You start a new eating plan, do super well on it for a few weeks, then everything goes to pot in a binge of epic proportions. Lather, rinse, repeat in an endless cycle. Sound familiar? If this is a pattern you’ve become used to over the years, then you’ve become guilty of self-sabotage. But why are you undermining your best efforts, and what can you do about it? Let’s take a look at the most common forms of diet sabotage.
You’re starving yourself
Believe it or not, losing weight isn’t about eating 800 kilojoules a day on some punishing starvation diet. Instead, it’s about eating enough healthy, wholesome foods to fuel you for the day, while creating a kilojoule deficit to help you shift weight. So if you’re hardly eating anything, it’s no wonder you’re sabotaging your efforts by binging – your body is crying out for food! Increase your kilojoule intake by having three decent meals a day, with one or two snacks in between, and you’ll get the nutrition you need without having to cram five burgers into your mouth.
You let one bad meal ruin your whole week
We’re all human. And that means as much as we know salad is good for us, we also crave pizza once in a while, too. The difference is that when you have your pizza, instead of going straight back to your plan, you let the guilt and shame completely derail you, and what was one indulgent meal is now a week full of poor choices. The solution? Plan ahead. There’s nothing wrong with eating a pizza or a slice of cake every so often – one meal won’t make you gain weight. So plan these indulgences ahead of time, and enjoy every last carb-laden bite. Then go right back to your usual plan. You won’t feel any guilt as you’ll have planned your treat ahead of time, and you’re unlikely to see any weight gain from just one treat, too. It’s a win-win!
You exercise to eat
You’re training hard so you deserve to eat more, right? Wrong! If you’re looking to maintain your weight, then regular training supplemented with healthy eating and treats will keep you where you want to be. But if you’re looking to lose weight, you need to create a kilojoule deficit: burning more energy than you’re taking in. The easiest way to do this is by making healthy nutrition choices and watching your portion size, but exercise can also help to burn more energy, too. Unfortunately, if you’re rewarding yourself for going to the gym with a double burger and fries afterwards, you’re instantly wiping out that kilojoule deficit you’ve worked so hard to create. Instead, build on your deficit by eating delicious healthy foods, connect with the fact that training doesn’t mean you can eat all the food (because, science) and plan the odd treat instead. You’ll soon see the results you’re looking for, with no sabotage along the way!