Since I first started to diet just over 5 years ago, I’ve put on weight and I’ve lost weight. I have tried nearly every exercise program and followed nearly every diet under the sun. Nothing seemed to work for me at all. If you’ve been following me, you will know that my life changed at the supermarket one day, with one small boy’s comments. I realised that it was not a diet I needed but a change in the way I looked at food. It was then that I realised I had made many mistakes in my quest to lose weight.
Over the next week, I’m going to share with you eight mistakes that I made on my quest to lose weight and I hope that by sharing my failures, they will help you avoid some of the same mistakes that I made.
1. I started to skip breakfast
Like a lot of people trying to lose weight, I believed that simply eating a lot less and skipping the occasional meal would help me shed that fat. It was easy to skip breakfast as I was so busy with my children, getting them ready for school, making lunches, rushing them to the school bus. By the time I got to work, the thought of food was the furthest thing from my mind that is until my break time.
However, skipping breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re on a weight loss diet. If you leave the house in the morning on an empty stomach you’re much more likely to be tempted to eat more during the mid-morning and at lunch time.
We all tend to forget that the calories we eat at breakfast time are easily burnt throughout the day as we are usually busy running around after family members and others at work or doing the house work.
A good healthy breakfast can make all the difference to your day. Nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day and it is the key to staying healthy and decreasing the chances of becoming obese as well as having several other advantages.
2. I would eat one day and not the next
I found myself in a catch 22 situation. I would eat approximately 2500+ calories of fattening food one day, feeling very guilty about it and ‘starving’ myself the next day.
This ‘starvation’ throughout the day can lead to you becoming much more likely to eat more in the evenings, which is not going to help you lose weight as you should consume most of your calories in the morning.
The relationship between infrequent eating and obesity may also be a result of how your body processes fat and glucose, depending on whether you exercise after you eat. If you eat a big meal in the evening because you’ve starved yourself all day and then go right to bed, your body may store glucose as fat rather than burning it as fuel throughout the day.
3. I bought diet food
When I went shopping I always chose the foods marked diet, healthy, low-fat etc… Although this is good practice to get into, I was buying these foods for the wrong reason. I bought them because I believed that if they were low-fat, healthy foods, I could eat a lot more of them. I would eat these foods in large portions and of course I wasn’t doing myself any favours.
Not only are these pre-packed diet foods expensive, but they are also not the healthy filling meals you should be serving to your family on a regular basis. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting down to dinner and serving up plastic trays of diet food. A lot of these pre-packaged foods come riddled with sodium and preservatives and not what your growing children require, nutritionally speaking. As frozen foods are not satisfying or filling it is so easy in the evening, to reach for a tasty snack. Another reason to avoid these meals is that if, like me, you will be tempted to eat more of them as the portion sizes are smaller than you require and are able to eat when you eat healthily.
4. I thought I’d always be fat
This is the mind-set that you must break if you want to lose some serious weight. It’s very natural to think that you’re not making any progress even though you are sticking to your healthy eating and doing your exercises. You need to focus on being happy and healthy and achieving your goals. You need to have a healthy self-image before you can begin to lose the thought that you would always be fat.
This is when you need to have a positive mental attitude. Remember that a positive attitude promotes better health, helps us handle stress and problems and helps us to see ourselves in a much better light. We CAN lose weight, we WILL lose weight and we WILL be healthy and happy.
My mistakes were remedied by having a plan, a positive attitude to that plan and sticking with it. Next time, I will share four more mistakes I made and was able to put right.