Have you ever thought about starting a new project – in this case, losing weight – and then giving up before you even started? Perhaps the project seems so overwhelming you think that your chances of success are nil. After all, losing weight is a challenge that many of the best and the brightest among us have failed. What makes us believe that we're going to have the energy, stamina, willpower and determination to succeed where so many million others have failed? In other words, we need to know how to overcome obstacles that have defeated the majority of our race. Whew.
And to make things even worse, you might be a dedicated dieter who watched 10, 20, 30 pounds fall off your frame – and you might still quit and give up in the end. So let's discuss the three biggest obstacles. Because it's no use to pretend that they don't exist. If we're not prepared for resistance, we are sure to be defeated by it.
"I Have No Willpower!"
The first and toughest is the feeling that we do not have the willpower to stay on a diet. And let's not pretend it isn't almost impossible – or it really seems that way. Because what is the first thing that we have to do: give up every food we love. Right? No more desserts, no more pasta, no more pizza or anything good. All we will eat for the rest of our lives is lettuce with lemon juice.
Of course, that's really silly. However, if we feel deprived we're almost certain to fail. The secret to getting by this very tough obstacle is to create an eating plan that will allow you to eat moderate amounts of the foods you love without ruining your diet. There are two ways to do this:
The first way is to make low-fat meals that use your favorite foods. An example for me is that I love, adore and have a passion for pasta. So, I frequently make whole-grain pasta with sugar-free, tomato sauce and vegetables. I top it off with a soy cheese that is similar to Parmesan, and a healthy dose of sea salt. In that way I do not feel deprived at all, I am full and I don't eat hundreds of calories.
The second way is to make your favorite foods healthier. I do that often and a great example is pizza. Clearly a huge slice of pepperoni pizza, loaded with cheese and swimming in fat will never in a million years improve your health or help you to lose weight. However, I know how to make a whole wheat pasta dough, and I cover it with vegetables, occasionally turkey pepperoni and the soy cheese that I mentioned above. I make " ice cream" out of such goodies as fruit, almond milk, soy yogurt, nuts, and sometimes organic chocolate. I even have a "fudge" recipe that is healthy, and isn't especially fattening.
So do I feel deprived? Never!
Boring, Dull Food
A second problem is boredom. Quite honestly, if your recipes are boring it's your own fault! The Internet, the library and the bookstore all contain tens of thousands of fascinating recipes. I try at least two new recipes that are healthy and low in fat every single week. Some weeks, I try a lot more than that. Are they all a success? No way! Some are just absolutely dreadful and sane person would eat them. However, I find lots of good recipes that I use again and again and again. For example, I have a gravy recipe that is as delicious as any gravy, you can find. At least, it is to me – keeping in mind that everybody's tastes are different. But the point is that I love it and eat it often. And it has very few calories.
Another huge obstacle for most of us is that devil, doubt. Especially if you've been overweight for years, you may not admit it but you have doubts that you will ever be thin. This makes it really easy to give up on any attempts to be thinner, to eat well and be healthier. One suggestion that's often made is to give yourself an encouragement by looking at old pictures of yourself when you were thin. I don't know about you, but personally I find that depressing. When I see myself at a younger age with a fitter body, I just feel more hopeless, rather than encouraged. However, that may not be true for you so spend so spend some time figuring out what would give you confidence and encourage you to persevere. See, most diets start with the eating plan but where we truly need to start is inside our own head.
These are the three greatest obstacles to reforming your eating habits and losing weight. If we just skip over them and go along with the diet chances are we're going to fail. The not-so-secret-secret of how to overcome obstacles is simply this: face them. Don't hide, ignore or acknowledge because they are certain to sneak out and sabotage you. Then you will once again fail to lose weight. Don't join that miserable sorority.
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