Because my current ways of eating aren’t working (see why can’t I lose weight), I’m trying to establish new rules of eating and dieting that would actually allow me to lose weight.
I’ve been thinking hard about what’s wrong with what I do at the moment, and I think I’ve uncovered several dysfunctional ways of thinking and behaving that make it very hard for me to lose weight.
Stress eating is one of them, but there are more.
#1 Dieting Mistake: Avoidance And Denial
Here’s what I mean by avoidance and denial: I like to keep myself in the dark about my weight and how much I eat on a daily basis. First and foremost, I didn’t weigh myself at all for 2,5 years and I consequently put on more than 22 pounds.
Secondly, if I deviate from my eating plan, I avoid tracking the calories I eat, because somehow they don’t “count”. Also, if I for some reason suspect that my weight is going to go up in the next weigh in, I’m very likely to skip the weigh in for that week
Well, I think I’m dearly in need of some “reality therapy”. 🙂
I can never expect to lose weight if I don’t face up to my poor eating habits or if I’m not aware of how much I weigh or what I put into my mouth. It was relatively easy to deceive myself about how much weight I had put on during the 2,5 years of no weigh ins, so I was pretty surprised about how much I had gained weight during the time I didn’t weigh myself.
On the plus side, my weight gain kind of explained why I looked (and look) so horrible in photos.
Weighing is not the only way to monitor your weight, but it’s one easy way to keep track of where you are and where you’re going, especially in the long run. (You have to take into account that your weight can vary as much as ~4 lb per day for various reasons not related to actual weight gain). Monthly photos or measurements are a good way too, because they show where the fat is melting.
#2 Dieting Mistake: Impulsive eating / Stress eating / Emotional eating
Intuitive eating is fine and dandy, but the problem with it is that I’ve pretty much interpreted it to mean I can eat whatever I want any time I have an impulse to eat. I rarely say no to myself. Furthermore, I use eating to alleviate boredom, stress and all kinds of emotional upheavals.
I’ve decided that from now on, it’s not ok to eat for boredom or stress.
Just declaring this rule seems to have decreased my impulsive eating somewhat, but I suspect I need to put a lot more work into learning other ways to deal with the stresses in my life.
#3 Dieting Mistake: Eating and meal planning isn’t a priority.
I need regular, nourishing meals and occasional treats in my eating plan. Even though I often say to myself I can’t be bothered to cook regular meals for myself, that simply isn’t acceptable anymore.
If I don’t take care of myself, how do I suppose I’m going to lose weight and maintain my weight loss in the long run? No one else is going to do that for me, so I better figure out ways to prepare tasty and nourishing meals.
In other respects, my weight loss plan is pretty much similar to what I’ve done earlier. There are no forbidden foods, cheat days or severe calorie restriction. But not tracking my weight or my eating is not an option anymore.