The “D” word seems to come with so many strings attached, doesn’t it? The stigma of dieting is that of hunger, deprivation, and even failure. But when done the right way, the healthy way, none of these stereotypes apply and you have nothing to be scared of!
Here’s how to fight the fear and gain footing on the path to a new you:
Use positive vocabulary. First of all, ditch the “D” word as a verb. It isn’t an action you do, it’s a collection of things you eat. A declaration that you’re “dieting” can add pressure to your mentality. Instead, acknowledge your ultimate goal and dedicate yourself to a healthier lifestyle. There, doesn’t that feel better already? While we’re at it, let’s do away with another word: should. We use it all the time— “I should have an apple instead of chips.” (Sound familiar?) Saying you ‘should’ do something leads the mind to believe whatever it is, it isn’t a desirable swap. It also invites guilt with open arms. Be positive with your words and your mentality will follow! Mouth: “I will have an apple!” Mind: “Yeah, let’s do it!”
Start a food journal. Having a space to reflect on how you feel, what you want, and how you are challenged can expose your biggest ally in this journey: yourself! Be supportive of your own process, pay attention to what matters to you and what impacts your state of mind. This is also a great place to record your goals. Having it written down means you can go back and reread it, in a weak moment, to rededicate yourself to your goal. It is also a great way to track the foods you eat and how those foods impact your body.
Hide the Scale. For most people, the number on that machine measures success…or failure. But being haunted by the scale’s feedback doesn’t help, it often adds stress and stress is a scientifically proven hindrance of weight loss. It’s time to shut that pony down. (Not for forever, you’ll meet again. Just not every day.) Use new methods to measure your transformation— How do your clothes fit? How do you feel? Those are important indications of success too, right?
Be realistic. You know the phrase “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”? (pun intended) The same goes for setting goals. Reaching too far at once can make the goal feel unattainable and daunting— you might feel defeated before you’ve even begun. Have a long-term goal but concentrate on smaller, short-term goals that will help you reach that long-term goal, step by step.
Do the prep work. The last time you took a trip, you saved up for souvenirs, packed a bag, booked a ticket, found a hotel. All this prep to make sure you have what you need in unfamiliar territory, right? Changing your lifestyle is no different. Yes, it’s intimidating to try something new, but when you have a plan in order, you will feel more secure and open for success. Weight loss is a journey, just like a trip. Wingin’ it is risky and not everyone will do well— get your ducks in a row to help fight any fears you have of the unknown.
Lastly, know that you aren’t alone! Hop over to our Fat Flush Community to talk to others who are going through the same challenges, reaching for similar goals, and clearing their own paths along the way. Having support is an important key to success.