Now we move into specific habits with food that can pull the rug out from under accomplishment with little warning. A client once told me she created a rule for herself that she couldn't eat standing up. She noticed that when she walked into the kitchen and reached into a bag of chips or dipped a spoon into the ice cream, it was almost a secretive, looking-over-her-shoulder practice of trying to "get away with something."
Haven't we all done this? If no one sees us, do the calories count? Many compulsive quirks like this deflect the real issue: Just whom are you dieting for? If your spouse doesn't see you eat that candy bar miniature, does it matter less to you?
The third diet transgression that will cause dietary mayhem is not planning meals and snacks to prevent hunger, leaving you unprepared and famished. Stay ahead of hunger. Plan those meals and stick to them, don't get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.
The fourth habit that brings even the strongest-willed to his or her knees is taking that first bite of a "trigger food." Sweet foods or salty snacks, especially when in a calorie deficit, suddenly turn into a binge. Though a recognized eating disorder (Binge Eating Disorder), you don't have to end up on a psychiatrist's couch to know how powerful these urges can be.
Once unleashed, an unwanted, unplanned eating frenzy can lead to guilt, purging (through harsher dieting or exercise), and a resulting slowing of your metabolism. A vicious cycle indeed - all started with one bite. You can't eat just one. It can be easier to avoid certain foods when dieting seriously until you know you can be flexible, accountable and in control.
Sloppiness (wasn't he one of the seven dwarves?) is a major deterrent to progress. This brings us full-circle back to the importance of tracking. Is it really a tablespoon of peanut butter or was it a heaping tablespoon? (The answer could double your fat intake for the day.) Being objective is a task I wish I didn't have to assign adamantly. Life would be more fun for all of us if this weren't a universal truth. "Officer, but I was going CLOSE to the speed limit..." "Was that four pills twice a day for a week or two pills a day for four weeks...?" "Scalpel, please. I think the gall bladder is somewhere under here..."