Constant hunger pangs aren't the only tip-off that your weight-loss plan has crossed over into potentially dangerous territory. If you've recently started a diet, check out these signs that you could be harming your health or setting yourself up for a weight-loss fail by dieting too hard.
Here's how to overcome five common "calorie obsessions" using alternatives that balance mindfulness of calories with mindfulness of taste, hunger, fullness, and, yes, even joy.
1. You Avoid Parties Because You Can’t Eat or Drink Anything There
Socialization is something we all need in life and when we begin to replace that with a desire to stay strict towards a diet, we are going too far. You should be able to find a healthy balance between staying healthy, and still hanging out with the people you enjoy.
2. You Struggle Through Dessert and Constantly Tell Yourself, “I Shouldn’t” but, “I Want it”
Tune into the the taste of it rather than the guilt. Ask yourself “Is this something I truly want?” or “ Am I really still hungry?”. If the answer is “yes”, eat half, save the rest for tomorrow, and move on. If not, let it go.
3. You Are Afraid To Eat Out at Most Restaurants
Eating out is one of America's great pastimes, so don't avoid restaurants when dieting! Eating out is fun and relaxing. You can eat out and eat healthy, too. The most important thing you can do is to be aware of healthy choices and to make wise choices. As with all things, moderation and sensibility are keys to success with any diet.
4. You Force Yourself to Order the Dish on the Menu That Has the Lowest Calorie Count, Even if You Know You Won't Enjoy it.
Many times, eating out has a very bad health connotation to it. Portion sizes are often massive, and a meal might be more than 1,000 calories, but that doesn’t make it permanently off limits. Cultivate mindful eating and feel free to wrap up and take home what's left over.
5. You Force Yourself to Use Skim Milk in Your Coffee, Just to Save 10 or 20 Calories.
Obsessive calorie counting will leave you focusing on the numbers before everything else. Try each type of milk and use the one that introduces the most joy into your milk-drinking experience. As with anything in life, everything is okay in moderation. It’s about keeping everything in balance and allowing yourself to eat small amounts of almost any food, without the guilt and regret. If you find yourself doing any of these things listed above you may need to rethink your diet.