Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Did you set a goal to lose weight this year? How’s it going? Are you still working at it or have you given up? If you’ve given up, don’t beat yourself up about it. A lot of dieters get derailed.

While every diet and dieter is different, there are some common pitfalls that almost every dieter experiences at some point during their weight loss journey. But once you understand what they are, you can either stay away from them or prepare yourself in case they pop up.

  1. Thinking short term and not long term. Weight loss is a journey. If it took you several months to pack on the pounds, don’t expect to lose them overnight. You’re only setting yourself up to fail. Find an eating plan that you can follow for the long term. Also, allow yourself to cheat occasionally, so you don’t feel deprived. But make sure you get back on track at your next meal.
  2. Not planning ahead. By planning meals ahead, you may be able to avoid spontaneous eating. Develop shopping lists based on your meal plan and stick to your list at the store. Try cooking healthy meals ahead of time and freezing them. This tactic will help you overcome the urge to stop for fast food if you know you have a healthy meal you can simply heat up.
  3. Skipping meals. Your body needs food to keep you going, just like your car needs gas to run. So, don’t skip meals like breakfast. It may cause you problems later, like a lack of energy, snacking or overeating at lunch. In fact, research shows that people, who eat breakfast daily, actually lose weight more successfully than people who don’t.
  4. Not planning for event triggers. Perhaps, stressful business situations cause you to snack or overeat. Or, maybe you have a party to go to with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Decide ahead how you will handle these events, such as taking healthy snacks to eat at work or making up your mind that you’ll only select healthy choices from the buffet. But if you do slip up, don’t use it as an excuse to ditch your diet. Just get back on track the next time you eat.
  5. Focusing only on your end weight goal. By doing this, you’ll likely become unmotivated after only a few weeks on your weight loss plan. Instead set smaller goals like a 10 lb. weight loss, a smaller clothing size or the ability to do more and feel less tired. By celebrating these small successes, you can keep up your motivation and not become impatient when your weight loss isn’t instantaneous.

By preparing for dieting pitfalls, you have a better chance of losing weight and maintaining healthier habits.

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Excess weight can cause the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet’s arches to stretch and become weak over time. Eventually, they give out, causing the bones in your feet to collapse and flatten your arches. Once this happens, you may develop pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Also, painful chronic foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can occur.

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Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® And when you feel good, you’ll be more motivated to succeed on your weight loss journey.