The success or failure of any diet or workout regimen lies not within the details of the plan but the persons ability to follow it. Let’s take a look at a few common mistakes people make when attempting to get healthy.
- Creating Meal Plans Way Outside Your Wheelhouse
People often create diet plans for themselves without considering the magnitude of change they will bring about. If you’re a person who subsists, for the most part, on potatoes and rice then an ‘all meat, no carbs’ diet may not be for you. Despise veggies? Resolving to replace your drive thru burger lunch with a sensible salad every day might not be the answer. These types of diet plans are unrealistic and doomed to failure. Instead, set diet goals within the realm of your general preferences.
- Falling victim to the “Oh Well Syndrome”
This is one of the biggest factors contributing to the early deaths of diets, workout plans, and positive lifestyle alterations in general. The “Oh Well Syndrome” is what happens when someone whose been working hard to adhere to a regimen slips up once and immediately says, “Oh well. I gave it my best shot.” Don’t give up! One or two days off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to quit for good. Not even close. It took Edison more than a thousand tries to get the light bulb right. When you slip up (not if, because you will) shrug it off and get back on the horse.
- Too Much, Too Soon
This one you’ve almost definitely heard before, but it’s worth repeating. Trying to change too much too fast is a recipe for disaster. Want to incorporate diet and exercise into your life? Telling yourself you’ll hit the gym every single day as well as cut 500 calories from your intake is a classic set up for a nasty case of the aforementioned Syndrome. Instead, make it a point to get to the gym four days a week. Once that becomes a sustainable habit you can start thinking about the diet. Rome wasn’t built in a day—neither were McConaughey’s abs.
4. Jumping on Fads
Staking your lifestyle change on things like liquid diets, extreme cleanses, or crash diet plans is a surefire path to failure. These things promise fast results, and some may even deliver, unfortunately the buck stops there. Fad programs are impossible to maintain at worst, and miserable to adhere to at best. If you can commit to drinking some weird orange powder mix for two meals a day or suddenly start lifting weights with the ferocity of Hogan in the 80’s, more power to you. For the rest of us, the best thing to do is start with reasonable, achievable plans and build from there.
- Comparing Your Progress with Others
“Kathy Shlabotnik who lives up the street lost 20 pounds in two weeks. I haven’t even lost 5!” Don’t sweat it. For all you know Kathy has a tape worm or has taken on a serious bad habit, and even if that’s not the case, what does it have to do with you? You’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle for yourself, not to compete with the Shlabotniks. Don’t worry about others. Focus on, and be proud of, your own progress and consistency. Kathy can pound sand.