When it comes to weight loss, there is no shortage of advice out there. And to be honest, a lot of it isn’t very good. One popular myth is that if you give up something (carbs, for example, or even entire meals) for just thirty days, you will lose a certain amount of weight. While that could technically be true in some circumstances, trying to follow this “deprivation myth” to the letter can actually backfire in a number of ways. At the very least, the plan just won’t be effective, because…
Feeling deprived triggers cravings. The minute you tell yourself that something is off limits, you start to crave it even more. It’s a funny trick of our psychology, in which focusing on a point of deprivation simply forces us to think about the deprived object even more! At the least, you’ll feel miserable. But in the worst case scenario, this strategy will actually backfire. Will power only lasts for so long, and once it breaks, you might binge on the object of your desire and undo all of your weight loss progress.
After the thirty days, you go back to your old way of eating. At the beginning of this “challenge” you promised yourself to give up something for thirty days. Your brain really hangs onto that little detail, and after thirty days, you feel “done”. Even if you’ve lost weight, simply returning to your old way of eating will usually mean that the weight returns, too.
Instead, focus on gradual and reasonable changes to your diet and lifestyle. Eat more healthy foods, exercise more often, and limit (but don’t completely eliminate) less healthy choices. Make a list of healthy foods activities you enjoy, and focus most of your habits around those. By directing your attention to a positive goal, you avoid the temptation and preoccupation with cravings that occur when focusing on a negative goal.
And of course, if you need help with your weight loss plan, please call our office to schedule an appointment. We can give you the tools you need to succeed, and keep the weight off in the long run.