Your Biggest Mistake
The mistake that's sabotaging your weight loss journey
Food Restrictions Are Such A Trap
A common practice for people looking to lose weight is deciding to completely restrict some foods perceived as “unhealthy”. Everything that a person believes is “fattening” is crossed off the menu. At least temporarily.
These “restricted” foods are often the ones that bring us comfort, the ones we associate with moments of pleasure, pause, leisure, that hold us back to family and indulgence. And this is just the first reason why cutting them out is setting the stage for failure.
Don’t think about a pink elephant
Damn it! You weren’t supposed to think about it…
This is what happens in your head when you tell yourself that you “can’t” or “won’t” eat something.
“I can’t eat chocolate” > Wow, chocolate is so good…
“I can’t have pizza” > I never noticed that there are 6 pizzerias in my street.
“I shouldn’t have candy” > Candy. Candy. Candy.
I bet you don’t spend the day thinking about pink elephants, no matter how cute they are. This is why when you take the “can’t” out of the equation, forbidden foods become (super) less attractive. It’s that simple.
When we spend a lot of time on a restrictive diet, we increase our chances of losing control when we decide to kill the urge for some “forbidden” food. Why? Because we feel we have failed the plan and ourselves and we throw all the work in the trash. And if so, let’s make the most of the moment, right?
We keep on enjoying everything beyond our reach until we satisfy all our cravings as we wait for the “magic moment” to start over, in which we will be charged with willpower and determination to restrict it all over again.
Is this cycle familiar to you?
The Temptation Of The Forbidden Fruit
On top of all that, “everything that is forbidden tastes better” is very valid when it comes to food.
Overly restricting your food choices can make your weight loss process very difficult and can result in eating disorders as well as fear of consuming some foods. Also, restricting certain foods will prevent you from forming true habits. After all, in real life, these foods will continue to appear in front of you whether it’s today, tomorrow, or next week, even if you are planning on having a shake for lunch today.
A low carb diet is not magic. Neither low fat. Neither intermittent fasting. All of these can work as long as they fit your lifestyle. Healthy eating should not be a short-term goal. It must be a lifestyle. And if it’s a lifestyle, there will never be an “on/off” mode, you’ll always be in the game and battling.
So be flexible in your food choices and practice moderation, eat foods you really enjoy. Just because you ate one cookie doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole package.
And if you overdo it, you can always choose to get it right at your next meal.
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. Also, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.
More posts from this author:
- Weight Loss Myths That Are Getting In Your Way
- How To Deal With the Fear of Food Freedom
- Your Biggest Mistake
- The Weight You Really Need To Lose
- Do This Before Attacking the Fridge
- Help! I Can't Stop Eating!
- Why Does Losing Weight Feel So Hard?
- 4 Ways Of Thinking That Are Hindering Your Weight Loss
- Do You Need Permission to Eat?
- Anxiety and Eating. Is it Normal?
- Breaking Up With My Diet
- Embracing Imperfection
- Do you like being fooled?
- Why You Don’t Need To - and Maybe Shouldn't - Have Cheat Days
- The Two Great Pitfalls of the “Bad Food” Mentality
- Finding Food Freedom — the Mindset Shift You Need
- (See all...)