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Oct 02

Top 10 Most Unrealistic Diet Expectations of All Time

What is the one thing you find the hardest to grasp with dieting?

Is it the type of food you eat, the amount of food you eat, the amount of exercise or is it the lack of freedom of food choices.

After overcoming my weight problem after spending 7 and a half years of my life yo-yo dieting, I thought it would be fun to write down on paper the things I struggled with most. These 10 factors are the ones that more likely than not, caused me to ruin my diet.

1. EATING SMALLER MEALS

This was extremely difficult for me. I like to feel content and full after a meal. I found I could only do this if I was really busy. However, if I had nothing else to do after finishing my diet meal, I would get irresistible cravings to splurge…and more often than not I did…in a big way!

2. EATING DISGUSTING FOOD

I found this the most difficult. Not only did I have to give up my favourite foods, I had to eat the most blend and tasteless food imaginable. Even if a diet did sound good to start with (the high fat diet) the lack of variety soon made me hate those foods. I still cringe thinking about how I used to force myself to eat tuna in spring water and egg whites. After a while I was dry reaching every time I put them in my mouth! To solve this problem, I would take a mouthful of tuna, then take a mouthful of water and drink it down! Yuck! After having this meal for lunch at work, I would get home and eat half a box of Nutri-Grain cereal…with nearly a litre of milk!

3. CUTTING CARBOHYDRATES

This drove me crazy! Whenever I did this I felt so drained and weak. I was always tired. I found it hard to string more than a few days of consistent dieting together without pigging out on cereal, pasta, juice and sandwiches. What I realize now is that whatever I wasn’t allowed to have, that’s what I craved.

4. CONSUMING LESS FOOD AT NIGHT

I don’t like to admit it, but one of my favourite things is to eat a large, almost challenging-to-finish meal for dinner that will leave me stuffed. I don’t know why but I love the feeling. Maybe I like the challenge and almost like to show off how much food I can eat. Also, night time is when I’m unwinding and I would like to have a snack or two while relaxing and watching T.V before going to bed. Many diets actually want you to eat very little from 5pm onwards and not eat for 3 hours before going to bed…I obviously struggled with this one. My most common time for pigging out and ruining my diet was (and still is) at night time.

5. EATING A TON OF PROTEIN

I found this the hardest in my day to day activities. Some diets won’t let you even have an apple without having a piece of protein with it. I couldn’t stand to eat so much meat…blend meat at that because it had to be lean. Do you know hard it is to get a lean piece of meat when you are out and about? I would have to carry tins of tuna with me because this was the only portable meat. I couldn’t always leave the house because I had to eat protein every 2-3 hours! (I know that’s a bit extreme but I felt like that some times!) This is where supplement companies must be loving it, because the most portable source of protein is…protein powder… which leads me to my next point…

6. EXPENSIVE SUPPLEMENTS

I personally found that the most restricting diets were the ones that recommended that you use supplements to make the diet easier. Maybe they made the diet so hard that you had no choice but to buy their supplements? I don’t know. All I know is many of those supplements (predominantly Meal Replacement Powders) were disgusting and extremely expensive. I would fork out over a $100 for a few weeks supply. What I find amusing is that they also say that you should follow their diet for life (I wonder why?!…$$) Besides how can a powdered mix be more healthy than natural from the ground real food?

7. DIETS THAT CUT OUT AN ENTIRE FOOD GROUP

These diets were the hardest ones to follow. Whether it was a no fat diet, a no protein diet (all fruit, or soup diets) or a no carbohydrate diet I couldn’t stand the lack of freedom. I personally found the no carb diet the hardest, I felt like a zombie and I was talking as slow as Rocky Balboa! Any diet that cuts out a whole macronutrient (whether be protein, carbs or fat) was just way to demanding for me.

8. EATING LOW FAT

Many of the high protein diets also recommend that you keep your fat intake to a minimum (some allow us to have a tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day…Hooray!) This is what made high protein diets unbearable for me. Not only did we have to eat a ton of it, it had to be as lean as possible. Only the egg white, grilled chicken, no fat, nothing on it, or tuna in spring water…drained…Yuck! If I was lucky some diets would even grant me the luxury of no fat, watery skim milk!

No fat = no taste = no chance for me to stick to it

9. NO FREEDOM OR FLEXIBILITY

This drove me crazy. Most…wait actually all diets had an authorised food list. If a food you wanted to eat wasn’t on the list, you simply couldn’t eat it. Problem was the authorised list normally contained no more than 10-20 foods…that was it! Typically it was: chicken, tuna, egg whites, fish, protein powder and oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and some allowed whole-wheat bread sparingly, along with plenty of vegetables.

What if I was away from my house for more than 2 hours, where was I going to cook this food? Why can’t I just have a chicken burger at McDonalds? Can’t I just have a bottle of Orange Juice at the petrol station? No, No, No if it’s not on the authorised list you can’t eat it!

These damn authorised lists also stopped me from dining out altogether…so my girlfriend suffered. At first I tried to dine out and stick to the authorised list, but I would spend half an hour explaining to the waiter what I wanted. Not only this hassle but the temptation of delicious food all around me made me to simply give up dining full stop.

This drove me crazy because I love dining out. Taking people you care about out for a special night and delicious food. Depriving myself of this right was probably one of the hardest things to cope with.

This lack of flexibility with the diet caused me to pig out on so much junk food (I don’t even want to think about how much money I have given to ol’ Colonel Sanders) I think subconsciously I might also pig out because I am a bit head strong and rebellious. (I’ll show you for not allowing me to eat my favourite foods!)

And last, but definitely not least…

10. NOT BEING ALLOWED TO “OVER-INDULGE” OCCASIONALLY

I have a ridiculously large appetite. I love to eat until I’m stuffed and feel completely satisfied. I almost show off with how much I can eat sometimes (I know that sounds bad but I am proud of how much I can put away!)

All diets were a huge culture shock to me because of how little I was allowed to eat. I probably could have stuck to them if they just let me let my hair down occasionally and “indulge” a little. Many didn’t allow any leeway though. So the pressure of depriving myself of overeating just kept building up and building up until it became unbearable. Then guess what happened. That’s right I OVER ATE and in a big way. At first I felt good about it, but then felt really depressed because I had done the wrong thing by the diet I was following.

I honestly didn’t and to this day still don’t see the harm in “pigging out” every now and then. If you stick to your diet and train hard, a large pizza to yourself or a visit to an all you can eat buffet once or twice a week will definitely not hurt your progress… in actual fact I believe it helps you. I believe it actually speeds up weight loss (I’ll go more in-depth in another article) but more importantly it helps keep you sane, and keeps cravings down, which enables you to be more consistent for a longer period of time.

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