What Is The Second Biggest Dieting Mistake?
Many dieters are all-or-nothing people. Very often they are high achievers, or at least lead extremely busy lives. They find it difficult to accept failure. They insist on trying to be perfect.
Unfortunately, when it comes to losing weight, this type of attitude is asking for trouble. Because in my experience, it is simply not possible to avoid “bad days” – even “bad weeks” – when dieting. Accidental binges are inevitable. And the only way to survive these setbacks is to go with the flow, then bounce back.
But perfectionists find it extremely difficult to “bounce back” after a binge. They become swamped with guilt and frustration at having “failed”. So instead of rolling with the punch and returning to their diet after a day or so, they quit altogether and blame someone/something else.
Are you a bit of a perfectionist? If so, here’s some advice.
- No diet ever collapses because of a binge. To gain even 1 pound of weight, you need to eat a truckload of calories.
- It’s the guilt you feel AFTER the binge, that causes the damage, and prevents you from bouncing back.
- The good news is, you don’t even NEED to feel guilty. I mean, even if you binge for a whole week, what’s the big deal? All it means, is that your weight loss timetable is delayed by 7 days.
Let me give you an example of what I’m driving at.
Suppose you weigh 270 pounds. At an initial average weight loss of 3 pounds per week, it will take you 30 weeks to get down to 180 pounds. At an average of 2 pounds per week thereafter, it will take you a further 20 weeks to reach 140 pounds. That’s a total of 50 weeks. Except nothing goes quite this smoothly. You should expect to have at least 8 “bad weeks”, delaying matters by about two months. But so what? You still reach 140 pounds in less than 14 months.
Things To Think About
All my top dieters – the ones who lost 150 pounds or more – made dozens and dozens of mistakes and had tons of disasters. The only reason they succeeded was because they continued to bounce back.
Perfection is a major obstacle to successful weight reduction. It makes us feel guilty and it stops us from bouncing back after a binge. So don’t aim to be perfect, aim to reach your weight loss goal no matter how many times you fall off the wagon.
A major issue here is your view of time, and whether you think (eg) 14 months is too long a period to spend dieting. For some suggestions on this issue, see How Fast Do You Want To Lose Weight.