As promised, here are some tips on changing or ‘fixing’ those pesky Bad Habits mentioned in Part One: 10 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters! Learning how to combat those cravings, properly portion my food and read and actually understand food labels has helped tremendously on my journey to a healthier me! My hope is that the solutions found here will help many of you as well!
Alex @ Think Active
Solutions to Bad Habits that are Preventing you from Losing Weight
Bad Habit #1: Going “on a diet” in the first place.
Smart Fix: Ditch the diets for good and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious foods and small, realistic changes that you can live with for the long term.
Bad Habit #2: Overhauling your eating habits overnight.
Smart Fix: Eating healthy isn’t about taking food away; it’s about eating MORE of the things that are good for you. To be successful, you have to implement small and realistic changes to your diet. Next week, swap that 2% milk for 1%, and switch out your usual bread for a healthy whole-grain variety. Once you get used to that, you can set a small goal like eating one serving of fresh fruits or vegetables each day. The point is to start small with changes that fit into your lifestyle.
Bad Habit #3: Giving up certain foods altogether.
Smart Fix: All things in moderation. Instead of focusing on the foods you can’t have, set goals to eat more of the foods that you know are good for you. This is a much more positive way to think about your goals and get results. Plus, allowing yourself portion-controlled servings of the food you’re thinking about banning will keep you happy and content, but also prevent crazed binges that can occur when you’re feeling weak.
Bad Habit #4: Only caring about calories.
Smart Fix: While tracking your calories, don’t forget to look at other key nutrients like protein and healthy fats (both of which can keep you full) and key vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. Luckily, we’ve found that SparkPeople’s Nutrition Tracker allows you to track all of these nutrients. Ideally, you want to use a little trial and error to balance not only your calorie equation, but make the kinds of choices that meet your protein, fat, carbohydrate and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) goals.
Bad Habit #5: Focusing on the scale.
Smart Fix: Remember that the scale tells you only one thing: the total mass of all your body parts at a given moment. Don’t put too much stock into it. Weigh yourself less frequently (about once every 1-2 weeks), and track all the other signs that amazing changes are happening in your body even if the scale doesn’t move. This is the best way to stay motivated for the long haul.
Bad Habit #6: Only dieting and not exercising.
Smart Fix: Add exercise to your weight-loss plan. It doesn’t have to be boring, strenuous, or time-consuming either. Even 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your results. For tons of fun, easy and ideas, check out SparkPeople’s Fitness Resources or ask us for some other suggestions. You’re sure to find something that you enjoy!
Bad Habit #7: Trying to eat as little as possible.
Smart Fix: Don’t just guess how many calories you need, and don’t eat what someone else eats either. Your SparkPeople free Nutrition Tracker has a recommended calorie range that is personalized for you and your goals. Eating within that range (even at the very top of it) will help you reach your weight loss goal. There is no reason to go below it. Remember: You have to eat to lose!
Bad Habit #8: Giving up too easily.
Smart Fix: Remember that perfection has no place in a weight loss plan. When you do make a mistake or feel like you’re not making enough progress, don’t give up. Change requires time and old habits die hard. When you feel yourself ready to give up, reach out for some support, and don’t wait until next week or next month to get back on the wagon.
Bad Habit #9: Confusing “healthy” with “low-calorie.”
Smart Fix: Read front-of-package labels with a discerning eye, and always turn over the package and look at the nutrition facts (and ingredients) to get a full picture of what a food is really like. This goes for restaurant menus, too. Don’t let healthy-sounding words make you think a food is actually low in calories.
Bad Habit #10: Unrealistic expectations.
Smart Fix: Change your expectations and your mindset. If you expect to lose 10 pounds in one week, then losing 1 pound is a major letdown. But if you expect to lose 1 pound and you did, you feel successful and inspired to keep working toward your goals. Losing 1-2 pounds per week—even half a pound—is major progress that should be commended. This is a healthy and realistic rate of weight loss that you can expect if you’re sticking to your nutrition and fitness goals.
If you haven’t already, check out Part One: 10 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters.
Do you like Nichole Nichols’ blogs as much as we do? You can find her over at SparkPeople.com!