How many times have you promised yourself that you would begin your diet ‘tomorrow’? How often do you derail worse than ever before under the proviso that tomorrow will be different? Do you rely on a new day or Mondays to inflict a change in your attitude and commitment to your health and fitness goals?
Do you know you don’t need for your diet to turn your life upside down so much so that you need a new day or week to commit again? In always starting over it speaks volumes of the ineffectiveness of your methods and where improvements can be made to ensure you’re practicing a diet that is sustainable.
Our Equalution client Renee, down 5kgs in weight and 45cm in body measurements. This was achieved through a science-based and flexible diet allowing her to enjoy her favourite foods daily including burgers, cereal and chocolate, among her lean meats and vegetables.
So where are you going wrong? What does constantly starting over mean for your diet?
1. You’re restricted: Whether you’re classifying food as good or bad or prohibiting yourself from foods and food groups, being under a mindset or method of restriction can make you susceptible and vulnerable to deviation. If it's cravings that set you off or even being served food and tempted by what you can’t have, there are many scenarios in the case of restrictive dieting that can lead to blowouts if you’re restricted in food choice. An unrestricted diet that is instead controlled by macronutrient goals rather than yes and no foods will ensure you’re not needing to have write off days and start all over again.
2. Your lifestyle isn’t being catered for: Many people who start on a health and fitness journey make the mistake of committing themselves to a plan that is outside the realms of what is reasonable for their lifestyle. For example, if you work in a high-pressure corporate job 6 days a week in the city that requires you to leave home at 6:30am and has you getting home at 8:30pm, and you’re on a ‘diet’ that has you weight training 6 days a week, cardio 5 days a week and then meal prepping for 3 hours on your only day off, and can only eat from a selected number of foods then this is ineffective and unsustainable. The repercussions of this aside from resenting the daily motion of slaving away to a draining regime is that it can’t be kept up and will have you throwing in the towel or inconsistent. Results under such a method are either non-existent or short-lived.
3. You’re not seeing results: Given a poor strategy that fails to meet the intake requirements of your body, or through yo-yoing through a cycle of diligent dieting and deviation many are deterred from dieting due to not seeing results.
4. Your expectations are not realistic: Continuing on from above, setting the bar too high in terms of what you’re expecting from yourself or your fat loss journey can create false hope and disappointment giving way to deviations and continually starting over.
5. Your daily aims aren’t sustainable: In making unrealistic daily goals whether that be adhering to incredibly low calories or training excessively etc, making goals and aims for yourself that can’t be practised long term is a ticket for disaster. To avoid switching between being on and off dieting you want to ensure your method is effective while not having you bend over backwards to you can sustain your efforts.
What changes can you make to avoid the constant starting over cycle?
1. Flexible food choices: Your body doesn’t recognise food as good or bad so neither should you. Instead, your body recognises food for its macronutrient value i.e. protein, fats and carbs. Each person mindful of their goals has an optimal intake goal that should be adhered to if they're trying to achieve a body transformation or even just maintain their weight. In working with this number, best practice for physical and mental results would be selection from a wide range of unrestricted food groups in a flexible manner.
2. A science-based practice: The diet industry in all its recent ‘fads’ has failed to highlight the mantra of calories vs. calories out as the key to weight loss. Instead, cutting and eliminating foods and food groups has people so concerned with what is raw, what is organic, what is vegan, what is paleo and what is clean and less focused on the energy intake of their daily choices. This is why clean eating is a hit and miss.
Rather than understanding the nutritional content of foods in the overall energy value, people will categorise food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on a false pretence of food being clean or junk. By way of categorisation, this is how the individual selects food rather than by the caloric and macronutrient content itself.
By reluctantly saying ‘no’ to the burger and fries at a night out with friends and ‘yes’ to the salmon and sweet potato, little does the individual know they may in fact be having the same amount of calories and in surplus for the day given their overall intake hasn’t been modified to accommodate the calorie-dense meal. So this mental test is not only difficult but can facilitate ignorance to the principles of fat loss and be practically ineffective too.
3. The ability to dine out: You don’t have to avoid dining out while you’re on the chase for results. Simply make conscious choices and be diligent in pre-planning to avoid failure.
4. Pre-planning skills: Know your downfalls and pre-plan to avoid them, for most people the culprit is usually always the weekend! While you're on your body transformation don't wing nights out, factor them into you goal intake requirements and pre-plan according to the details of the day/night to avoid deviation. Whether you have plans or just know yourself well enough to know you don't do well with the weekends pre-planning can help eliminate any derailing possibilities.
5. The right mindset: The right mindset is so important in staying committed and focused on your journey and getting yourself to where you want to be successfully and pleasantly. Mindset is sometimes a two-fold issue with dieting. There’s often the downfall of not actually wanting to make a change badly enough and then the issue of an underlying poor relationship with food and consequential disorderly eating. Ensure these issues are addressed and you’re in a sound mindset prior to embarking on your body transformation.
6. Realistic goals: When goal setting, don’t aim for the stars. When aiming to achieve a goal any method that is short-lived will mean you’ll fail due to unsustainability. Instead, set small milestones in the interim of achieving your ultimate goal that are progressive and achievable.
7. A buddy for motivation: Partnering up with a friend can be very motivating and also keep you focused and on track to your goals while enjoying the process. In pairing up with your bestie for nutrition accountability or as a training partner, you can snap your food to one another and hit the gym together!
8. Coaching for accountability: What coaching with Equalution can do is not only help you goal set but ensure you’re eating for your body and allowing you to incorporate things you feel like within your body’s needs in a non-restrictive practice. Seeking professional help can ensure your plan is created with knowledge and experience, gives you accountability, is strategised and offers you guidance and support. Let a professional like our team teach you how to integrate your lifestyle into your scientifically calculated goal intake requirements. The best professionals are those that have worked with an abundance of people with different goals and can draw on experience to justify a suitable approach for you. As well as this, they acknowledge a scientific approach and therefore promote balance and flexibility without giving you a heap of rules to live by that make the festive times difficult.
A professional in this context like our Equalution team can:
- Strategise your intake requirements for optimum results so you have direction in your nutrition and goals to meet and aren’t susceptible to eating for the sake of it.
- Give you the tools to integrate lifestyle in with your goals. Under strategised guidance, you can learn how to eat for both convenience, your lifestyle, preference and your body’s needs.
- Help you build a better relationship with food by educating you on what your body needs and how it recognises food.
- Support you on your journey with positive encouragement. This means when you’re feeling shaky or like deviating you can reach out for assistance. Our team has often been the saving grace in many vulnerable situations.
- Keep you accountable for your nutrition.
Stop switching on and off your adherence and commitment to your body transformation plan and address the root of the issue in that your method is flawed and unsustainable. Go back to the drawing board and begin again with longevity in mind and call on a professional for strategy and meal guidance assistance. Ask us how you can still enjoy the foods you love, maintain your lifestyle and ditch yo-yo dieting while seeing RESULTS!
Yours in Health & Fitness,
The Equalution Team