Save Yourself from Self-Sabotage

You feel good. You’re losing weight, and finding better health with the Fast Metabolism Diet. Yet you still find yourself reaching for that leftover donut on Friday afternoon. Sound familiar?

It’s called self sabotage — that little devil sitting on your shoulder whispering “go ahead, eat the candy bar” even when you’re doing great and feeling good.

We all have some tendencies to undermine our own success, because the “bad” stuff is physiologically addicting (think about it — none of us binge on celery.)

Here’s how I help my clients who are struggling with this. I find that my clients are most likely to go off the rails on Friday, Saturday or Sunday during Phase 3. As we broaden the food options, some of us wander way outside of the “healing zone.”

Change Up Your Start Day

Like some of my clients, I have a tendency to think of Phase 3 as a free for all. You’ve just come out of the more restrictive Phase 2, and Phase 3 feels like a big party. If I’m going to fall off the wagon and shove a big piece of cake in my mouth, it’s probably going to happen during Phase 3. Plus for me, the weekend seems to be more centered around food.

Most people start the Fast Metabolism Diet on Mondays with Phase 1, so Phase 3 is the weekend — with its parties, barbeques and lazy time at home hearing the call of the refrigerator. It’s just easier to be tempted and get off track.

Try starting the diet with Phase 1 on a Wednesday instead. That way, your weekends will be Phase 2. Many of my clients find it much easier to stick to the plan on this phase, since the food choices are more narrow. Then your Phase 3 will begin on Monday — the day of the week when we naturally re-start and re-commit.

Write It Down and Plan Ahead

It’s natural: If you’re winging it, you’re going to be more tempted to make spontaneous choices. So use your meal maps to stay the course.

But if you’ve been doing the diet a while, you might have stopped planning out your meals. But planning does more than just organize your shopping and cooking: It tells your brain what to expect and when. Let yourself look forward to your next planned meal or snack, rather than finding yourself in front of a vending machine at 3:00 p.m.

Also write down everything you eat and how you feel on your meal map. This lets you see when you most frequently feel tempted or actually eat the good, the bad or the ugly.

Take it 10 Days At a Time

If you find yourself consistently getting off track, then maybe four weeks is too long of a time frame for you. So try committing to 10 days at a time. Do three days of Phase 3, two of Phase 1, two of Phase 2, and three more Phase 3. Then give yourself four days “off.” Don’t go completely off the rails — but give yourself some freedom from Phases. You’ll be coming off of Phase 3, so your body should feel satisfied and happy already, so your splurges are likely to not be so extreme.

Don’t go off the deep end entirely; use the tools of keeping your metabolism on fire, but don’t sweat it if you splurge a little bit. Then after those few days, head back into another 10 days again, starting with Phase 3.

Celebrate Your Successes

Even when you do find yourself straying from the diet, try to focus on your successes. Did you drink all your water for the day, even if you snagged a cookie? Did you exercise? Did you go for a big salad before slipping up with the French fries? Then give yourself a pat on the back.

Indulging in off-FMD foods consistently isn’t going to help your weight loss or heal your metabolism, but neither is beating yourself up about it. Keep trying to understand when and why you find yourself straying, and focus energy by supporting yourself during those times. Find a buddy, join a support group or reach out to our support team here.

Just as I want you to mix up your foods on the diet, mix up your schedule. Try not to fall into rut: Changing up your exercise, your snacks and your day’s routine can keep your mind active and interested, and your metabolism on fire.