Sometimes the answer is so obvious that you don’t want to believe it.
In my dieting experience, I’ve made just about every mistake in the book.
I’ve put my body and mind through the wringer.
So much so that I still deal with the collateral damage …
And being a little crazy in the head lol.
Through all of the colorful dieting mistakes that I’ve made … the solutions were so obvious.
Almost too obvious.
Like … right-in-front-of-my-face-why-won’t-you-wake-the-fuck-up obvious.
It happens to the best of us.
Often times we simply get so bogged down on the “plan” that we lose sight of some major red flags.
Like when my body was screaming bloody murder with ravenous hunger and zero energy.
And I would tell myself that hunger was a sign of losing body fat.
Do you recognize these common dieting mistakes?
Anyway, I’ve distilled my list down to the 5 most common dieting mistakes that many of us fall victim to.
And their obvious solutions that sometimes we don’t want to believe.
In no particular order …
Dieting Mistake #1 – Always trying to beat your best
What I mean here is that we often try to improve our nutrition to the point of being perfect.
Slightly off or close enough are rarely considered a win in the mind of the dieter.
Oddly enough, those same people (like me in my dieting days) will still have days where they completely go off the rails.
Classic all or nothing.
Obvious solution – stop trying to beat your best and start trying to beat your worst.
It’s much easier to improve your worst day than it is to improve your best day. You wouldn’t go into the gym every single session expecting to PR. Stop taking that approach with your nutrition.
Dieting Mistake #2 – Ignoring the low hanging fruit
This is very person dependent.
Often times it’s not getting enough protein, or lack of food quality, or not walking enough. Or not knowing how to eat well while traveling.
The low hanging fruit is the thing that will move the needle the most with the least amount of effort.
If you’re walking 3,000 steps per day … it doesn’t take much to get that number to 5,000. And that will move the needle more than a slight macro adjustment.
Same thing with the person who barely gets in any protein but seems to overindulge on snacks.
They try to attack the problem by conjuring up more willpower. And that never works.
Simply getting in more protein will move the needle and will likely reduce snacking.
Obvious solution – identify the low hanging fruit and fix it.
Dieting Mistake #3 – Long term desires with short term actions/thoughts
Everyone says they want the same thing …
Improve body composition. Be healthy. Live longer for the people they love. Confidence. Clothes fitting better. Strength.
Ya know, basic things that make living life more enjoyable.
Do you want those results for a day? For a month? Or forever?
So your core desires exist on a timeline of forever …
Yet your actions and thoughts tell a different story.
You can’t sprint your way to a marathon win.
And you certainly can’t win a race that you don’t even want to be in.
All of the short term actions … restriction, deprivation, food elimination …
That’s running a race you don’t even want to be running.
You just said you want forever results. And those actions certainly don’t align.
Which means that’s not your race.
Same thing with your thoughts around the daily scale fluctuations, feeling like you have to be perfect each day, and getting frustrated for doing everything “right.”
First of all, there’s no such thing as doing everything right. That’s simply your mind telling you that progress should be ahead of where it currently is.
But progress will happen at the pace that it happens.
Obvious solution – buckle up and start acting like you actually want this forever. Focus on behavior modifications that align with the LIFE you want that will eventually get you to your goals.
Dieting Mistake #4 – Always eating less
I explained this in detail on my last podcast (you can listen here) …
When you play this game, you run out of options very quickly.
And that’s not a good thing.
Eating less and moving more is like putting in a destination into a GPS and only having one path to get there.
It’s a risky move.
What if there’s traffic? A road closure? Construction?
Well … then you’re fucked. Because you put all your eggs in one basket.
You can’t “calorie deficit” your way to your goals in a continuous straight line.
Your body is too smart for that and understands that a calorie deficit is a stressor.
So it’ll adapt accordingly.
The more you force it, the more it’ll fight back.
And by fight back I simply mean it’ll keep you alive through several adaptive mechanisms.
Which can be really unfortunate.
Case in point … why my thyroid is still fucked.
I played that game for 10 years.
10 out of 10 don’t recommend.
Obvious solution – spend lots of time maintaining and supporting a healthy metabolism. Like … spend MORE time eating at maintenance than you do in a deficit. Take calculated periods of time to lose body fat and the rest of the time actually allow your body to feel safe.
Dieting Mistake #5 – Chasing “more”
Successful people in every facet of life …
Don’t do more things.
They do fewer things.
They just happen to do those fewer things really well for a really long time.
The thought process of an unsuccessful person – what more can I do?
The thought process of a successful person – what are the 2-3 things that need to go right for me to win my day?
By the very nature of how complex systems work, the more things you need to go right to be successful … the lower your odds of success.
So even if you add another thing (like more cardio, an extra training day, a fasting protocol, etc.) …
And have a 90% chance of following through …
You’ve lowered your odds of success.
Because if one thing doesn’t go right, it likely throws everything off.
Don’t believe me?
Ask anyone who started and stopped their New Year’s resolution.
I guarantee they had the highest of intentions to “do all the things.”
They were motivated AF.
And the minute they missed one thing … it was game over.
You don’t need more.
You need to take the few actions that move you closer.
Obvious solution – identify the 2-3 things that need to go right each day for you to win your day and get ruthlessly consistent with those for a long ass time.