You've been 'on a diet' since you were about 14, you've spent enough money on gym memberships to fund a deposit on a small house, you've spent your life turning down dessert menus and sacrificing taste for fat-free - and yet, you're still fatter than that friend who eats doughnuts for breakfast and still manages to look fantastic in a crop top.
Just what is going wrong? If you've got to the stage where you're seriously starting to wonder if someone is force-feeding you junk food in your sleep, it might be time to reassess your diet completely.
If you, like many people, struggle to lose weight even when you feel like you're trying hard, then you may want to ask yourself the following three questions:
1. Am I always honest with myself?
If you're counting calories, do you really count all of them? Do you ignore food you pick at while you're cooking, or the calories you consume through tea, coffee and fruit juice? You might feel like you have a generally healthy diet, but if a lot of the time you're telling yourself 'this doesn't count', then it probably is counting.
2. Am I fully committed?
If you have no real goals, just a general idea that you want to look better in your skinny jeans, then you might find it easier to slip up. To be successful you will need to find a real drive. What is it you really want? How are you going to get there? This way, every time you feel tempted by a cake, or a packet of crisps, you'll remember that goal and realise that what you are doing is keeping you from achieving it. If you really want something and your reasons for wanting it are strong, then you are more likely to get it.
3. Is my plan sustainable?
If you're banning yourself from all tasty treats and living on a horrible sludgy health smoothie, then chances are you'll tire very quickly. When you opt for extreme diets, you're far more likely to binge when you have the chance. Even if you eat well most of the time, it could be those few hours of binging that stop you from having the figure and clean bill of health you'd like. Healthy eating should be an everyday part of your life, not just a fortnight before your summer holiday.
4. Am I expecting miracles?
Weight loss should take time - you can't expect it all to fall off the first time you go to the gym. Don't get disheartened if improvements take time - as long as you are eating a balanced diet and burning more calories than you consume, it will drop off eventually. Set yourself small, realistic goals and don't give up just because you're frustrated at your body.
If you struggle to lose weight even though you restrict your calorie intake and exercise regularly, it might be worth talking to a nutritionist. To find out more about possible underlying medical problems, please visit our page on Thyroid Problems.
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