Giving up junk food is easy in theory—just stop putting it in your mouth.
But if you’re not used to eating healthy food, it can be a challenge equivalent to climbing Mount Everest.
Whether you’re looking to completely transform your body or just drop a few pounds before Christmas, you need to be prepared for a mental battle.
Calorie-counting can take over your life if you let it. Food becomes all about numbers. Does this treat take me over my limit? How many sit-ups will it take to burn off that milk shake? You end up reading more food packages than you do magazines. All this math is overwhelming enough to make anyone crave a takeaway.
Healthy eating takes effort. It takes time to prepare a decent salad. It costs more to buy a basket of vegetables than it does a Bargain Bucket, and it requires a bit more skill to fashion a meal out of them, too. Laziness will lead to failure.
It’s one of life’s harsh realities that the best food for your taste buds tends to be the worst food for your gut. That’d be all the yummy sugar, carbs, and fat. Fruit, vegetables, and lean meats seem mind-numbingly boring in comparison. At least Cheetos and chicken wings add some excitement to your day.
Ugh, those awkward social situations where you have to admit you’re not happy with your weight. Your boss buys doughnuts for the whole office. Your housemates order a huge pizza. Everyone at the table has enough room for dessert. It’s much easier going along with the crowd than having to turn down food, then justify your eating habits to everyone.
5. Food envy
Food envy can beat even the most determined dieter. The sight of an ice-cream sundae. The smiles, fun, and laughter inside McDonald’s. Even the glorious smell of a doner kebab. Why do all the fat people get to be so happy?
6. Peer pressure
Women will convince you to “treat yourself.” Men will declare that diets are unmanly. Your best friends might have your back, but they rarely seem to care about your stomach, thighs, or hips.
Your brain will be your worst enemy throughout this whole escapade. In fact, your brain is initially averse to any sort of change. It will come up with some brilliant reasons to stick with your old behavior.
“You’ve worked really hard. You’ve earned it.”
“”You’ll burn this off on the dance floor!”
“”Calories don’t count at the weekend!”
“”A Big Mac isn’t THAT big!”
That moment when you stand on the scales and you’ve only dropped one pound this week—there must be some sort of mistake. Never mind that this adds up to 52 pounds a year. Either the scales don’t work, or the diet doesn’t. Impatience is the greatest diet-killer.
This may be a tongue-in-cheek analysis, but all eight of these hurdles can be genuinely tough to jump.
With each of these situations may come the temptation to say, “Fuck it” and stuff your face.
A hurdle is much easier to clear if you know it’s coming, though. By identifying the challenges ahead, you can be more prepared for them.
Have a plan in place for each of these occasions so you can deal with them like a champion when they occur. Maybe carry a checklist for motivation.
Most importantly, remember that weight-loss is meant to be a slow process and it’s meant to be tough. Crash diets don’t work. So be patient, stay strong, and you will eventually get the body you’re aiming for.