Dieting Pitfalls Part 1: Are You Sabotaging Yourself?


Are you making losing weight harder than it has to be? One of the most important keys to weight loss success is ensuring that you are not standing in your own way. When you eliminate self-sabotaging behaviors, you are free to focus on external challenges and temptations rather than wasting time on self-created issues.

In this article, we will discuss three of the most common physical ways you can sabotage yourself.

Booby trapping your cabinets

    One of the most common reasons for diet failures is bringing unhealthy foods into the house. You may bring a package of cookies home and say it’s for the kids, but admit it: Some of those cookies will probably end up in your mouth. It’s best to leave the cookies on the store shelf and not lead yourself into temptation. Instead, make sure that you are setting yourself up to win in the nutrition arena. Be sure that you have plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products in your home. That way, you will reach for food that will satisfy you inside and out when you are hungry rather than go for the foods that just satisfy your tongue.

Creating ‘bottomless food pits’

    A bottomless food pit is an environment in which a large quantity of unhealthy food is made available to you in one sitting. Examples are buffets, whole pizzas, tubs of buttered popcorn, boxes of cookies, and bags of potato chips. If you have a hard time controlling your food intake, then you will be more likely to overeat when faced with a bottomless food pit. I remember going to the movies on more than one occasion when I was overweight and sitting down with a tub of buttered popcorn. I’d become so engrossed in the movie that I didn’t notice the robotic way that I was taking popcorn from the tub and putting it into my mouth. I only became conscious of what I was doing when my hand scraped the bottom of the empty tub. You want to eat consciously and enjoy the experience. If you do want to enjoy popcorn at the movies, then order the smallest size. If you must have cookies or potato chips, then have the snack size (not the grab bag size, which can contain 2 servings or more). If you are going to a buffet, be sure to have an apple or other piece of fruit before you leave home. That way, you can decide which items you will have rationally rather than be at the mercy of a ravenous appetite when you get to the buffet!

Sleeping with the enemy

    While it is true that some fast food restaurants are offering healthy items on their menus today, most menu items are still either fatty, salty, sugary, or a combination of the three. Be honest: If you go into Burger King and smell the hamburgers and fries, how likely is it that you will order a salad? Again, you don’t want to lead yourself into temptation. However if you must go to a fast food restaurant, then I recommend that you check out the establishment’s Web site beforehand. Usually, they will post the menu and provide nutritional statistics on the items they offer. You can decide ahead of time what you will have. Then, go to the drive through to get it. That way, you won’t be tempted by the smells of the unhealthy stuff.

The above pitfalls are just a few challenges you will need to handle on your way to achieving your goals. The better you can handle these challenges, the sooner you will enjoy the spoils of victory: A healthier, fitter body.

A Registered Nurse for many years, Kimberly Floyd battled obesity for much of her adult life. She was finally able to achieve her ideal weight and is currently writing a book that is designed to help others achieve their weight loss goals entitled ’Take Back Your Temple’.

Kim has written articles for the Georgia Nurses Association publication and Nursing Spectrum Online. Now a technical writer, she has written training programs for corporate clients, including IBM, U.S. Bank, and Cingular.

Kim also teaches an online course called ’Goodbye to Shy.’ [^to^Shy&departmentnum=PE] This course is distributed to over 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia through Thomson Learning. An accomplished speaker and trainer, she delivers presentations on health-related topics to enthusiastic audiences.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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