Difficult days for dieting – The Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Difficult days for dieting – The Fergus Falls Daily Journal

The most difficult season for dieters already began with Halloween on Thursday, but a single day of sweet treats and the occasional bowl of candy in a lobby is nothing compared to the looming onslaught of holiday cakes and cookies, hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog, candy and more that comes with the cold weather and the giving season of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It can be difficult to resist temptation and then feel awful about giving in, creating a horrible loop of guilt-laden indulgence followed by a period of self-loathing but it’s important to remember that the occasional slip-up is totally normal and not something to beat yourself up about. If you’ve been doing a good job of sticking to your goals and then give in one day and grab a cookie from the office holiday cookie tray, don’t tell yourself that you’ve failed or ruined your diet or that it was a mistake: Take some deep, calming breaths, remember that a single cookie isn’t going to dismantle everything you’ve worked for.

You might also want to just cut yourself some slack this holiday season and work the occasional treat into your plans. For diets like keto this might not be possible, since a single treat risks going over the diet’s carb allotment, but remember that you don’t need to be in ketosis to lose weight– the most important part of losing weight is calorie restriction. Keep counting calories and as long as you stay under your goal, you should be fine.

It’s also important not to rely too much on the scale, checking it obsessively. Our weight naturally fluctuates daily from how much water we’re holding which is why you might see large drops of weight at the start of the diet only for it to peter out after a couple of weeks. You should weigh yourself only once or twice a week and don’t be discouraged if you go from dropping 5 pounds in a week to only half a pound. That half a pound still counts for something and it adds up– if you think two pounds a month isn’t enough, think of it like 24 pounds this time next year. Losing weight quickly might feel more rewarding in the short term, but slow and steady wins the race.

Stay away from highly restrictive diets, there’s no reason to dip below 1,000 calories a day and, really, 1,200 is about as low as you should ever get. Any lower than that for a sustained amount of time will begin to damage your body, sometimes irreparably. Short term, you’ll lose hair, your skin will become dry, your hair and nails will become dull and brittle and dehydration and fatigue are common. Long term, you risk damaging your immune system, your organs and your heart.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is one route to take if you’re reluctant to cutting foods out of your diet. There are a few different ways to do IF, with the most common being restricting your caloric intake to only 6-8 hours a day and fasting for the other 16-18 hours.

Whatever you plan to do diet-wise, remember that your value as a person is completely independent of what the scale says. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, yourself and your health being the most important. Absolutely do not do it for someone else unless that someone else is family because you need to get your health in check.

It’s fine to do it because you want to look a certain way or fit into a certain outfit, but set reasonable goals and limits for yourselves. Don’t look at the cover of a magazine and say, “I want to look like them,” because bodies come in all shapes and sizes no matter how much they weigh.

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