Weight loss is hard enough for anyone, but when you try to do it in a natural way that is not destructive on the body, it becomes doubly difficult. Genuine, sustainable weight loss requires a long-term effort that is difficult even for the most determined person. And unfortunately, many people subscribe to fad diet plans that boost the income sheets of companies while leaving dieters in the lurch when it comes to their long-term health. Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to take matters into your own hands. Once you have settled on a natural diet plan, avoid the following mistakes, and your effort will bear fruit.
1. Poor planning: Many people start out with big ideas about what they are capable of but soon find that they were overambitious. A good plan should have the long-term picture in mind, meaning that your day-to-day life should not be too difficult. The plan should involve small, doable steps that are easily integrated into your life. The fastest way to undermine yourself is to assign yourself too much exercise or make your diet plan too restrictive.
2. Going it alone: There is all sorts of evidence showing that people who diet with other people, especially people they live with or with whom they are otherwise close, have a much higher success rate than those who attempt to go it alone. There is strength in teamwork, and there is also the fact that dieting with partners or as a team gives you someone to whom you are accountable, which can be a powerful motivating factor.
3. Expecting it to work too fast: Any sane diet plan will enact minor changes to your life aimed at helping you not only be healthy but also lose a little bit of weight on a week-by-week and month-by-month scale. If you are doing things right, then there might not be a noticeable change in your weight for multiple weeks (unless you have one of those high-tech scales that measures you in ounces). If you go into it thinking you are going to shed all your excess weight by the end of the month, then it is probably not going to stick.
4. Allowing too many exceptions: A diet plan should truly be carefully thought-out plan that you actually stick to—and the sticking to it is the most important part. Embrace the structure that a diet plan gives to your life, and reject anything that takes you out of this structure.
5. Giving up too easily: For many people in the throes of a difficult diet, a couple of lapses can seem like game over. There is a tendency to think that if you fail for a day or two, then the whole diet is a failure. But it does not have to be like that at all. Any time you lapse in your diet plan, just remember all the progress you have made and remember that even with your lapses you are still better off than you were when you started out. You can always start fresh.
By Jamell Andrews