Healthstyle Blog

Nobody Is Perfect – Ditching Diet Perfectionism

Do you have an all or nothing mentality? Do you prefer to engage in activities at which you excel, and avoid those at which you’re less than perfect? Does this attitude extend to your losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle? If so, you could be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Real life does not allow for perfection –in fact, it often discourages it (think beneficial mutations or adaptations in the animal kingdom, for example). Real life isn’t any different when it comes to making changes for your health. You may want to obey the rules down to the letter, but you’ll eventually slip up. For perfectionists, slip up often leads to give up.

 

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How can you tell if you’re a perfectionist when it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle? According to Prevention magazine, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I usually begin a new program on a Monday?

2. Do I describe certain foods, or my own behavior, as “bad” or “good”?

3. Do I eat less than required to speed up the process?

4. Do I expect to feel starved or deprived?

5. Do I expect to give up all of my favorite foods in order to reach my weight loss goals?

6. Do I give up (for the day, the week or completely) after making one unhealthy food choice?

7. Do I believe that my past attempts failed because I didn’t try hard enough?

The more “yes” answers you give, the more likely it is that you need to ditch diet perfectionism. When you do, you will find you don’t have to eat “perfectly” in order to lose weight and keep it off. In fact, you’re likely to experience greater success in achieving your weight loss goals.

Consider these tips for ditching diet perfectionism:

You don’t have to start your program on a Monday. One study found that 46 percent of dieters started their last weight loss program on a Monday morning. By Tuesday night, 31 percent had already given up. Once you’ve decided to make a change to a healthier lifestyle, experts recommend making a healthy choice at your very next meal rather than choosing a specific day as your start date. And if you slip up, don’t “start over” tomorrow or next week –get back to healthy choices immediately.

Don’t use “good” or “bad” to describe foods or your behavior –these words encourage the perfectionist all or nothing mindset. Instead, think about how particular foods or behaviors make your body feel. Do you feel healthier when you eat certain foods? Do you have more energy after an apple with peanut butter or after a bag of chips?

Don’t suffer through it. The best plan is one that combines exercise with healthy eating and enough food to keep your body functioning at its best. If you’re irritable and exhausted, and your stomach is constantly growling, you won’t be able to stick with it for long. Ideally, how you eat while on the program is how you should eat for the rest of your life.

I am hosting a FREE online training on Tuesday February 9th and on Friday February 12th on why discipline is not the key to weight loss, the 5 Myths that sabotage weight loss and what you should do instead. I would love for you to join me.

Click on the links below to reserve your spot.

I look forward to seeing you on the webinar.

To your vibrant health!

 

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