Give it up. Walk away. Let it go.
I’m not implying that you should be a quitter at life, but in life, you have to know when you need to quit because it’s the only way to move closer to success.
Here are some subtle (and not-so-subtle) signs that you should give up on the diet you’re on:
It fills you with dread. You’ve got the diet plan, shopping list, recipes and instructions on what and when to eat at the ready. But somehow, the thought of having another can of tuna for dinner makes you want to gag or head straight to the drive-through for a burger and extra large fries. You know what you’re supposed to do, but you just really don’t want to.
It’s not working for you. You’re a diet success for a week, but the next, you find yourself in an out-of-control downward spiral of chocolate chip cookie and ice-cream binges. The diet you’re on says the sweets are off limits, but in your heart of hearts, you know that you don’t want to cut them out of your life. So you find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle of hopping on and off diets, and not surprisingly, you’re not seeing any results.
You can’t see yourself eating this way for the rest of your life. You want to get healthier and lose all that excess weight, but you just can’t see yourself making food restrictions and deprivation a permanent part of your life. In fact, the more you try to stay away from the foods you crave for, the more you seem to want them.
You don’t feel healthy or balanced. You’re feeling like something’s missing and not right. You’re hungry all the time. All you can think of is food. This diet’s supposed to make your life (and health) better, but all it seems to be doing is drive you crazy.
If this is you, hopping from one diet to another and not seeing any results, I need you to let the diet go and do these four things instead:
1. Figure out what you really want.
Figure out your big, weight loss “why” before you even think about how to change your eating habits.
Ask yourself: What’s your real reason behind wanting to drop those 50 pounds?
Using your meaningful, compelling “why” to drive you forward instead of relying on a “should” goal (“I should get healthier” or “my husband says I should lose weight”) is a crucial part of making your healthy habits stick, not slide.
Without meaning, you can’t have momentum.
2. Change one thing at a time.
If you: Eat less, exercise more, go on a detox, take that fat-burning supplement your friend recommended, try that ketogenic diet everyone’s raving about, cut out the cupcakes for good, count the calories of every morsel of food you put into your mouth, and weigh your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, you’ll lose the weight faster, right?
Why? Because you’re likely setting yourself up for failure, says simplicity expert Leo Babauta in his book, The Power Of Less.
According to Babauta, trying to form multiple habits at the same time often results in a 100 percent failure rate.
The solution? Take a minimalist stance when it comes to change.
The most effective way of building new, healthy habits with a success rate of up to 80 percent is to simply focus on just one at a time, says Babauta.
3. Make those changes really, really tiny.
While there’s nothing wrong with aiming to lose 50 pounds, gunning for this huge goal right off the bat can feel overwhelming and almost impossible when you’re just starting out.
A less stressful way to keep moving forward: Break up your big goal into smaller, more manageable ones. Make these goals so tiny and easy that you can’t say, “No, I can’t do that.” Make them so achievable that you can keep bagging small wins along the way, which fuel your motivation further.
For example: Reducing your rice intake by a spoonful each week; eating three squares of chocolate instead of five; or taking the stairs every time you need to speak to your colleague about a non-urgent matter instead of picking up the phone.
Many tiny habits add up to big results.
4. Focus on your behavior, not your end goal.
Sharpen your focus so it becomes a laser pointer on this one new behavior.
Make a game out of it. Challenge yourself to win at it. How many extra spoonfuls of rice can you replace with vegetables over the next month?
How many flights of stairs can you conquer in the next eight weeks (you’ve created your own mini towerthon challenge right there)? What’s the right amount of chocolate that will satisfy you without you bingeing?
If you’re on the verge of giving up on your weight loss or eating plan, what is it about your strategy that’s making you feel this way? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to know!
Are you ready to ditch the frustrating cycle of yo-yo-dieting, restricting your food intake and crash dieting? I invite you to begin your weight-loss journey on your own terms by downloading my 7-Step Lean-For-Life Checklist and putting it into action.
This article originally appeared on michelelian.com
Photo credit: Léa Dubedout
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