Weight loss saboteurs come in a variety of disguises.
However, the common ground they share is dangerous.
By sabotaging weight loss, weight loss saboteurs make sustainable healthy living almost impossible.
Among the most common saboteurs are friends, family, time patterns and destructive eating habits.
Finding a way to cope with saboteurs is essential. Once you realize and accept which saboteurs are inhibiting your weight loss, you’ll find the overall weight loss process much easier.
Weight Loss Saboteur #1 – Friends
Friends, particularly those who are also on a weight loss regimen, can be one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable healthy eating.
As each person differs, so does their level of self-control. Friends with limited self-control will often become jealous of another friend who is successfully implementing a weight loss regimen.
You may find even your best friend sabotaging your weight loss efforts by persuading you to order that hamburger instead of the fish. Before you know it, you’re sharing a cheesecake with them for dessert.
Those friends of yours who never seem to put on a pound regardless of what they eat are also dangerous, as they fail to see the harm in destructive foods.
There are plenty of ways to go about containing friends who are weight loss saboteurs.
Explain to them just how important this new way of life is to you.
Detail your new eating habits, emphasizing how crucial it is not to deviate from the plan. If they really are your friends, they will support rather than hinder your weight loss journey.
Of course this may not work with all friends, as even close friends have ulterior motives. If this is the case, go about the whole situation differently.
Try to talk about your new eating habits as little as possible. If they persist that you share a cake with them, just tell them you’ve grown tired of dessert, or that you don’t feel like eating it at the moment.
This strategy is often implemented when dealing with jealous friends who have failed to switch to a healthy-eating regimen.
Another great way to avoid awkward weight loss situations is to schedule activities that don’t revolve around food.
Weight Loss Saboteur #2 – Family
Family members, though usually supportive, can sabotage weight loss in a variety of ways.
Cooking for or dining with the family, particularly children, can be a headache on the best of days. Throw a diet into the mix and things can get out of control!
Your new healthy eating plan may not sound too exciting to your pizza-loving, soda-drinking children. Though it’s easier to persuade your husband/wife to follow the new healthy eating plan, they may also be hesitant.
The best and most obvious way to prevent your family from sabotaging your weight loss is to get them involved in your new healthy eating plan.
You don’t necessarily have to promote it as such, but rather a fun change to the routine. There are countless of foods and recipes that are adaptable and delicious, making the persuasion process much easier.
If you’re the one doing the cooking, alter the meals in ways to make them adhere to your eating plan:
- Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
- Make sandwiches with whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
- Serve grilled chicken instead of fried chicken.
- Substitute cookies for fruits like strawberries and blueberries.
These subtle changes make a huge impact on your weight loss meal plan.
If you’re not the one doing the cooking, try educating the one who is about the advantages of altering the recipes.
Explain to them just how important this change is to your life. There’s basically no reason why anyone in your family should be sabotaging their own health through unhealthy eating.
The sooner you get this point across to them, the easier the process will be. Always keep in mind that you’re not forcing anyone to go on a diet.
You’re simply suggesting a fun change to the routine.
Weight Loss Saboteur #3 – Busy Schedules
Time, or lack thereof, is perhaps the most difficult saboteur to overcome.
Whether it’s good or bad, whether we like it or not, the modern world moves at an unprecedented pace.
Old patterns of one working parent and one stay at home parent have all but vanished, leaving chaotic households always on the go.
Once a commonality, sit-down dinners are now reserved for special occasions. With all this working against us, how can we eat properly and follow our new lifestyle plan?
Just as most challenges in life, it isn’t easy. If it was easy we wouldn’t have fast food chains and an obesity rate in the U.S. of almost 36%.
However, if done in a sustainable way, it’s much simpler than people make it out to be.
The most fool-proof way of ensuring healthy meals at work is to prepare them the night before.
Mornings are simply too hectic and, let’s face it, who has the motivation to wake up extra early to prepare lunch?
A packed lunch doesn’t have to be complicated. A whole wheat sandwich and fruit are just fine for those of us whose culinary skills are lacking.
Better yet, put leftovers from dinner into Tupperware, heat it up at work, or not, and enjoy the jealousy on your co-workers’ faces.
What about those of us who get home late almost every night and don’t have enough time or energy to prepare dinner?
The easiest solution is to buy dinner. Contrary to common belief, it doesn’t cost more to eat healthy.
Though a lot of Westerners don’t necessarily heed the information, society now is more informed about healthy lifestyles than ever before.
Numerous health food supermarkets can be found in most areas across Western countries.
Restaurants, including fast food chains, have been continually adding healthy alternatives.
