Shut Up and Eat Less: Five Ways People Over-Complicate Dieting

Dieting is really simple. It’s a $55 billion dollar industry just in the U.S. alone, but it doesn’t have to be. Everything you need to know about weight loss can be summarized in six words: eat fewer calories than you burn.

If you succeed in burning more calories than you consume for a long enough period of time, weight loss is inevitable. But despite this straight-forward, proven scientific approach to weight loss, some dieters succeed admirably at making dieting more complicated than it needs to be. Rather than just focusing on the things that matter, people find a way to make weight loss harder than it needs to be by making a big complicated mess out of the process.

Here are five of the most common ways people over-complicate dieting and make reaching their goals harder than it needs to be:

#1: Falling for fad diets. What is about fad diets that lure in some people like a bug to a lamp? Fad diets are the ultimate form of over-complicating weight loss. Rather than just eating less, people put up all sorts of rules and barriers around their approach to dieting. It’s almost as if some people believe weight loss isn’t possible unless they come up with some hugely complicated or radical approach to dieting.

  • “No carbs after 8:00”
  • “A liquid-only diet for the first three weeks then just salads for the next three weeks.”
  • “Vegetarian Mondays through Thursdays, fish on Friday, and then chicken on the weekends.”
  • “Run three miles every time I cave in and eat something sweet.”
  • “This diet pill in the mornings and then this one in the afternoons.”
  • “Bananas and cabbage soup only for the whole month.”

Just shut up and eat less.

#2: Spending too much money on a diet plan. Losing weight involves eating less. So it stands to reason you can save some money on food in the process. But for some people, dieting is associated with high costs. By convincing yourself that losing weight costs money, it’s easy to procrastinate your weight loss plans until you have the money to afford whatever overpriced diet plan you’ve convinced yourself is the only way for you to lose weight. There are plenty of people who will stick out their hands to take your money and hand you whatever supplements or meal programs you think you need to lose weight. But it should be easy to lose weight while spending even less on food that you are currently.

Shut up and eat less.

#3: Being too hard on yourself. Many people fail to reach their diet goals simply but not placing realistic expectations upon themselves. Weight loss is a slow process. By expecting to accomplish too much too fast, it’s easy to become discouraged and give up on working to reach the body weight you desire. Unrealistic weight expectations can manifest in a few different ways. Most commonly they are in the form of extreme calorie deprivation or exercise objectives.

Shut up and eat less.

#4: Talking lots about a diet plan but very little action. Some people are all talk. They’re willing to tell anyone who will listen all about their big fancy weight loss plans. They’re going finally get down to that ideal body weight as soon they finish explaining their plans and goals to someone. The problem is they never stop talking!

Shut up and eat less.

#5: Not believing in yourself. Some people make weight loss harder on themselves by being emotional wusses about it. As soon as the going gets a little rough, they look around for someone to complain and pout to and start the process of rationalizing why dieting just isn’t for them. They’ve failed before they’ve barely gotten started. Everyone is capable of making the sacrifices needed to lose weight. Sure, the hunger pains and cravings aren’t fun, but it’s not like being in a prisoner of war camp. So you’re a little hungrier than usual. Big deal. Anything worth having isn’t easy to get.

Shut up and eat less.

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