Challenges When Dieting – The Start Of A Diet

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For a lot of people, the most difficult part of a diet is the beginning. How many people have you heard say “It starts tomorrow”, or “next week”, or whatever.

And it never happens.

You ask them how it’s going at some point later in time, and inevitably, they throw some excuse around such as: “Oh I just don’t have time”, or “Work is too stressful”, or something.

Funnily enough, the whole “It starts tomorrow”mentality is a terrible state derived from guilt, usually after a perceived dieting fuck-up. It’s best not to let yourself get into this psychological state in the first place, instead, focus on developing habits that have been proven to work consistently over time, but that’s another story.

Diet
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Why does this happen?

Logically, you would think the beginning is the easiest, and that the diet should get harder as it goes on. Not always the case. Why?

How come some people never seem to get the ball rolling in the first place?

Why are there some winners, and many, many losers?

The answer: It’s all about relative change. This is even more important if you’ve failed in the past, or haven’t dieted in a long, long time. Your body doesn’t give a shit about absolutes. It doesn’t really care (to a certain extent) what condition you’re currently in.

All it knows is that homeostasis (equilibrium/maintenance/comfort) is being disrupted. The more you disrupt homeostasis, the more aggressively your body fights back. Most people simply don’t want the change their body badly enough to overpower this force fighting back. I’m not naive enough to ignore this fact.

The best advice I can give is to prioritise your weight loss goal as the number one thing in your life, at least for a while. This is until you get some momentum going and things consequently get easier, which they will – you just have to keep plugging away during the first few weeks or so.

If you have been trying to lose weight for a while, yet nothing is working, ask yourself: “Despite my efforts, why can I never sustain any results?” “Why do I keep bouncing back?”

Stop trying to change things so quickly.

People don’t respect their own bodies, and want instant results. Technology, and our instant gratification culture is arguably to blame for this.

Cut your calories by about 10%. Yes, as a beginner you WILL need to measure stuff, sorry. When you get good at dieting, you can afford you use your intuition. But so far, your intuition has completely and utterly failed you, so you need to measure your food for a while.

Some form of consistency is required, even if it’s a fairly “loose” diet measure.

However, I’m aware that some people are destined to fail their diets for all eternity, and I’m likely wasting my breath with these people. But I’m here to help that small percentage that desperately wants success, and is on the edge of breaking through.

My advice is to make small changes, especially at the start when your body is adjusting to its new energy balance. Allocate some time to focus purely on this, nothing else, as the human brain is terribly inefficient when trying to do multiple things at once.

Too many stressors at the same time always leads to failure, even for me.

Finally, another point that should be fairly obvious by now, but people fall for it time and time again, is that following the latest dieting fad almost always leads to failure also. It may work for a couple of weeks…..until you bounce back to where you started. These diets are too extreme.

Always remember: Your body needs to be respected. Otherwise, its survival instincts will beat you hands down every time.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Challenges When Dieting – The Start Of A Diet”

  1. Yeah this is a really timely post! I’ve been struggling the past couple of weeks with the start of my summer shred – it’s almost like I have a sugar addiction. Do you not think keto would be good to get rid of this. I am trying to slowly eliminate sugar, but I keep losing control!

    1. You can eliminate sugar immediately – I advise you to, as it’s highly addictive.

      You don’t need to go FULL KETO to get these benefits though. I think you are really missing out on the performance, sleep and general well-being benefits of low-glycemic carbs otherwise!

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