"Just don't buy it."
"Use your willpower!"
"You just haven't tried hard enough."
"This diet will be the one that sticks!"
We've heard them. Things we think we should be able to do but rarely actually work.
So what's the trick? How do you lose weight and actually keep it off? Shouldn't we be able to decide that don't want to eat the cake anymore and not be plagued with cravings? Nope. Sadly that's not really how it goes. We all know this, and I hate long blog posts... so I'll keep it short and hopefully helpful.
Here are a few tricks to try and reasons why harsh diets and restrictions aren't always great for long term success. Let me know if you want more details or resources and I am happy to provide them.
Unless you are preparing for a meet, show, competition, etc., I haven't found it helpful or sustainable to tell yourself that you are, "never going to eat xyz foods again". It's popular and can work to go into a calorie deficit, but, it's not reasonable to expect yourself to cut out a food item and never have it again. Don't set yourself up for failure. Try limiting yourself to 1-2 drinks or portioning out some of your "cheat" foods. I hate that wording but you all know what I mean when I say it... Less nutritious.
Eat more veggies. No one likes this one, but they're good for you and are filling (temporarily at least). You don't need to eat three bags of spinach a day, but try including a handful of veggies with your meals. If you're trying to lose weight, eat them first. They'll kill that initial hunger and can help with portion control for the rest of your meal.
Last but not least, go for the low hanging fruit. Our brains don't seem to love the idea of taking calories away/restricting/etc., and like to freak the fu** out when we do. So... We want to avoid things that trigger our, "I am lacking this and therefore MUST have it now." response. Go for the things that you aren't emotionally tied to. Example: #1 You have a glass of wine every night that really gets you relaxed and ready to close out your day. VS. #2 Snagging a snickers every morning on your way into the office. Go with the second one. The first one has a sort of emotional tie, and those seem to be harder to change. I have noticed that if you work on the little changes(Low hanging fruit), they add up to big changes. Instead of going for the big "things" that usually lead to very little actual change.
I lied... One more BIG one. Just like with an oil leak, you can keep adding oil, but until you fix the root of the leak it will continue to drain. Mental and emotional health tie into nutrition and dieting a whole lot. If you've struggled with dieting, and what you're trying isn't working, maybe look at digging a little deeper. You may find that some of your eating habits stem from things that are unrelated to being hungry or "addicted" to sugar, etc.
As always, don't hesitate to reach out for help. I've been through an eating disorder and it's hard. It's okay to not do it alone. Andddd, let me know if you have questions on the topic of nutrition.
I'll answer to the best of my abilities.