There is a common misconception that it is necessary to follow a restrictive diet plan in order to lose weight. In reality though, these restrictive calorie plans actually do more harm than good and set you up for diet failure.
Diet failure is probably not a new concept to you. Once you start a diet and you lose some weight the feelings of deprivation kick in, your motivation runs out and you experience strong cravings for “forbidden” foods that aren’t allowed on your diet plan. Giving in to your cravings can easily lead to binge eating because you try to fix your deprivation feelings with food. Often times, feelings of deprivation also remind you of things you were deprived of in childhood and that brings up another batch of strong feelings that need to be fed.
Binge eating can take place in a single episode or lead to a series of episodes that put a stop to your restrictive diet and cause you to gain weight. You have failed your diet. You get frustrated with the added weight and try a new diet and the yoyo dieting pattern continues. Diet failure is a common problem, but turning to another restrictive diet is not the answer.
Restrictive diets either require you to give up entire food groups or reduce your daily calories to an unhealthy amount. Following such a strict diet plan will ultimately cause you to lose your motivation to lose weight and reach your goals.
In addition, denying your body the calories it needs to function or ruling out food groups will make you feel deprived. Your cravings will increase and you’ll be more likely to cheat.
The problem with cheating while on a restrictive diet, a time when you are already feeling deprived, is that you fall into a slippery slope. Sometimes you will be able to catch yourself and get right back on the diet, while other times you can’t fight the overwhelming urges to eat and it feels like you are making up for lost time. Suddenly a small treat turns into an all out binge, making you less motivated to stick with the diet plan to lose weight.
Tips to Avoid Feeling Deprived While Dieting
- Choose a sensible diet plan
- Think lifestyle change rather than sticking with the diet mentality
- Find new and exciting way to stay motivated
- Indulge in your favorite treats once in a while
- Find enjoyment in activities other than eating
- Reward yourself for reaching small weight loss goals
- Connect with friends and ask for support
- Be accountable for your eating, even on your bad days
- Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to avoid feeling overly hungry
- Don’t skip meals
- Create lighter versions of your favorite meals that you can enjoy eating