Try ordering sandwiches with whole wheat bread, minimizing the sauces and adding healthier ones when you get home.
Ask for certain ingredients, such as cheese, to be placed on the side so you can add less than the normal amount.
Eating out the healthy way doesn’t have to be difficult, you just have to be creative.
But who wants to buy every meal?
If you’re too busy to cook during the work week, try setting aside a few hours on the weekend.
Prepare a few meals, freeze them, and enjoy a nice home-cooked meal after a hectic day at work.
Weight Loss Saboteur #4 – Destructive Eating Habits
Even more dangerous than lack of time, destructive eating habits wage all out war with your diet plan.
Admit defeat and your entire weight loss plan will vaporize into thin air.
Conquer bad eating habits and you can just about count on overall weight loss success.
When we talk about destructive eating habits, we are mostly concerned with eating patterns involving the regular consumption of processed foods containing simple sugars, aka simple carbohydrates.
Examples of processed, simple sugar foods include cakes, candy, many fruit juices, sugar cereals, soft drinks and products made with white flour.
The list goes on, but these are among the most popular. Natural foods containing simple sugars are generally okay to eat, as they often contain fiber and other nutritious ingredients that outweigh the negative effects of sugar.
Chances are, you’ve heard all this before.
Most enlightened dieters know the dangers of simple carbs. So the question is; why?
Why should simple sugars be avoided?
It comes down to ease of digestion and insulin. These two factors combine to make simple sugars dangerous to weight loss.
Simple sugars are easy for the body to digest. They are quickly turned into glucose upon digestion and enter the blood stream.
It’s insulin’s job to carry this glucose from the blood stream to the cells.
Eat too many simple carbs, and the glucose carried to the cells quickly turns into fat.
The consumption of too many simple carbs in a sitting is termed an “insulin spike”. Though sometimes beneficial for athletes, insulin spikes are no good for the layman.
A hot topic is whether or not artificial sweeteners spike insulin.
The theory is that the sweet taste of these sweeteners induces an insulin response similar to that of real sugars.
A rather famous study conducted by the University of Texas revealed a correlation between increased consumption of diet beverages and weight gain.
However, other studies have revealed no correlation between artificial sugars and insulin spikes.
The debate is ongoing, and no definitive proof has been provided on either side of the argument.
As a general rule, it is best to avoid artificial sweeteners, as science is still at odds as to their long term side effects.
The term “complex carbohydrates” is outdated according to some, but the idea that they are healthy to consume stands firm.
An updated version of the two category classification system of carbs is widely recognized as being more accurate.
Termed the “glycemic index,” this somewhat new system categorizes foods (carbs) based on their direct impact on blood sugar levels.
Foods with a high index rapidly boost blood sugar levels. White flour products are good examples of foods high on the index.
This newer method of classifying carbs also comes with a few flaws, as some foods low on the index are generally not healthy.
Both the “simple/complex carb” and the glycemic index systems of classification are useful when considering which foods to enjoy.
Keep in mind they are merely guidelines, and should not be followed at the expense of other health recommendations.
Weight Loss Saboteur #5 – Late Night Snacking
Another destructive eating habit we’d like to touch on is late night snacking.
Though the old myth that late night eating causes weight gain has been largely disproven, snacking late at night is often a destructive force not directly in itself but rather from the food selections we make.
Let’s face it, what quick, easy to prepare snack foods are healthy?
Unfortunately, not many.
Even though our bodies process foods the same regardless of the hour, we tend to eat unhealthy snacks.
Chips, candy, sugar cereals and cakes often highlight a wonderful snacking session.
However, as most of these foods are simple sugar foods, we should make an effort to avoid them.
How can we do this and still enjoy snacking?
For starters, fruit is a great option all times of the day.
It’s easy to prepare and delicious, but perhaps not filling enough.
If you have that hunger twinge to be satisfied only by foods with real substance, try whole grain cereals.
Weight loss saboteurs are huge obstacles when it comes to weight loss and sustainable healthy eating.
If you have the will power to deal with them, you will most likely have success.
We’ve made rather sweeping generalizations of saboteurs and how to deal with them simply because each situation is unique.
Finding your own methods to deal with saboteurs is essential.
We’ve laid out a rough guideline, and it’s up to you to fill in the blanks.
Many people find eliminating saboteurs only possible through the help of “supporters”.
These are people who will support and motivate you through the process.
Finding a supporter is crucial to those who lack self-motivation, or to those who become discouraged during the elimination of their weight loss saboteurs.
*This article was written by guest blogger, Nick Davey.