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How to ditch your diet excuses for good

By Nicci Micco, January 19, 2011 - 10:57am

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How to ditch your diet excuses for good

Yes, of course you’d like to lose weight. But you’re busy. And you’re tired. And you’ve got a whole houseload of people (throw a few pets in there too) relying on you for, well, everything. You’re sick of salads. You forget to go to the grocery store. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, life is too short—to not take charge of your health today. (Get support to shed those pounds in EatingWell’s Losing Well Diet Community.) Ditch your diet excuses. We’ll help you.


Diet excuse #1: I have a life.
When you’re just starting out on a diet, often it’s fun. There’s the promise of success to come. There’s the initial weight loss—that gets noticed by friends and co-workers. There’s the fun challenge of trying new things. Then, your weight loss slows down and the novelty wears off. Between work and family and friends, how the heck are you supposed to find time to shop and cook and hit the gym? You put yourself first. That’s the common trait among The Biggest Loser contestants who’ve been most successful, the NBC show’s nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, R.D., told EatingWell’s Michelle Edelbaum recently. (Discover more weight-loss secrets from The Biggest Loser’s nutritionist here.) Yes, your kids need you—so you need to keep yourself healthy so you can take care of them. Yes, you have a lot of work—but maybe you’ll be more productive if you’re treating your body right.

Diet excuse #2: The scale isn’t budging, so why bother?
There’s nothing worse than working hard at something and seeing no progress. When that happens, though, you don’t work harder: you work smarter. Why aren’t you losing weight? Do you really need to lose weight? Or are you at a healthy range to begin with? (See how healthy your weight is here.) If you truly do need to lose and you can’t, consider this: Perhaps you’re not being as “good” as you think you are. A couple of jelly beans from the office stash here, a vanilla latte that didn’t count because “it’s just a drink” there, and you’ve racked up a couple hundred calories. Write it all down in a food diary to keep yourself honest. (Tips for a food diary that really will help you lose.) Eat more veggies, whole grains, fruit and legumes, like beans and lentils (lentils are Cheryl Forberg’s most underrated weight-loss food): they all contain fiber. (Find out how high-fiber foods help blast away pounds and get recipes here.)

Diet excuse #3: I don’t know what to cook.
Planning ahead is critical to weight-loss success. Because what do you do when you haven’t prepared a healthy dinner? You order a cheesy, greasy pizza. Or you pick up Chinese takeout on your drive home. Or maybe you still make something—but it’s late and you’re starving, so you snack on cheese and crackers and nuts the entire time you’re chopping and stirring. And then you still eat the dinner you’ve made. (Um, that’s me.) Think planning menus sounds boring? So don’t do it. Steal someone else’s. Someone who knows that dinner should taste delicious and sometimes you need a little dessert. Where to find just that? Here: EatingWell's 5 Weeks of 500-Calorie Dinner Menus. Or try EatingWell’s 28-Day Weight-Loss Meal Plan—just pick your calorie level and voila!—breakfast, lunch and dinner planned for a month.

Diet excuse #4: I’m sick of eating the same salad every day.
One way to know how many calories you’re eating is to eat the same stuff every day. English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. Salad with grilled chicken for lunch. Baked fish, brown rice, steamed broccoli. Effective, yes. But so boring that eventually you’re going to revolt and go nuts on foods that actually get you excited. So why not just skip to that part? There are a gazillion ways to make a salad. So many delish, healthy recipes for chicken. Mix it up! Start here: Tantalizing Dinner Salads to Help You Shed Pounds.

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TAGS: Nicci Micco, Diet Blog

Nicci Micco
Nicci Micco is co-author of EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners. She has a master's degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management.

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