The 4 Biggest Diet Breakers and How to Beat Them
We all have them: those triggers and danger zones that derail our diets every single time. Each of us has our own, and we usually have more than one, but some of these diet breakers are common to everyone.
If you can identify your own triggers and learn how to beat them, then you have a much better chance of making your weight loss dreams a reality and achieving your ideal shape.
So what’s the first step towards identifying and crushing your own triggers?
Keep track of what gets you off track. I recommend keeping a food journal to identify your triggers and what happens when you give in to them. Don’t keep your journal for just a few days; there are weekend diet breakers and work week triggers that you’ll want to give yourself time to note. Since you’re trying to eat right seven days a week, you need to be aware of what you’re up against and when.
Keep your journal simple. You can use the memo function on your phone, or just keep a small notebook with you. Write down everything you eat, where you were when you ate it, what time it was, and most importantly, what you were doing and how you were feeling at the time.
At the end of this week of food journaling, take a look at the patterns you see emerging between what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel afterwards. I bet that one or more of the diet breakers below pops right out at you! This is your biggest trigger.
Here are four of the most common diet breakers, and what you can do to break their hold on you and your goals.
Yes, you have crazy busy mornings. Or maybe you’re just not a breakfast person. Perhaps you’re never hungry until noon, or you even feel a little nauseous in the morning. But most likely, you just don’t think you have the time to cook and eat breakfast ever single morning.
But skipping breakfast is a terrible idea. They call it “break fast” for a reason: when you first wake up, your carb and protein stores are already depleted because you’ve been “fasting” since dinner the night before. Your body now needs you to “break” that “fast” and give it fuel to run its metabolism and get you through the day.
If you wait several hours before you eat anything, you’ll find yourself reaching for the donuts at work or hitting the drive-thru at 11am to get your energy and your mental focus in gear. You just can’t be on top of your game without breakfast!
Take the time each morning to refill your body’s energy stores. Have an IdealShake or an IdealBar if you need to eat on the run, or prepare some healthy breakfast options the night before, then pop them in the microwave on busy mornings. On the weekends, you’ve really got no excuse: make it a family tradition to prepare healthy, balanced, hot breakfasts on Saturdays and Sundays.
Stress is a diet breaker for almost everyone. When we’re stressed out or feeling a lot of anxiety, we want comfort food to soothe us, or crunchy food to let us blow off some nervous or angry energy. Almost universally, we reach for unhealthy stuff: fried chicken, potato chips, gooey chocolate chip cookies, or our favorite childhood fast-food meal.
There are two ways to fight this trigger.
- You can find a substitute for food altogether. Opt for physical exercise instead of snacking: walk up and down the stairs a few times, take a turn around the block, or play some sort of game that requires both energy and attention. This will take your mind off of food!
- You can make healthier choices with your “stress foods.” Replace chips with carrot sticks, or cookies with fresh fruit. No, it won’t taste the same. But believe me, you’ll feel better after you eat something healthy than after you break your diet with junk! Eating something you’ll feel bad about later is a surefire way to make your stress worse. Try a desert-like IdealShake or a yummy IdealBar.