What Makes Dieting So Difficult?
Sticking to a weight loss program can be difficult and cravings can be hard to resist. However, there are certain situations that trigger cravings. Here are a few examples and how to deal with them:
Alcohol is a trigger for a lot of bad habits. Smokers may tell you that they have their biggest cravings when alcohol is around and it’s the same thing for fatty foods. Alcohol may unlock the “party time mentality” but there is more to it than that. Alcohol stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibition. So if normally you would be a little hungry and suppress a craving, with a little alcohol in your system you might be ravenous and give into cravings.
Moderate your alcohol intake for starters. Especially when it comes to fatty beverages like beer. If you don’t drink enough to lose your inhibitions, you will be more likely to stick with your weight loss plan.
Lack of Sleep
Diet, exercise, and sleep all play a big role in your overall health and they all support each other. If you eat right, you have enough energy to exercise, exercise helps you sleep better, and according to a Mayo Clinic study, people who sleep less eat more calories. In fact, they report that sleep-deprived people eat 549 more calories on average. So, it becomes a vicious cycle. One weak link in the chain can affect all three factors.
Start by getting more sleep. If you get a solid night’s sleep every night you may have more energy and will power to manage your exercise and eating habits.
Staying up late is a big trigger for eating more and eating unhealthy foods. On a typical day, you might go to sleep between 10 pm and 12 am, especially if you are an early riser. By staying up late you are asking your body to work longer without rest than normal and that can result in cravings. Plus, there are other factors to consider. If you are staying up with friends, someone might suggest a late-night pizza. If you are alone watching Netflix all night, you may get bored and start craving ice cream or other sweets.
The obvious solution is to go to sleep a little earlier but sometimes life gets in the way or you want to stay up with friends for special occasions. If that’s the case, try planning a better late night snack. If you have a healthy choice lined up just in case you find yourself awake in the wee hours, you may be less likely to make unhealthy decisions.
Friends and Peers
One of the biggest ways you may be tempted to cheat on your weight loss nutritional goals is if you are in a large group of friends who don’t share your goals. Whether its co-workers taking advantage of dollar-a-slice Tuesday at the local pizzeria or a Friday night ice cream run, friends can really break down your fatty food barriers.
There are two ways you can try to tackle this temptation. You can try to let your friends know that you are determined to stick to your goals and ask them to hold you to it. For instance, if you plan to go out on a Saturday night and you know that history would dictate that you will most likely stop for fast food on the way home tell your friends not to let you get anything that breaks your diet. Be specific. You may be able to turn sources of temptation into allies. You can also try to find a friend who has similar goals and ask them to be your accountability partner. That way when you are out with the group, you have each other to encourage.
Our weight loss retreat, Live in Fitness, can help educate you and jumpstart your journey to a healthy weight and lifestyle. At Live in Fitness, we take your age, fitness levels, and personal goals into account to create a personalized weight loss program.
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