Logic says that if you want to lose weight, “eat less, exercise more”. Now how many of us tried that and it didn’t work? Yeah, me too!
Nathalie Botros went even further. In fact Nathalie, who is now a certified health coach, psychotherapist, author of the book ‘If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat a Skinny Girl’ and founder of the Bon-Vivant Girl, went to such extreme lengths to lose weight that it set her on a whole new (and much healthier) course.
In this special guest post, Nathalie, explains her extreme dieting behaviours she experienced before finding a healthier path, and the common diet mistakes every woman makes.
5 Diet mistakes every woman makes
“I went even further than eating less and exercising more. I stopped eating, injected myself with pregnancy hormones, worked out like a mad woman… and didn’t lose weight.
Everybody gave me an explanation why I didn’t lose weight. Some said lack of motivation… I don’t know what more they need – I was stabbing myself daily with hormones. Some others thought my thyroid… I hoped that was the reason and checked it several times.
So what was I doing wrong that prevented me to shed the extra weight?
After failing all the diets that the media, friends and family advised me; I decided to stop the insanity. I started to analyse my life and food behaviour and created a new philosophy that I called the Bon-Vivant Girl lifestyle.
Every woman makes mistakes while trying to lose weight, but these are the five main ones according to the BVgirl.
1. We believe that our friend’s diet will work for us
Our first and most common mistake is to believe that there is “a diet fit-all.” I am sure you all lived the following scenario at least once. Your friend told you about this incredible diet that made her lose weight without starving. You got motivated and started the same diet; didn’t lose one kilo, got depressed, ate twice as much and gained two extra kilos.
Each person is unique. We are different in anatomy, body and cell composition and lifestyle. We call this bio-individuality. It is why we should stop trying to do the diet of others and find our own.
The process is very simple, you need to keep a very detailed food/mood journal. I want you to log in it what you eat, why you eat as well as the time, the situation, the mood, and the location. After a week of logging, you may already have an idea about your mistakes and reasons. Do you eat that chocolate bar every day at 3pm because you are hungry or because your colleague is eating one and offering you one? Do you feel hungry at 10pm because you didn’t eat enough or because you are bored?
Once you have all the elements, you can create your own diet, or follow the diet that most suits to your body, mind and lifestyle.
2. We think that a diet is only about food
We always think that in order to lose weight we should only take care of our food intake. That is wrong. What we need to take care of first is what we have in our lives and not on our plates – let’s call it the primary food. Primary food involves our happiness regarding our relationships, career, or even exercise; it’s what feeds our emotions.
If we are not happy in our lives, we cannot lose any weight or succeed in anything we want. It is a major error to think that if we lose the weight we will be happy, we should start being happy and then the weight will be lost.
How can we be happy?
Start with small steps. I advise everyone to find at least one positive thing about their life daily. It can be about their job, their relationship or their family. If you’re having trouble finding it, check out your food/mood journal, it can be a big help.
Once you heal yourself, you can start working on your food.
3. We stop socialising because we are on a diet
Talking about happiness, I am the happiest when I sit around a table with family or friends. In the past when I was on a diet, I would stay home to be able to follow the prescribed diet. I would live on three boiled broccoli branches while hating my life and the world.
With the Bon-Vivant Girl philosophy I learned that I didn’t need to stay home in order to lose weight. Actually, I needed to go out and socialise. It will bring me happiness and help me to lose weight. When you think in a restaurant you are not bored with your friends, so you don’t eat as much as if you stayed home watching TV.
I also have few restaurant tricks. One of them is to check the restaurant’s menu in advance, and today most restaurants have their menu available online. Once my choice is made for that dinner, I can plan my lunch accordingly.
Another trick is to share your food, that way you can taste more plates and eat less. Also, always ask the dressings and sauces on the side. It will save you from unnecessary fat intake.
4. We can lose the weight we gained over the last 6 months in 3 days
I know it would be amazing if a magical diet really existed, yet we keep seeing ads in the media about 10 pounds a week miracle diet with 5-minute workout that will give you six-pack abs…
This can be one of the biggest mistakes that can happen, as we might lose 4 kilos in week one, but on week two we will gain 6 kilos. When you think your body is not a machine, how can you expect to lose 4 kilos in one week if it took you months to gain that weight?
You should opt for a more stable solution.
Lose your weight slowly, but make sure to never gain it back. It might take you a month or two, but you will be out of the yo-yo dieting, and keep the weight off.
5. Calling it a “diet” and not a lifestyle
In making this article, every time I wrote the word diet I had a negative reaction.
Diet means restriction with forbidden elements. And when something is not allowed we are more attracted to it. When you think it started from our origins. God asked Adam and Eve to not eat the forbidden fruit, and Eve ate it anyway.
So instead of saying I am on a new diet, why don’t we say I am starting my new lifestyle. A lifestyle means the way we live and has a more positive connotation.
I am sure we all can come out with several mistakes when we try to lose weight. I didn’t want to write about the obvious one like avoid carbs, alcohol etc… In my opinion you need to eat a bit of everything in small quantities, and our biggest problem regards to new lifestyles (or diets) is that we only focus on the food and not our lives.
We are women who love and enjoy life, we shouldn’t punish ourselves because we ate a little too much during a period of time. Eating is not a sin, and you shouldn’t be punished.
The Bon-Vivant Girl way to lose weight is not stressful, it is full of happiness and self-love. You can find more tips and tricks to lose weight without losing the appetite for life in my book ‘If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat a Skinny Girl‘. My life philosophy goes beyond weight loss, you can find more about me on my website ‘The Bon-Vivant Girl‘ where I will constantly share new adventures as well as healthy and yummy recipes.”