Ditch the Diet Excuses

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Ditch the Diet Excuses

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I have never taught a diet class, although I certainly have spent many years sitting in meeting rooms listening to others talk about dieting. I’ve always thought one of the hardest things about leading a diet group must be that time at the scale – the dreaded weigh in – which is the moment of truth when the dieter finds out how he or she did the previous week.

What would drive me nuts about weighing people in is listening to the lame excuses as to why the scale is up. Imagine smiling sweetly and being supportive when you hear the following comments week after week:

  • “I stuck to the diet faithfully this week; I shouldn’t have gained two pounds.”
  • “I had a lot of sodium last night.”
  • “This diet is too stringent, I got hungry.”
  • “This diet has too much food, I can’t eat it all.”
  • “It’s my time of the month.”
  • “I needed to take a little break this week.”
  • “It’s my medication.”
  • “It was a birthday party, I had to eat a piece of the cake.”
  • “I’ve been exercising so it’s muscle weight.”
  • “Your scale needs to be re-calibrated.”

After I started writing this, I went on the Internet to see if there were any other excuses I hadn’t thought of and I found site after site of not only excuses, but myths about dieting. Type in “Diet Excuses” sometime; it’s amusing reading (right up there with “The dog ate my homework.”).

I’m not saying that some excuses aren’t valid – sometimes. It’s true that if you have a meal with high sodium before a weigh in, water retention will bring the scale up. The time of the month does matter for women and medication and so on can all make a difference.

But here’s the thing: if you’re hiding behind excuses at every weigh in and the scale is not moving, it’s time to step back and consider your overall commitment to your diet. The fact is that with a good, healthy diet plan, you will lose weight. There may be an occasional backslide, but if you are on a solid food program from a reputable organization and can’t lose weight in a month, it’s time to look in the mirror and fess up the validity (or not) of your excuses.

Why do we make excuses to the nice person who weighs us in? Two reasons: We are embarrassed to have that person know that we blew it for another week. And the bigger reason is because it’s easier to kid ourselves than admit that we are not truly committed to our diet.

But here’s the truth of it: the nice lady behind the scale has heard it all before and you are not fooling her. And if you keep making excuses, you are wasting your time and money (and, frankly, not doing a lot for your own self-esteem).

It’s simple: Ditch the excuses. You are either committed to your diet – or not. Think about it – in all the time you are wasting coming up with excuses, you could actually shed a few pounds.


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