In a previous post I talked about those people who are doing really well with eating healthy foods in sensible quantities, finding themselves losing fat and fitting better into their clothes and then BAM! something happens and they find themselves tucking into a burger, fries and milkshake or a huge piece of cake and then deciding that they might as well eat whatever they like because they have ruined their 'diet' anyway. This is self sabotage.
I've just read a very inspirational book called 'Finding the Future that Fits' by one of the UK's leading life coaches, Louise Presley-Turner. In the book she talks about how we sabotage our best efforts to move our lives forwards and how she tends to come across certain sabotaging styles when working with clients. I could really identify with these sabotaging behaviours in our efforts to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. So which kind of diet saboteur are you?
Procrastinator - these people are always going to start eating well tomorrow, or after their exams, or after their house move or after their birthday or holiday. There is always a reason to start another day. The best way to deal with this is to just start NOW! Start now and then make some adjustments around the event you were waiting for and then get back to the plan as soon as it's over. You can enjoy a holiday or a birthday just as much if you are eating well and allowing yourself a few treats, in fact you may enjoy it more as you should be feeling much more healthy.
Perfectionist - this is when you expect 100% adherence with a diet plan and won't settle for anything less. It generally means an all or nothing approach to weight loss, if you are not on a strict calorie controlled diet you might as well eat whatever you like whenever you like. Instead focus on an 80/20 approach, if you eat a paleo style diet of fresh unprocessed foods 80% of the time you can have some flexibility to eat out with friends or have a glass or two of wine at the weekends. You are far more likely to stick with it.
Dreamer - this person spends so much time thinking how great life will be when they lose the extra weight they are carrying. Instead enjoy life NOW and live in the moment as much as possible. Be aware of the benefits of being a healthy weight and eating good food but don't put your life on hold until you reach these goals, it may be that taking the pressure off will enable you to change your behaviour to support your goals.
Lazybones/Blaming others - it's our partner's fault because we have to cook for them, our parents fault for passing on a genetic predisposition to carrying excess weight, our boss's/children's fault for making us stressed so we comfort eat etc etc etc. Its very easy to blame others but we have to take responsibility for our bodies and our lives. We are the ones who put the food into our mouths, we are the ones responsible for making sure that food supports our health.
Airhead - you are disorganised and never get around to buying the right supportive foods or organising yourself so you have good healthy food with you and don't have to resort to eating junk foods. Eating well does require some planning, use the weekend to spend some time looking at your week and planning packed lunches, snacks and main meals that will support your health and weight loss goals. Cook some batches of healthy muffins, soups and casseroles that you can freeze. Put some raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds and madadamia nuts in a pot and take them everywhere with you in case you find yourself hungry and with no other options.
Identifying if you are one of the above (or a mixture of some or all of the above!) may help you recognise the signs and stop the endless cycle of diet and diet sabotage that some people are on. The very best way to avoid this cycle is to a eat diet of fresh unprocessed foods with plenty of protein, good fats and vegetables and to avoid grains and sugar as much as possible. If you eat like this at least 80% of the time you will find you body gets used to being nourished and doesn't fight against you like it does when you count calories and eat 'diet' foods.