During this time of the year, preparing yourself for bikini weather can kick yourself into full exercise and health gear, giving you renewed focus on your health.
But, it can also create anxiety and fears of not reaching your target weight goal, leaving you feeling hopeless.
Because of these fears, a lot of people stand in the way of their own weight loss success.
By doubting yourself and creating excuses, you prevent yourself from achieving the results you want and improving your overall physical wellness.
Luckily, by recognizing these excuses and creating a plan of action, we can quiet our self-doubt and begin to move forward.
Here are five of our most common dietary excuses, and some helpful strategies to overcome them.
Excuse #1: I Don’t Even Know Where to Start!
There are so many diets out there that I’m overwhelmed just thinking about them! Should I count calories, track my macros, or cut out dairy and gluten? Everyone seems to suggest something different, so how do I know what’s right for me?
Solution: Start with the (clean) basics.
In a world where nearly every celebrity and nutritionist has a book deal, selecting the right program can feel impossible. However, you can simplify your life by choosing to eat clean and stick to whole, unprocessed foods.
Eating clean means eating fruits, veggies and lean meats, rather than packaged meals filled with artificial (and often addictive) junk.
If you can’t pronounce half the ingredients, toss it out! By eliminating processed foods and following a more natural diet, you are not only more likely to lose weight, but you will also create long-term improvements in your overall health.
Excuse #2: I Don’t Have Time to Cook for Myself or Prepare Healthy Snacks.
Solution: Make meal prep a part of your lifestyle.
You can’t expect to reach your health goals if you don’t make yourself a priority. You can do this by setting aside time for yourself each week to plan your meals and do some basic preparation.
Here are some quick and easy ways to start to prep your meals:
- Wash your fruits ahead of time so you can grab and go as you please
- Hard boil your eggs at the beginning of the week so they are available when you want them
- Take time out of your night to prepare spice coatings, chop up veggies or complete other tasks that might not appeal to you on one of your busier nights.
As someone whose job is extremely event-oriented, I occasionally work during traditional meal times.
Because of this, I take my schedule into account during my meal planning. I mix up salads and whip up other lunches that are easy to pack, making it easier for me to say no to the less healthy options like grabbing a bag of chips.
Excuse #3: Eating Healthy Costs a Lot of Money.
Fresh produce costs a lot more than the packaged foods I’m used to buying. It’s way too expensive to eat healthy!
Solution: Stick to in-season produce and always check for coupons.
In-season produce is a lot more affordable than out-of-season produce – and it tastes better, too! By purchasing your fruits and veggies in season, you will get a lot more bang for your buck. Check out this helpful chart to determine what produce is in season.
Tip: If it happens to be on sale at your grocery store, it is probably in season.
In addition, check your local grocery store’s weekly ads for coupons, as well as the manufacturers’ websites for sales on your favorite dressings, condiments and seasonings.
Your grocery bills may be higher than before, but your fast food expenses will be a lot lower!
Excuse #4: It’s Hard to Eat Healthy and Maintain My Social Life.
My friends like to go out and eat unhealthy foods. It’s impossible to maintain my diet around them!
Solution: Take an active role in your social life.
You don’t have to sacrifice your friendships in order to have the body you want. Instead, take control by choosing restaurants that meet your dietary restraints, checking menus ahead of time and knowing what substitutions are necessary for you.
You can also plan social activities that don’t revolve around food and beverage.
Invite your friends to a local film festival or a park on the other side of town. Visit that cool thrift store you’ve been dying to check out. Go to the zoo. Find something fun to do that won’t cause you to sacrifice all your hard work.
Excuse #5: I’ve Never Successfully Lost Weight and Kept it Off Before.
What makes this time any different from the last time? I’m clearly destined to fail.
Solution: Think positively and take action.
Have faith in yourself and in your ability to accomplish your goals. Instead of doubting yourself, start mapping out your plan to success. Rather than complaining that “clean foods” are too boring, hop on Pinterest for healthy meal inspiration.
Think about why your diets haven’t worked in the past, and figure out strategies to help you avoid your old, unhealthy habits.
Getting started is half the battle. Begin creating your healthy new lifestyle right away and take small steps each day toward reaching your goals.
What are your weight loss struggles? How do you overcome them?