The (5) Real Secret Keys of a Successful Diet


The literature on diets is never ending (and a great deal of it is quite boring) … We pretty much read it all, memorized it all and failed at applying it miserably!

The truth is, real successful diets are nothing like the books. You might wonder why? It is simply because the human psyche doesn’t function according to numbers like calorie counts or pre-set programs like a schedule of meals. Different emotional factors affect the way we eat, hence playing our weight up and down.
Accordingly, being aware of these factors and how to play by and around them is very important to succeed shedding these not-very-few extra pounds we’ve being stacking over the years. All I want from you is to ask yourselves the following questions, and carefully read the answer:

 Why are you eating?

Well … If you belong to the 99% statistical figure, then you are eating for comfort. You’re heartbroken: Talk your heart out to a friend or to your shrink. You’re passing through a tough period: Seek support from those who are close to you. Or you’re simply bored: Well start looking for new hobbies (paint, write, dance, go out and chill!). Once you know why you are eating, you’ll handle the main problem and the magic will start pushing your weight down; for the weight was just a warning symptom. Just as a friend told me (And she is the person who inspired me to write this article): “It is always emotional eating … Always. Because everyone truly loves food, not only overweight people.”

 The first of January?

The first day of the month? Next Monday??? Then you break the diet on Wednesday and wait for next Monday to diet again! Familiar?? The time is NOW; it is always “now”. Even if you just had a Jumbo-sized McDonalds meal for lunch, you can start your diet two minutes after it by having a healthy snack in the afternoon and a protein salad for dinner. Starting on the spot can bring you a great deal of pride and motivation. I started my diet on a Tuesday afternoon after a killer dessert at my cousin’s.

 How strict is your diet?

Oh is it so strict … It sounds “impossible” to my ears, and it spells “torture”. There’s no need for overly strict diets, because a real diet as defined by “a diet that a normal emotional human creature can maintain” should make you feel happy and proud, not frustrated and deprived. Make a list of your favorite foods and make sure your dietitian will incorporate them within your diet somehow. You love donuts, once a week instead of your breakfast will not kill you. Fries, is it? A reasonable quantity once every 10 days doesn’t burn Rome. For me, it is chocolate, and I am allowed 20 grams of it a day (yes you heard it, every single day), but I tend to save it and have a full 40 grams every other day (it’s really all about the overall). Bottom line: If it makes you cry, then it is no good.

 Do you forgive yourself?

So you’ve been dieting and you’re on the second week down the road then BAM, your will breaks down and you eat like you’ve lived through the great famine on that delicious family lunch and subsequent desserts. And let me guess, you believe that since you royally broke your diet, then “Next Monday” it is. Familiar scenario … I know, been there! The answer is: Forgive yourself, because a bad meal doesn’t ruin days of good dieting. Forgive yourself, & forget about it. Enjoy the delicious so-not-diet food you’re having and use the instance positively to diminish your craving over the next period. It’s okay … As long as it doesn’t happen too often, it is “really” okay. Oh and the diet resumes NOW!

 Are you obsessing with the numbers? Pounds? Kilos?

Didn’t lose any weight since yesterday or since last week? All these are classics: One question matters to me though “Do you own a scale” – Did you say yes??? Well good, now throw it away! Yes you heard it “throw away the devil”! Obsessing over your weight, whether it is 2 kilos down or 50 kilos up, is always your enemy; your motivation’s enemy. Make sure you weigh yourself on your regular visits to your dietician once a month or once every 20 days and that’s it. Different factors interfere with the numbers, especially if you’re prone to water retention or you’re already exercising (or of course if you’re a “she” it is that time of the month!)
All this put into perspective, make sure you’re more flexible, forgiving and easy on yourself the next time you’re dieting. Make sure you’re also honest with yourself and having your heart, mind and will in the right place; because a successful diet starts with a great deal of understanding your inner self. Best of luck!
Patricia Issa
PS: Find me on the official Facebook page of BelleBeirut, and on @BelleBeirut’s twitter and my own @PatriciaIssa961