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All Aboard? 5 Dieting Derailments
When starting a healthy diet most people have the best of intentions. Maybe God Himself has told you to start watching what you eat! Maybe the Holy Spirit spoke to you through the full-length mirror in your closet! Perhaps you don’t feel like buying a larger size of jeans. Whatever your reasons for changing your diet however noble and well intentioned, we have all experienced a certain amount of derailment when it comes to food and getting and staying healthy. Here is a compilation of some of the most common forms of dieting derailment.
Diets that are based around strict avoidance of certain foods in some cases can be unhealthy but in most cases can lead to cheating of monstrous proportions. For example, if your diet prohibits all carbs then not only is it unhealthy because your body needs carbs to run efficiently, but after a while you may start to mentally crack and you’ll try to make up for all the days of carbs that you missed out on by a massive intake in a single weekend. That would be called a food binge. After the binge you may feel like you are ready to go back to dieting again, but sooner or later your body will start screaming for whatever it might be missing again! Also, let’s face it, when you cut carbs out, you do not start craving rye bread and brown rice, you want cookies, cake and doughnuts too! Live and eat with self control and you will be able to change your lifestyle to see positive results in your body. Paul encourages and warns us in 1 Corinthians 9:27 to keep our bodies under control. Remember his words but do not sabotage yourself by setting unhealthy restrictions. Your diet should be healthy and balanced and one that you can implement for the rest of your life.
Too Much Temptation – Get Rid of the Junk!
If you are trying to watch what you eat it will not help you if you open your pantry door only to see twinkies, chips, and unhealthy snack foods staring you down! While putting away meat in the freezer the ice cream screams, “Eat me! For the love of Pete, please eat me!!!” If you have a hard time saying “NO!” to those foods that the rest of your family enjoys eating, either you will falter in your diet or your family might just have to take one for the home team! Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of junk food in the house. Replace the junk with healthier options. Your family will miss it but they do not need it either! If you get rid of all the junk food and you find your cupboards nearly bare then it is probably time to stock up on new and healthy food. Dieting does not mean broiled chicken, steamed rice and brussel sprouts every night. There are so many options. If you are leaving behind a lifestyle of processed food then there will be a learning curve to find recipes that are tasty and that work for your family. Get creative, be bold and try new things.There are lots of good recipes out there – look for them and enjoy a healthier new you!
Unwilling to Commit!
I think sometimes we know we need to diet and get “the food thing” taken care of. So, off we go into our new life. Ultimately though, you will not get far if you are dieting out of obligation. This is a case of being obedient but not being willing. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:19, “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.” You’ll never receive the best God has for you if you are not willing, if you are begrudgingly obeying but wishing that you could just forego it all! If God is prompting you to honor Him through your food intake you must truly make a decision that you will be unalterably committed to. If you are not committed you will start and stop your diet on a whim. Usually this diet starts with this mentality; “I will diet but I get one “free” food a week.” Meaning, you can eat whatever you want, off the record, one time a week. Then it becomes a free meal, and then a free day because you’ve been so good during the week) and before long the weekends are all free! And when Summer and Bar-be-que/potluck/picnic season comes along, your dieting goes on hiatus until Fall, only to derail you once more with the arrival of the holiday season a few months later.
The above example is a good way to be on a diet for your whole life and still NOT see results. Making a decision to being committed to your diet should involve goals, guidelines, and knowledge of the fact that you are changing no matter what. You are not going on and off, you are only going on, and after you have lost weight or gotten healthier you will continue to eat appropriately for the rest of your life. To truly make a decision means that you are willing to say good-bye to gluttony for the rest of your life! No going back!
Short- term Thinking
“It’s not happening fast enough.” Sometimes when people finally decide that they are going to change their lifestyle they are surprised and disappointed that they are not losing 30 pounds in 30 days! True fat loss can only occur at a maximum of about 2 pounds per week. If you lose much more than that then you are probably losing water weight, which will come back on. Worse yet, you could be losing muscle mass, which leads to a myriad of other problems. Our society wants everything NOW! It is hard to think long term, but if you have 50 pounds to lose it is going to take you about a year. So, just keep reminding yourself that you are changing the way you and food operate…permanently.
If you are discouraged by slow results then you will be tempted to bag the whole thing, and that wouldn’t get you any closer to the objective! If you have a lot of weight to lose accept the fact that it may take a while, and in the meantime take the first step. Begin!
I’m not sure if this one deserves to be in the top five of all dieting derailments, but it has been so near to my own life I just had to include it. OK, here’s the scenario; I eat a healthy diet. My house is stocked with healthy foods to eat. I am getting hungry. I open the fridge and nothing in there really looks good. I just don’t feel like eating any of what is in there. “Oh, I wish I had my pregnancy pop tart stash”, I think to myself. Since nothing looks appealing to me I simply go without and then when I can’t take the hunger anymore I either overeat at my next meal or I grab something naughty while I am out and about. Well this is obviously no good. First of all skipping meals will slow down your metabolism, which will in turn make it more difficult to lose weight. Secondly, skipping meals will sap your energy and make you feel lethargic. Your body needs a steady supply of food! Lastly, if you skip meals you will get hungry enough sooner or later and then what? Will you make a healthy choice? Will you eat too much? Give your body 5-6 meals a day and you won’t be tempted to make poor choices, and you will have optimal energy, and most importantly, your metabolism will naturally speed up and will become your dieting advocate.
If dieting has been a thorn in your flesh for too long get ready to board your train to success without fear of derailment or delay! The key is: Be willing and obedient to your lifestyle change!! Embrace healthy eating with open arms and just watch what will happen. God cannot be mocked; a man reaps what he sows!
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Author: Kathy Brengle is a personal trainer and freelance writer, specializing in motivation and fitness. She currently serves in Women’s Ministries at her local church and lives in Auburn, Washington.