The Diet Detective: Avoid 4 Most Common Dieting Problems

3. The Problem: Exhaustion

Diets are exhausting. They take time, effort and often don't provide enough calories for sustained energy.

The Fix

Planning is the answer. Develop an action plan by thinking ahead. When pursuing a goal, it is crucial to have a well thought out written plan. You can minimize crises by anticipating obstacles and planning for how you will surmount them.

There are seven characteristics of effective planning and goal setting that you can remember with the acronym SMARTER: Specific; Motivating; Achievable; Rewarding; Tactical; Evaluated; Revisable. See this article and check out this goal-planning guide to help put your goals in action.
Also, make sure to eat smart. If you don't eat enough food, especially essentials such as fruits and vegetables, you will feel deprived and tired. Also, don't ignore exercise when dieting. It can help you stay strong, and research shows that it will help give you needed energy.

4. The Problem: Too Many Restrictions

If "diet" is simply another word for deprivation, it makes sense that any time we deny ourselves food we will want to eat more than ever. We tend to want things we can't have, so why would food be any different? Keep in mind, if you restrict too much (and eat too few calories) your body can hold on to the fat because it thinks it's starving.

The Fix

Do not restrict yourself too much. Balance is key here. You need to eat less of the garbage foods and more high-quality healthy foods. Yes, you do need to make some changes in your diet, but if you toss out everything but lettuce, celery and the occasional apple, you're setting yourself up for failure.

The key is to compromise with yourself: Make healthier, lower-calorie choices. Also, make sure to follow the advice of experts: Eat lean protein to fend off hunger. Fill up on lots of vegetables. When eating bread and pasta, make sure to only eat 100 percent whole-grainand limit excessive amounts. By doing that you'll be able to keep those cravings under control.

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Charles Stuart Platkin is an Active Expert, nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions and Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at

Copyright 2011 by Charles Stuart Platkin

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