Are you weary of making yet another diet resolutions this year? In the book The Mayo Clinic Diet, the weight-loss experts at the Mayo Clinic identified some common dieting obstacles and ways to overcome them.
Top 5 Common Dieting Obstacles or Excuses
Obstacle 1: I don’t like to cook, or I don’t have time to cook
You can get recipes that are easy, quick, and healthy from many websites and cookbooks. Try out different cooking techniques, such as grilling, microwaving, steaming, and stir-frying, which are all easy ways to cook your food. Save time and hassle by buying prepackaged salad greens, frozen vegetables, or precooked lean meats. Make extra when you do cook, so you can take advantage of leftovers the next day. If you are really feeling uninspired, eating out or getting takeout is all right once in a while. Just remember to choose healthy items and practice good portion control.
Obstacle 2: I don’t like vegetables and fruit
Not interested in vegetables or fruit? No problem! If munching on a huge bowl of salad does not appeal to you, you can boost your fruit and vegetable intake easily by adding them to your soups, casseroles, stews and stir-fries. Or, you can include fresh fruit pieces in your cereal and low-fat yogurt. If you are tired of the familiar apples, grapes, and oranges, be sure to try exotic fruits like mangoes, kiwis, and papayas next time!
Obstacle 3: I’m not hungry in the morning so I skip breakfast
Even if you are not hungry, try to eat a little something two mornings a week, and slowly work your way up to having breakfast every day. You can try breakfast shakes, cereal and non-fat milk, or handy foods that you can grab and go, such as bananas, apples, or low-fat yogurt in single-serving containers. If you love your cup of java in the morning, try a non-fat latte instead of drip coffee so that the milk will at least fuel your body with some protein and carbohydrate. Or if you are not a big fan of traditional breakfasts, why not try a breakfast sandwich?
Obstacle 4: I’m a late-night snacker
Prevention is the way to go to curb your late-night munchies. Make sure you eat three good meals during the day so you won’t be hungry at night, simply don’t keep unhealthy snack food around the house, and stay busy in the hours before bedtime to prevent you from wandering to the pantry. If you feel the urge to eat at night, snack on fruits, vegetable sticks, and popcorn without butter instead.
Obstacle 5: I have a hard time not eating when I’m watching TV or in the movie theater
You can try to fill up on a healthy meal before you sit down for the show so you feel less of an urge to eat. Sip on water or a calorie-free beverage instead of snacking, or try chewing sugarless gum to combat the munchies. If you really have to snack, munch on something low in calories such as fruits, vegetables, popcorn (no butter), or rice crackers.
The Bottom Line
With careful planning, and by being more mindful of what you are eating, you too can make great food choices and be a champion in your dieting efforts!
Owennie is a registered dietitian with a soft spot for chocolate and coffee. She is a believer in balance and moderation, and is committed to keeping healthy eating enjoyable and fun. Owennie received her dietetics training in Vancouver, and is a member of Dietitians of Canada and the College of Dietitians of British Columbia. She has experience in a wide variety of settings, such as clinical nutrition, long-term care and outpatient counseling. Owennie has also worked for a community nutrition hotline and participated regularly as a guest radio host, where she enjoyed sharing her passion and knowledge about food and nutrition with people.