diet plans don’t take time to explain them and why they’re important, which is one of the main reasons people fail. How many of these apply to you? And if they don’t, what can you do to change that?
1. You understand that it’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.
I’m sure you hear this one a lot, but do you understand what it means? It means you’re creating habits that you’ll keep with you for the rest of your life. You can’t just go back to your old lifestyle once you reach your goal weight because you’ll just gain all of that weight back. When you read a diet plan think about if it’s something you can live with for the rest of your life or will you be waiting for that day where you can stop following the rules.
2. You know you’re so much more than a number.
Focusing on your weight is unhealthy. Stepping on the scale every day is dangerous. A lot of things will have an effect on your weight based on what you eat and how much water you retain. You may get excited to lose two pounds and realize that half of that was water weight when you check the next day and you’re up a pound again.
Instead, focus on your non-scale changes. Get excited about losing an inch or being able to make it a little further in your workout without feeling tired or out of breath. The scale is just a number. It means nothing. Keep your focus on how your life is changing for the better!
3. You don’t deny yourself your favorite foods.
Part of living with your new lifestyle is understanding you’re going to crave foods and if you deny those cravings you’re going to binge. Instead, indulge safely. Make lower calorie or healthier versions of the foods you crave or choose a smaller portion to satisfy the craving.
4. You know that you shouldn’t just eat salads.
A healthy diet needs carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Cutting out all of one isn’t healthy. It’s about balance. You also need a certain amount of calories each day. Calories are fuel for your body. You can’t just eat salad all day every day. Take time to learn about proper nutrition. If you’re confused, consider seeing a nutritionist.
5. You understand this isn’t an overnight thing.
You’re not going to lose the weight in a few weeks. It’s going to take time. It’s harder to lose weight than it is to gain it. Losing 10 pounds in a week isn’t healthy. A healthy amount of weight loss is .5-2 pounds a week depending on how far you are from your goal.
6. You motivate yourself and reach out for support when you need it.
Losing weight is hard. It’s also exhausting. You need to keep yourself motivated. Find what works for you and take time every day to foster that excitement and motivation. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member, counselor, or support group.