The amount of information saturating the internet and media regarding weight loss and diet staggering. Many of the methods work, some better than others, but no matter which you choose day after day the same mistakes seem to be prevalent, almost universal, and each can, in its own way completely tank your efforts. However, understanding these pitfalls can help you to avoid them and to develop the attitudes which have a much greater prospect of long-term success.
1. The “All or Nothing” Attitude
Those seeking to lose weight with the “All or Nothing” attitude often choose a diet plan that is all but impossible for them to maintain. As we know one of the keys to long term success is to create a plan that is sustainable. These individuals often identify and dispose of anything in their home which does not fit the highly restrictive plan. They plan to be “all in” and to flawlessly execute all aspects of the diet plan. For days, or even weeks they are exactly that. However, inevitably some life event or even small catalyst leads them to deviate one time from the strict discipline of their chosen path. Immediately this “slip up” has ruined all their hard work, or so it is in their eyes. This then leads them to restock all the forbidden treats that went in the trash at the beginning of the journey and all hope in reaching their goal is abandoned.
If you have, in the past, been this kind of dieter, there may be some internal examination that needs to take place. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you committed to long term weight loss?
Is your goal a short term goal that you do not desire to last?
The way forward may be to continue with some examination of your goals and the dep seeded “WHY” that drives the desire for these goals. Then to seek the help of a trainer, coach or other health and fitness professional that can guide you to long term success.
2. The “Isle of Great Sacrifice”
These dieters view their diet as though they are stranded on a deserted island, nothing there but themselves and an unending stack of rice cakes. They spend their days dreaming of the moment that their period of sacrifice is over, and they are rescued from their seemingly never ended period of scarcity, when they are free again to indulge in all the finest flavors the world has to offer. These dieters do not allow themselves to learn how to create a healthy relationship with the foods that they enjoy. They deny themselves the opportunity to learn to moderate their tastes to a healthy level. It is better to allow for at least one “Treat meal” per week and learn to have a healthy relationship with these foods to avoid the psychological pitfalls on “the isle of sacrifice”.
3. Lack of Proper Goal Setting
Many people insist that SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) goals are the only way to successfully meet your desired outcome. I would respectfully disagree. The problem with SMART goals is that they are achieved rather quickly and then leave the person directionless. SMART goals do have their place but that is not where we need to start. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” - Norman Vincent Peale
If you wish to get to your new fancy penthouse apartment you do not set a set a goal of simply walking up the first flight of stair. Conversely you do not try to jump from the ground floor and expect to get there either. They key here is to set the large goal which you truly want but seems to be out of reach, Daren Hardy likes to call this the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and I like that, so we will go with it. You set the BHAG, the great thing is that if you shoot for the BHAG and miss, you will most definitely surpass by f
ar any SMART goal you would have ever set alone. After setting the BHAG you then begin to set a series of SMART goals that will act as a stairwell to you BHAG.
Setting goals in this manner ensure that you reach much greater heights, and that you do not complete a short-term goal and return to old habits for lack of direction.
The most important things to remember on your journey are these:
Failure is a verb not a noun. If for any reason you fall into an old habit for a day then you failed for that day. You are not “a failure”, this does not dictate your identity. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to succeed. Simply identify the trigger that caused the laps, then learn to not do it again.
Total denial of all things or placing yourself on the “isle of sacrifice” will do you no favors. Allow yourself the simple pleasures in moderation and according to your caloric needs. If you are getting your complete nutrients and not over doing it this can only help you to create a maintainable diet for long term success.
Shoot for the stars! Shoot for the starts then build yourself a ladder to get there. If you need help doing this, learning to make and achieve goals or identifying and integrating your “WHY” into your success you can contact us about our programs at www.phit3.com.