Are you committing the unforgiveable sins of the weight-loss world? See the light before it’s too late and become born again as a slimmer, sexier you.
The Road to Tasty Temptation
Repent, oh ye fatty sinners, for The Almighty Slim One sees your transgressions! He sees you hiding in the closet eating a chocolate-chip cookie…He knows about the slice of cheesecake you’ve secreted at the back of the fridge for later. He weeps with sorrow when you plunge your face into a bucket of KFC…
OK, that’s enough of that; you get the general idea, right? We all want to lose weight, but it’s hard sometimes. We are surrounded by so many temptations that seem to be designed to lead us astray. It really does feel like The Evil Fat One is trying to lead us off the straight and narrow into the darkness of sugary treats and fatty delights.
As weight-loss crusaders, we have to shoulder these crosses and do our best to deal with them. We must learn to identify the health and fitness sins that can jeopardize all our plans. And then we must come up with plans to deal with the temptation and keep focused on the righteous path.
So let’s take a look at the unpardonable sins you may already be committing, and see if we can find ways to deal with them successfully…
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#1. Cheating Yourself on Your Calorie Count
If you want to be sure of losing weight optimally, you need to be counting your calories. And the best way to do that is to keep a journal where you record everything that you eat each day.
If you are doing that already, then good for you. But are you cheating? This system only works if you record absolutely everything that you eat. If you leave out the spoonful of cake mixture you sneaked while making that birthday cake, or the last sandwich left over in your daughter’s lunchbox, then you are cheating yourself.
These minor deviations may not seem very much on their own. But over time, they soon add up to a lot of calories which are not accounted for. So when you are wondering why you struggle to lose weight, these ‘cheat snacks’ may well be the root cause. Make sure you record everything, so you can see where the problem lies.
#2. Wimping Out on Your Exercise Regime
I used to be guilty of this one, for sure. I would go to the gym and spend 15 minutes half-heartedly peddling a stationary bike, then another 15 minutes splashing around in the pool.
But after that, I would stretch out on one of the poolside loungers and read a book for half an hour. At the end of this, I would kid myself that I had ‘been to the gym for an hour,’ so I was doing great!
Of course, this was a big, fat lie – and the only person I was cheating was myself. Once I realized how dumb this was, I dumped the sun lounger and doubled down on my efforts. Now I do a full 60-minute workout every time I go to the gym, and my waistline is eternally grateful for the effort.
#3. Hopping from Diet Plan to Diet Plan
With so many diet plans and exercise programs being promoted week by week, it is so easy to give up on one strategy and move on to the next ‘shiny object.’ Of course, this approach is doomed to failure.
You are much better off finding one diet and exercise plan that you are comfortable with, and sticking with this for the duration. Don’t expect immediate results – that’s a sure way to invite failure and more diet hopping. Stick with your chosen plan for many months (better still, for a whole year) and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
#4. Having Temptation at Your Fingertips
Is your kitchen full of cookies, cakes, biscuits and other tempting goodies? When you open your fridge, do you see a pavlova staring back at you, saying ‘eat me’ every time? If so, you need to think about removing the temptation.
For me, the solution was to throw out everything that wasn’t healthy. Bread, pasta, rice, sugary foods and fatty foods all went into the bin, never to darken my kitchen again. Now I am not tempted to head for the kitchen for a midnight snack. After all, you have to be really hungry to start tucking into raw broccoli.
If you have children in the house, then I understand that it’s more difficult to get rid of all the goodies. But then again, aren’t your children also better off without all that fattening food? At the very least, you can get rid of the worst offenders, and stock up on healthier snacks instead.
#5. Adding Extras to Your Meals
So you’re having salad for lunch, and you have carefully counted the calories. You are well within your calorie limit, so you are looking forward to tucking in. But before you do, you sprinkle your lunch with a generous helping of brand-name salad dressing…
Hold it right there! That dose of salad dressing may contain enough calories to take you well over your limit. Many store-bought salad dressings are loaded with sugars and fats. If you really must use salad dressing, then make your own so that you know what’s in it. Better still, get used to eating salad without it…the real thing tastes so much better!
After lunch, you grab a coffee before getting on with your afternoon’s work. But wait…did you put two sugars in that coffee? That’s bad! When you add sugar to tea, coffee and other beverages, you are piling up useless calories by the truckload. Quit the sugar today, and you will adapt to the natural taste within a week or two. Then you will wonder why you ever put that junk in your favorite drinks.
#6. Faking it at Fast-Food Chains
Those big fast-food chains really pulled a fast one on us. They found that if they added just a couple of healthy food items to the menu, it would attract people who thought they could enjoy a junk-free meal at Ronald’s place.
But here’s the kicker. It turns out that hardly anyone actually goes for the healthy choices. Just seeing them on the menu is enough. Believe it or not, we are daft enough to think that just having the option to eat salad will do. We go ahead and order a Big Mac with extra fries, happy in the knowledge that we went to eat ‘somewhere healthy.’
Don’t kid yourself. If you must go to a fast-food chain, then stick to the healthy choices and don’t load up with super-sizes and extra fries. Better still, avoid the junk food altogether and eat somewhere where all the food is healthy.
#7. Getting a Soda Addiction
We do drink an awful lot of soda drinks! The size of the soft drinks market worldwide is a mind-boggling $300 million dollars, and is still growing. The vast majority of this is comprised of sugary soda drinks. And are they bad for you, or what?
The average US consumer guzzles no less than 45 gallons of soda drinks per year. That means we chug down an awful lot of unnecessary sugar. A regular 12-oz can of Coke, for example, contains over nine teaspoons of sugar.
If you saw someone put nine teaspoons of sugar in their coffee, you would think of them as a greedy pig who deserved the diabetes and heart disease that may well follow. Yet we think nothing of drinking several cans of soda a day.
So it’s time to have a rethink. At the very least, you should switch from regular sodas to diet variations such as Coke Zero. But even these are not ideal. They adapt your taste to very sugary choices, which can lead to you overeating in many other areas.
If you can, ditch the soda and switch to drinking water instead. The taste will seem plain at first, but only by comparison to the high-sugar doses you are used to. Once you have adapted, you will find that a glass of water with ice and a slice of lemon beats the pants of the sugary soda monsters for taste…and has zero calories!
Become Virtuous and Healthy…Mostly!
So how many of these health and fitness sins are you committing? I bet it’s more than one, right? And the problem with these particular mistakes is that it’s not immediately obvious that they are causing you a problem.
You can kid yourself that you are doing everything correctly, when in fact you are breaking the rules all the way down the line. So back up for a moment and take an honest look at your diet and exercise plan. Identify all the areas where you are taking short cuts, and consider how you can fix the problem.
It’s OK, though – no-one expects you to be perfect 100% of the time. We are all allowed the occasional indulgence, as long as things don’t get out of hand. The important thing is to ensure that we stay on track most of the time. And when we do fall off the wagon for a while, we need to get back on as soon as possible.
Well, all right then, you are forgiven for all your foodie transgressions in the past…but try not to make the same sinful mistakes in the future, OK?