What the ‘Experts’ Don’t Tell You About Diets; Three Tips for Setting Yourself Up For Success

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“It was difficult for me to watch you restrict your calories to prepare for your show. I don’t think you should be telling others to do that because it causes metabolic issues and rebound weight gain.”

I laughed at the idea. I would not promote calorie restriction or a diet to people trying to lose weight either.
The idea was ridiculous to me. But her concern was valid. I understand.

Recently I competed in a figure competition (bodybuilding) and hired a trainer for it. Most of my training was on food and  diet – needless to say it was restrictive, but not to the point where it was unhealthy- just difficult mentally.

During the 12 weeks of preparation for the competition, I keep having this thought:

“People shouldn’t go on diets unless they are in some kind of professional training. It’s the professionals that should be on diets, not people that need to lose weight. These people need solutions, options and strategies for their busy lives. You can’t expect them to eat chicken and broccoli and be happy. What would be the point?”

[bctt tweet=”Choosing between overweight and miserable vs overweight, miserable, and on a diet-is no choice” username=”nicholecarlson”]

People try to go on diets because they feel like they are ‘supposed to’ or they feel like a diet is their only choice.

Not true.

There are strategies out there… the strategies are just difficult to see with everyone CRAMMING the word ‘Diet’ down our throats.


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Let’s take a look at three of them now.

1. Start with small goals. You must start small enough that you WILL do it every day.

I recently told a friend of mine that I was doing 4 pull ups every morning.

He laughed at me and asked me why, when I could do a lot more.

I knew I wouldn’t do it if I made the goal bigger than that starting out. I know myself. I would make some lame excuse, like I don’t have time or I’m already doing a lot. So I made it small so I would be able to do it daily.

2. Make your change big enough that it still ‘counts’ in your head. You must feel like you are making progress.

One year, I made a goal to run 20 minutes every day. I knew that was the minimum I could do and still have it ‘count’ in my mind.

I even figured if I was sick, I could still jog it. (I’m not recommending this. My point is, I was just telling myself it was achievable)

The first month was hard.

I won’t lie.

There were days I was cranky until I did my work out because I knew I had to do it because I knew it was small enough not to have an excuse.

3. Gradually increase your habits but still have a minimum that you MUST do.

The year of my 20 minutes a day, I grew to love it. I increased my time some days, and some days I still did my minimum.

BUT by August, it was pretty often I was running 6-7 miles a day.

I always followed my 20-minute rule, even with the increases. It was always achievable and it always ‘counted’.


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Your challenge: 

Your challenge today is to find some small health related change that you could make today (no putting this off), that would ‘count’ as a WIN for you.

Nichole Carlson weight loss challenge


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Yes, I know we all have thoughts of what we should do or where we should be, but start from where you are. Comment below with your new plan.

I would love to know.




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