I hate rules, especially weight loss rules.
Rules are often hard to follow, but easy to break, at least for me. When it comes to weight loss rules they’re usually restrictive and/or a bad fit with my life. For example, here’s a rule that’s a bad fit for me – Start every day with a healthy breakfast.
I am okay with eating first thing in the morning. I need to eat as soon as I get up preferably. If I let too much time pass between getting up and eating I get a headache. It’s not the eating breakfast that gives me trouble. It’s the “healthy” that’s the problem.
I don’t know if I could find anybody who calls the things I like to eat for breakfast healthy. I like to start my day with sugar, refined flour and fat. I do, it’s how I get my energy and it keeps me feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime. I like cake for breakfast. If there is no cake, I’ll eat a few cookies or a doughnut.
There are more weight loss rules I find equally odious, but I know that to lose weight, it does help to have a few rules. The 2 essential rules I like are not hard to follow and you probably won’t even want to break them. If you do break them occasionally, however, it’s perfectly okay and need not wreck your hopes of reaching your weight loss goal. Don’t get upset with yourself for breaking a rule; just don’t make it a habit.
1. Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals sets you up to eat too much later. It can be because you’re too hungry. Getting too hungry weakens your resolve to make good choices, can cause you to eat too fast which is a major reason why we eat too much. Skipping meals can also result in eating too much because you trick yourself with mind games.
Mind games are things that aren’t true, but we tell ourselves they are. “I can eat this, because I skipped lunch.” Often the this we are telling ourselves we can have is more calories and less nutritious than the lunch we skipped.
If you must break this rule, now you’re aware of how it supports your weight loss progress and what could be the negative outcome if you ignore it.
2. Don’t seek to be perfect.
Perfectly following your weight loss plan is neither necessary nor does it ensure success. Although perfection may seem like the effective way to get to goal, it’s rarely possible in real life. Things happen and when they do, perfect may not happen regardless of dedicated you are. When you think it’s really important to be perfect and you fall short, logic often goes away.
Negative thoughts and feeling lead to negative actions. “I failed at perfection, now everything is ruined.” When you tell yourself everything is ruined, you’re saying, “there’s no point in damage control; I may as well quit right now.”
If you must break this rule, well, being perfect shouldn’t stop your progress, but it could. Perfect adherence doesn’t guarantee perfect results. One week you’re perfect and you lose 3 pounds. The next week you’re perfect and you only lose half a pound. That may cause you to think “I can’t lose weight even when I’m perfect.” That kind of thinking is how good weight loss attempts end in failure. To avoid perfection from stopping your progress, focus on progress instead of perfection.