The Seven Diet Sins... and how you can beat them for good! 

Will you be a diet sinner or winner?
When starting a healthy eating regime, it is likely that you could be one of the three in four people who fall off the diet bandwagon by giving in to food cravings after just one week.  This is because abstaining completely from our favourite foods makes us long for them even more!  We have outlined the seven most common habits likely to break your diet early, and the resolutions to help you get back on track. So whether your food weakness is cheese, chocolate, crisps or cake, read on to find out how to beat your naughty food sins for good!
  • Sin No.1 – LUST! An overwhelming desire for your favourite treats
    Research shows* that we spend on average 44 minutes each day daydreaming about food so it’s no wonder we sometimes find it hard to resist the naughty treats we crave the most.  
  • Heavenly Virtue – CHASTITY! The ability to refrain from being distracted and influenced by overt temptation
    Depriving yourself completely of your food weaknesses will only make your craving worse.  Have a little bit of what you fancy, one square of chocolate for example, and make sure you eat it really slowly, savouring the smell and taste and enjoying the feeling that you have the will power to save the rest for another day. It helps not to buy large packages! 
  • Sin No.2 – SLOTH! No time to prepare healthy food
    Today’s hectic, fast-paced lifestyle often means we cannot find the time or energy to buy and prepare healthy meals from scratch and instead have to rely too heavily on convenience foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. 
  • Heavenly Virtue – DILIGENCE! The capability of not giving up, budgeting your time and monitoring activities to guard against laziness
    Set aside time to think about your food shopping so you can prepare foods that are nutritious but quick. A good idea is to set up a weekly food shop over the internet. You will be less likely to be distracted by ‘bad’ foods and can build up a list of healthy food options for repeat orders at the touch of a button. If you are going to eat a ready meal, make sure you pay attention to the packaging’s nutritional traffic signal to help avoid foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Try to have an extra portion of vegetables any time you choose to have a ready meal. It will make you eat less of the unhealthy stuff and gives you your daily amount of fibres and vitamins. 
  • Sin No.3 – WRATH! Giving in to your anger
    If you do slip up it is all too easy to feel like giving up for good, leading to a cycle of guilt, disappointment and anger that can be hard to break. 
  • Heavenly Virtue – PATIENCE! Creating a sense of peaceful stability and endurance through moderation
    Never beat yourself up for an occasional moment of weakness, we are only human. Instead remain positive and offset your momentary lapse by having a healthy next meal or by doing some exercise that will help you feel back on track and motivated! Try keeping a food and exercise diary to help keep you on track. A lost war is not a lost battle!
  • Sin No.4 – PRIDE! Too proud to ask for help
    When it comes to weight loss, many of us are too proud to ask for help when we need it most, feeling like we need to battle against the odds on our own. This requires extreme levels of self determination.
  • Heavenly Virtue – HUMILITY! The courage to undertake tasks which are difficult, to refrain from despair and the ability to confront fear and uncertainty
    Research has shown that by starting a new healthy eating regime with a diet buddy you are at least twice as likely to succeed, so don’t be too proud to enlist the help of a friend or partner to motivate you as you go and tell friends and colleagues not to tempt you with unhealthy treats. Go to a dietician as well. She can give you a personal eating plan and will be your coach. When you’re feeling down, she will be the one who encourages you to go on, to look at what you’ve accomplished already! 
  • Sin No.5 – GLUTTONY! Giving in to your tummy
    For many people, fear of dieting comes down to a perceived fear of hunger. However, if you are eating a healthy 1800-2000 calories a day, how often do you really feel hungry?
  • Heavenly Virtue – CHARITY! The ability to accept self-sacrifice and forfeit one’s own pleasures for the greater good
    The key here is to put more thought into why you are feeling hungry. Quickly rate your hunger on a scale of one to 10, with one being not hungry at all, five moderately hungry and 10 very hungry and then only eat when you are at six or above.
  • Sin No.6 – ENVY! Green eyed monster
    One in three women say images of slim celebrities make them feel insecure about their own figure, leading to many of us setting unrealistic slimming goals.
  • Heavenly Virtue – KINDNESS! Having positive outlooks and cheerful demeanour to inspire others
    Instead of putting yourself under the pressure of getting into a bikini by your summer holiday, be kind to yourself by setting achievable short-term monthly goals where you can really see the benefit - this will keep you motivated for longer.
  • Sin No.7 – GREED! I just can’t say no
    It is very easy to find yourself in a cycle of eating oversized portions, or giving into the temptation of having seconds - which can be a very difficult habit to break.
  • Heavenly Virtue – TEMPERANCE! Practicing self-control, abstention and moderation
    Try opting for a smaller dinner plate so you can mentally feel fuller after eating less. This could help you avoid the temptation to automatically eat everything on your plate. When eating, it can take up to 20 minutes to feel full so chew your food slowly and choose slow release complex carbs as these will make you feel fuller for longer. Try to pause halfway your plate. Breath in and out for a couple of times before you start on the second half of your plate.