We don’t need military precision food plans or an alarm to remind us to eat every two hours. But if you do erratic things with food, expect erratic responses on the scales.
1. You’ve got no structure
If that’s jumping from one diet to another, or being a weekend warrior with your food, you most likely need some structure. Having structure allows a frame to work from.
2. You’re guessing
Treat your food like your bank account. If you want to save money, you need to put attention into what you are spending. You’ll make a strategy on where you need to pull back and put a budget plan in place, and food is no different when dealing with energy balance. Money in, money out, calories in, calories out. What gets measured gets managed.
3. You are trying to go alone
If my car needs attention I’ll bring it to a mechanic. If I’ve got a leaky tap, I’ll hire a plumber, if you are struggling with your food, get a coach and speed up the process. Get clarity and remove the guess work.
4. You aren’t eating mindfully
This could be snacking while you cook, “one for the pot one for me”, and we’re all guilty of licking the spoon, clearing the kids’ plate of leftovers, or snacking mindlessly as you watch TV in the evening.
It’s not bad or wrong, but calories are still calories, and the easiest way to cut back is to create some mindfulness and awareness around how you eat. You may think you eat three square meals per day, but you may snack six times on top without realising.
5. Every diet you’ve tried contains boring foods
Increasing the enjoyment in your food increases your adherence. There’s only so many chicken salads someone can eat before going crazy. Adding in more flavour, seasoning, spices, carbs and even more chocolate will absolutely help you stay on track. Harder is not better with dieting.
I’m big on people learning how to cook a broader variety of foods. It’s becoming a lost art from the prevalence of convenience foods, but there’s a load of fantastic chefs online giving insights on how to make healthy food far more enjoyable.
6. You don’t enjoy the exercise
Much like the above, if you absolutely detest burpees, why are you doing them? I don’t care if you enjoy dancing in a hula hoop, if that floats your boat then do it.
If you enjoy it, you’ll stick to it, Adherence in exercise carries over to the food. Doing something will always be better than nothing.
7. You are ignoring the elephant in the room — stress
Stress will have a negative impact on the result and outcome of any diet. Outside of the physiological impacts, it derails adherence. Stress is present in our day-to-day life, it’s inevitable, but ignoring it and adding more stress via training and even a nutritional stress with a hefty calorie deficit will see things spiral fast. Activities like rekindling old hobbies, journaling, meditation and mindfulness are all excellent to help off-set stress, but where possible address the root cause. You’ll see a significant return on investment, not just on the scales, but all round wellness.
Another episode on Netflix or an extra 60 minutes in bed? Netflix or mindless scrolling usually wins. Think of sleep as the third leg of the tripod, nutrition and exercise being the other two. If one legs goes the whole structure falls.
Running on empty is a poor choice when looking for results. Again, much like high levels of stress, there’s a whole host of negative physiological impacts from not getting enough sleep. The recommended seven to nine hours per night is rarely met, leaving those deprived moody, irritable and lacking energy.
Recommendations on the above
You may find you resonate with many of these. However, rank just the top three that stick out the most. Deal with them from most valuable to least, look to improve them, then move on once solidified. Trying to spin too many plates at once and correcting everything will see them all crash down.
Check out larrydoylecoaching.ie/podcast/
Health & Living