Entering into a diet is a serious commitment, especially if your goal to lose a considerable amount of weight. Unfortunately, it seems there are always a million distractions and temptations that keep us from adhering to a specifically planned meal schedule. If you’ve never attempted to follow a strict diet for an extended amount of time, you might think it’s not going to be that difficult. However, after several weeks of restricting some of your favorite foods and only not being able to “pig out,” it does become challenging watching other people enjoy all the food they want. We spoke to Per Wickstrom from Serenity Recovery about habits that should be kicked before starting a diet:
Did you know that food addictions act on the same brain receptors as drugs like cocaine and heroin? If you’re addicted to anything then it is likely that those addictive qualities will tempt you to break your diet at some point. Thus, at least make an effort to address some of your other addictions like coffee, gaming, cigarettes, or drugs, before jumping into a significant diet change. At Serenity Recovery we deal with drug addiction, but we’ve seen cases of food addiction that are just as serious.
2. Staying Up Late and Sleeping in Late
Studies have shown that waking up early and exercising can help you lose weight. Getting on a strict sleep schedule will also ensure that your planned meals are eaten at the appropriate times in the day to facilitate ideal digestion. The goal of every diet should be to stimulate your metabolism, and maintaining a good sleep schedule is one way to that.
3. Only Drinking Soda
There are a lot of people who only drink soda when they’re thirsty. This is a horrible habit to have going into a diet because you’re never going to reach your full dieting potential if you’re dehydrated. Furthermore, sodas are loaded with sugar, which is an addictive food (see tip 1).
4. Excessive Gaming
Most of us associate video gaming with snacking and being lazy, and those are two things you don’t want to be doing during a diet. If you find yourself playing video games for hours at a time, you might want to attempt to kick this habit before starting your diet. Sitting still playing games is not going to help you burn calories, and you’ll probably get a junk food craving or two at some point while playing.
5. Impulse Spending
If you tend to stop at convenience stores and buy candy bars, or pull off for a quick snack from the drive thru while you’re on the road, this type of impulsive spending is going to have to be put to a stop before your diet begins.
Preparing Your Mindset for the Dieting Experience
Dieting is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. You’re going to need a strong sense of discipline, self-control, and will power to see ideal results, and all of that starts with defeating any habits or addictions that might hinder your progress.