April 28, 2016

Weight loss diets are often criticised due to the claim that too much sacrifice is necessary. The idea that sacrifice is a negative is odd. We all make sacrifices every day of our lives: it’s called choice.

We drive the kids to school and obey the speed limit in the school zone. Why? The road rules are there for good reason. We can choose to disobey the rules, but the potential outcomes are too awful to think about: a speeding fine or knocking a child over. We sacrifice our need for speed because the outcome is not something we want to deal with.

We line up at the supermarket when it’s busy. We sacrifice our own comfort and desire to get out of there quickly because to push in front of others is socially unacceptable and we’re likely to then have to deal with other angry shoppers.

We tolerate our boss’s reasonable work-related requests, not because we are so in love with our work but because to say no may cause friction in the office. We make the choice to sacrifice our personal desires in order to do our job properly and maintain a cohesive workplace.

Why should it be any different when it comes to losing weight?

If your immediate desire cannot be delayed or ignored in favour of the more important outcome, you will never lose weight. Just because biscuits are available at morning tea doesn’t mean you need to eat them. Sacrifice the desire and enjoy the results.

Adopting a mantra can really help when practicing sacrifice. The mantra should acknowledge the temptation and then follow with a ‘but’ and an alternate strategy:

  • I’ve eaten them before and I’ll eat them again, but not today.
  • I’d love to eat them, but would then feel guilty so it’s not worth it.
  • I know they’d taste great but losing weight is more important than eating them.

In the early stages of a weight loss program the sacrifices you make may seem difficult or sometimes not worthwhile. You’ll make mistakes or you’ll slip-up, giving in to a weak moment. Big deal! Get back on track immediately and just get on with it. As time passes, it gets easier and easier to say no. Eventually you get to the point where you’re not even tempted, and if you did eat it you wouldn’t enjoy it as you thought you would.

So go ahead and embrace the sacrifice. It’s not a negative; in fact it’s a real positive as it helps you eliminate the choices that don’t help you reach your goals.