Dieting: It Never Gets Any Easier

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Dieting: It Never Gets Any Easier

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Achieving your diet goal doesn’t mean you can relax.  Sorry.  Personally, I have found maintaining my weight to be just as difficult as losing it. I am as food conscious now – and exercising as much – as I ever did at the height of my weight loss.

Why?  Because I have been that “she-gained-it-all-back” statistic before.  I lost a lot of weight back in the 1990s and gained it all back within five years – plus 50 pounds more.

There are all those food temptations out there. As a good dieter, you may have gone months (years) without a double cheeseburger, a gooey dessert or a favorite pasta dish. Then one day there is a new ice cream flavor that you want to taste. Or you decide to have one drink with friends, which leads to the bowl of peanuts. Or you are hungry and can’t make it by the candy counter at the grocery store.

The ultimate culprit

The biggest challenge to keeping weight off is that evil little inner voice that is constantly telling us to give up the diet battle “Just this once.”

I’ve reached a goal weight that works for me and I’ve maintained for four years. However, I am still the 260-pounds-overweight person inside. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thinking about my next meal. Given a choice, I would still opt for any high calorie carbohydrate over a celery stick.

Confession time: recently I went to a gathering and brought a trifle (a dessert with cake, pudding, candy bits and whipped topping). I had no problem making it (no sampling) and eating it at the party was not an issue. But at the end of the event, my serving dish had one portion of trifle left. On the drive home, I thought about that trifle. I had two choices: immediately put the dish in the sink with running water or eat the left over dessert before I washed the dish. I ate the dessert.

How bad was the transgression? In the scheme of calorie cheating, it was not that bad. Perhaps 300 or 400 unneeded calories. EXCEPT, what was bad was the head game that ensued. Dieters know the mantra: “Well, I blew the diet today so I might as well keep eating and start again tomorrow.” How many times have you had a food backslide and used that as an excuse to throw in the diet towel for the day – and thereafter?

Obviously a committed dieter can make a bad food choice and recover. However, those nasty 83% failure statistics are not based on a one-time slip up. The dieters who regain all their weight are the ones who finish off the trifle, give up for the day – and then cave the following days.