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The Number One Weight Loss Saboteur

Are you sabotaging your weight loss efforts before you even start?

by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN  |  2603 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

2.) When you think about making dietary and exercise changes your mind starts coming up with excuses as to why this won't work for you. "I don't have time," "I don't know what to do," etc. We usually find time for the things we really want to do.

If you have this saboteur, that's OK. In my experience, most people do. The weight-loss industry has us believing that we have to deny ourselves of foods we love, eat hardly anything, and exercise two hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in a race to lose weight then you may have to go to these extremes, but a better way is to take a little time to think about small changes you can make that you "want to" make that will lead to a calorie deficit.

For example, instead of feeling like you have to go to the gym when you don’t enjoy it, find movement you do enjoy such as walking, biking, or swimming. When you find that perfect exercise it will be something you love for the sake of doing it instead of something you have to do to get a desired result. For me this is swimming and yoga. I enjoy these things for other reasons other than just exercise. If you have a hard time finding that something you enjoy then think back to childhood. What movement did you love?

This goes for dietary changes too. Don't worry about following calorie-specific meal plans or strict diet regimens. Start simple and think about small changes that you will look forward to instead of thinking about what you can't have. For example, if you typically eat a high calorie/sugar type of dessert at night, think about something you would really enjoy that could replace that. Perhaps some strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Sure it still has some sugar, but it has fewer total calories and sugar than the original dessert and you get the added bonus of adding a fruit.

Warning: This has to be a change that you would really enjoy and would serve your sweet tooth as much as the high calorie dessert. Otherwise it becomes a "have to." You can see how sneakily that saboteur appears!

By approaching weight loss in this manner, you will find long-term success because you will develop new enjoyable habits that create the desired calorie deficit. You won't want to go back to your old habits because you will be enjoying your new habits more.

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, and a columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empowers people to make small changes s

Read more by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN

1 comment so far...

  • Great article Meri. Even fellow dietitians need a mental boost once in a while. Especially those living in the Northeast awaiting springtime!
    Readers can also consider trying yoga: It's a great way to make positive connections between mind and body:)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Rosanne Rust on 7th March 2008