How to stop screwing up on your diet (Part 6)

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By Ari Snaevarsson, Features Editor

The solution is neither complacency, nor disdain; it is acceptance.

In going into as much detail on the topic of “damage control” as I did last time, the message I am trying to drive home is to accept these slip-ups.  I know it sounds abstract and cliché, but it really is the most practical way to conquer these bumps in the road and allow your diet to become a long-term, sustainable component of your life.  This is going to partly tie things back to the psychological aspect, but that is only due to its instrumental role in dietary adherence.

Responding to your completely normal inability to be 100% adherent to your diet with complacency will only lead to a missed opportunity for self-improvement.  Responding with disdain and self-loathing will prove equally harmful, if not worse, and will further fuel the restrict-binge cycle I have discussed.  The happy medium, which can be applied to most aspects of life, is one of acceptance.

This means accepting what has already happened and cannot be changed, without judgment or overthinking.  The goal is to realize that by dwelling on the situation and turning a small deal into perceived devastation, you are furthering yourself from the success that is within your grasp.  Please do not dismiss these words as motivational fluff and feel-good sentiments; this is practical advice that can make a world of difference in your dieting efforts.  Now, a paradigm shift of this magnitude is no easy task and, like all things, takes practice.

4. Come up with strategies for moments of weakness

Dieting is hard

Even if you have analyzed and evaluated what went wrong in your diet and in your mindset, and an effectively flexible diet is in place, some degree of difficulty and temptation is inevitable.  People like to talk up their diet of choice as if it’s the holy grail of hunger control and weight loss, and flexible dieting is no exception.

The reality is, while certain dietary practices (like what I have discussed) can help optimize weight loss and ameliorate cravings, at the end of the day, diets are hard.  That is the honest truth, and that is why it is so important to find peace and enjoy the process for its ups and downs.

Point being, these things happen, and you do not want to be in hot water when such moments strike.  As the old adage goes: failing to plan is planning to fail.  While finding the right strategy is going to ultimately boil down to adopting something that works for you, I will spend next week’s article shortly summing up some of the methods I have seen work for myself and others.



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