Dear Dr. Mo: When is the best moment to start my weight loss diet? What should I pay attention to and strategize around?
Dear reader: Stress is one of the biggest diet killers.
Stress exhausts our mental capacities and diminishes our will power to stay the course and not give in to temptations.
Temptations are another big enemy of weight loss diets.
That said, the best you can do is start the diet while you are on vacation – although it may sound counter-intuitive, this way, less over all stress will give you a mental edge to keep up.
We are more likely to stick to promises we make (to ourselves) and not cheat, when we feel good, relaxed and refreshed – in other words, when our minds are not tired and taxed.
While vacations reduce stressors, they usually offer more temptations. To tackle them head on you can make an effort to avoid them in the first place (this is the safest and easiest way).
Start with emptying your home (or a hotel room) of any food and drink items that might tempt you to give in. Do not really count on your will power to constantly refrain from the ‘forbidden’ food: every time you say ‘no’, a bit of your energy is spent and at the end of the day, when you come home tired and full of impressions and thoughts, this physical exhaustion alone is more than enough to deplete your ability to resist and sooner or later you will fail; so, best is not to have any louring food around.
Economist Dan Silverman says that a good way to save the will power for big temptations, when we really need it to resist, is to allow small indulgences to seep into our diet every now and then (like having an occasional desert). He calls this “rational self-indulgence”. Continue reading