It’s too expensive
Many people claim that they can’t afford to eat more healthily. However, healthy eating can be just as budget-friendly as splurging on junk food if you know what to look out for. In fact, swapping your chocolate bar or packet of crisps for an apple can actually save you money. To lose weight on the cheap, start by reducing your portion sizes and swapping unhealthy snacks for fresh fruit or veg. Stocking up on dried legumes for protein, buying in bulk and freezing leftovers are also good steps for keeping costs down.
I’m too busy
Most of us lead busy lifestyles, juggling work and family commitments alongside hectic social lives. However, this is no excuse for ditching the diet. Remember, fruit and nuts are just as easy to eat on the go as a packet of crisps, and a healthy salad can be whipped up in the same time it takes to peruse a takeaway menu and place your order. Furthermore, so long as you are following a healthy, balanced eating plan – rather than an overly restrictive, faddy diet – your diet should help to keep you energised and fuelled to successfully tackle your busy day.
I’ve had a bad day
Your boss is piling on the workload, you’ve had a bust-up with your best friend and you missed the bus home... but that bar of chocolate would surely make it all feel better? Sadly not. While you may think that giving into the temptation for a tasty treat will compensate for a bad day, it will most likely only make you feel guilty and bloated as well as stressed out. If you know you’re an emotional eater, it’s important to find a healthier way to deal with your feelings – such as exercising, chatting with a friend, or watching your favourite movie – to help you resist those unhealthy cravings next time you’re feeling down or stressed.
I deserve a treat
The opposite of an emotional eater who reaches for food in times of trouble, a celebratory eater will excuse their junk-food-bingeing blips with the reasoning that they deserve the treat as a reward for their workout session/performance in work/successful weight loss that week. However, the truth is that yes, you do deserve a treat; what you do not deserve is to punish your poor body by plying it with junk and empty calories. Rather than celebrating your achievements with cake or wine, be kind to yourself and treat yourself to a massage or pampering session instead.
Blaming our body shape on genetics is a good way to dismiss all responsibility towards it. After all, why bother starting a diet or exercise plan when it’s in your genes to have a big bum or muffin top? However, while your genes can determine where and how easily fat is stored, you are not powerless to shift those pounds. In fact, research suggests that regular exercise outweighs the effects of “fat genes”. So, whether your family have ingrained unhealthy eating habits into you from a young age, or you feel you are genetically fat, you can still combat this with a healthy eating and exercise plan.
Diets don’t work for me
One of the most common (and flimsiest) excuses around... Diets just don’t work for you, right? Well, not if you approach them with that attitude! Maybe diets leave you “feeling weak”, perhaps you “don’t have the self-discipline” to stick to them, or maybe you have never achieved any significant results. Most likely, your approach to dieting is all wrong. Sampling every faddy diet that comes around is unlikely to achieve long-lasting results or leave you feeling great. Instead, kick the fad diets to the kerb, adopt a sensible, healthy approach to eating and make sure to give it a proper go before you assess its effectiveness.
I’ve got a slow metabolism
Many people believe they are unable to lose weight due to a sluggish metabolism. However, if you truly have a slow metabolism, the last thing your body needs is to be plied with excessive amounts of calories to burn off. Despite what you may believe, your metabolic rate is not set in stone, and regular exercise and muscle growth can actually increase the rate at which your body burns calories. Furthermore, the more weight you need to lose, the more easily your body will burn it off.
I’ll start my diet tomorrow
This is the biggie; the most popular excuse for every neglected resolution known to man. However, if every time you slip up you put your plans back another day, you are never going to get started. Rather than putting off your diet until after a big event such as Christmas or a holiday, start putting in the work now so by the time your event arrives you can afford to lapse a little. Also, remember that a little wobble doesn’t need to mean the end of your diet, so don’t write off the entire day just because you succumbed to the temptation of a mid-morning slice of cake. Put it behind you and carry on.
I love food too much
Do you love food too much to give any of it up? Does dieting make you utterly miserable? Well, it could be that you are just not doing it right. Contrary to popular belief, dieting doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with a bit of careful management you can still eat all of your favourite foods. Rather than completely cutting out treats, try following the 80/20 rule; eating healthily 80 per cent of the time and being less strict for the other 20 per cent. Also, remember there’s an abundance of healthy food out there, so shop around for some that you actually enjoy eating – you may be surprised what you find.
I don’t want to look like a stick insect
With the modern celebration of “real, curvy women”, many women use the excuse of wanting to hold on to their curves as a reason for not losing weight. After all, men like women with a bit of meat on their bones, right? Yes, but they also like them healthy and well. While having natural curves and a healthy level of body confidence is both admirable and healthy, it is important to bear in mind your healthy weight and try to stay within this range. Nobody wants you to look like a stick insect, but it is unlikely that following a healthy, balanced diet and sensible exercise regime will ever result in this.