We’ve all been there! You enthusiastically start a new diet plan, the weight is falling off… And, then, suddenly, you hit the dreaded diet plateau, where you just can’t seem to shift any more, no matter how hard you seem to try. 😧
It’s pure and utter torture! And once you hit that dastardly diet slump, there are only two choices facing you:
1. Throw in the towel and hit the nearest fast food spot to eat away your woes. 😋
2. Take yourself off to a quiet corner and ask yourself to honestly think about where it is all going wrong. 😳
As tempting as option number one might seem, option number two is obviously the more noble path to take.
So, having hit that awful bump in my dieting road of late, I reluctantly examined my apparently food-starved conscience to pick out the pitfalls in my most recent diet plan.
Following some quiet contemplation, I realised that I had indeed been making some fatal errors in the dieting game, and without drawing out the suspense any longer, I am so happy to share my biggest dieting mistakes with you, here and now, so as you can do your darndest to avoid making them too!
So, in no particular order, here they are:
1. Meal Skipping
Hands up! Who hasn’t done this?
You’re counting calories, you’re busy and rather than plan that healthy breakfast or lunch, it’s easier to just… skip a meal, or two, altogether! Or, worse still, substitute a healthy meal with a latte and a cupcake.
‘Just one little cupcake won’t put a dent in my diet plan, will it?’
Well, if it only happened once or twice, maybe not, but consistently could be where the problem lies…
A healthy smoothie bowl or a unicorn cupcake? Simply no contest!
Where meal skipping is concerned, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that fewer meals mean fewer calories. It’s logical, isn’t it?!
While some of the studies into the effects of meal skipping reach conflicting conclusions, my own meal skipping experience has led me to overindulge later on in the evening, which would lend more weight to a study reviewed by the The New York Times in 2007.
‘The researchers found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in potentially risky metabolic changes. The meal skippers had elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response – conditions that, if they persisted long-term, could lead to diabetes.’ The Risks and Rewards of Skipping Meals, www.well.blogs.nytimes.com
If the dieter is disciplined enough to consume fewer calories overall, in spite of skipping meals, the weight loss graph is less likely to be drastically affected. However, if, like me, you are so ravenously hungry, and/or hangry, by the end of the day that your overall daily calorie intake is higher than if you hadn’t missed any meals throughout the day, weight will inevitably pile on instead of off. Yikes!
2. Mindless Munching
Since having my youngest bundle of joy all of 15 months ago, I have been wandering about in a state of almost perpetual exhaustion. Or, if such a notion could be taped, see the results below…
That’s right, a living, breathing, eating zombie
In fact, I have been so zoned out of late, that I am hardly conscious of what I am doing (keys in the fridge, anyone??), nevermind eating.
Ergo, more ends up in my mouth than I intend putting there, and, worst of all, I often have absolutely no recollection of how it got there. 😨
Kim – zombie-muncher?!
One minute, I’m thinking I might have just one bite of that deliriously delicious looking mermaid tail cupcake…
And the next, it’s gone ‘poof’, as if by magic! If only the extra pounds would disappear as swiftly!
And then there is the issue of the food refusing toddler…
Baby emphatically refuses food. He absolutely will not eat it. He has not eaten even the teeny-tiniest morsel. So, how come his plate is now empty?
Could Mama, on some subconscious level, believe that by feeding herself baby’s unwanted food, baby will somehow benefit, as if she were still pregnant?
Well, it’s a theory, and I’m sticking to it because it’s a whole sight better to stomach than the ‘Mama is greedy and a diet failure’ theory!
3. Ignoring the importance of portion power
This third and final point is an exceptionally tricky one! First of all, when you are on a diet and going out of your way to eat healthier foods in general, there is a tendency to feel entitled to larger portions.
It seems you can get too much of a good thing!
However, even if you’re being strict with your food choices, portion control is key to dieting success.
There has to be a limit to the lettuce, Kourtney!
This is a point which is proving to be a major pitfall of the latest version of the Weight Watchers plan, which I have been following of late. You see, to my surprise, Weight Watchers have now upgraded their list of zero-point, aka ‘free foods’, to include; eggs, corn, fish, seafood, skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, non-fat plain yoghurt, beans, peas, lentils, tofu… phew…, as well as fruits and vegetables! And yes, you’re right, that is a lot of ‘free food’ to indulge in, and not without consequences, it seems…
Women’s Health magazine confirms our worst ‘free food’ fears:
‘Weight Watchers fans have had mixed reactions on social media, and nutritionists are in the same boat. “If the focus is on health and balanced eating, it’s a great move,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., C.D.N, and CEO of NY Nutrition Group.”But for those who are also looking to lose a lot of pounds, this will most likely significantly hinder the effectiveness of Weight Watchers.”
It also goes on to say:
‘Portion control is a potential issue with the new Weight Watchers zero-points foods, says Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life With Real Food. “I think they should be more cautionary with the assumption that people will not overeat the zero-points foods,” she says. […] While Warren says that the underlying concept of stressing whole foods is good, she points out that “anyone can overeat when given free rein while dieting, regardless of the type.”’ Weight Watchers Just Added Hundreds of ‘Zero-Point’ Foods And Fans Are Seriously Concerned, www.womenshealthmag.com
Darn it! I just knew it was all too good to be true!
But, on a positive note, ‘knowledge is power’, as they say. So, at least we can rectify any misdeeds by going back to the drawing board, or, more specifically, the weighing scales…
Ugh! Why oh why can’t there just be an easy way out?!
(Okay! Deep down, I know, the answer to that! No need to bombard the comments section with extra, shaming responses! 😳)
It still counts as a portion even if it’s not on your plate, Kim! 🤦
So, from tomorrow, it’s a clean slate! No more messing up on the diet front, folks!
I will have reached my diet goals by Christmas, at the very latest!
And I expect you all to hold me to that!
To be continued…
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
*All Gifs are via GIPHY