Don’t be a diet saboteur for yourself or others

Published 11:03pm Thursday, February 20, 2014

I once wrote a piece on what I call “diet saboteurs.”

I described these as people who knowingly or unknowingly throw a monkey wrench into the diet or fitness program of those they know, trying to lose weight.

Did you know many folks actually do that sort of thing to themselves?

That’s right, there are many who sabotage their own progress without even realizing it. Today I’m going to show you ways to correct that self subversion, and more easily reach your fitness goals.

1. Recruit support: Find a friend who wants to get healthy and in shape, even if their goals are different than yours.

It’s sometimes difficult to view yourself open-mindedly when trying to get in shape. With an exercise partner though, you can encourage  and remind  each other of your fitness victories.

A friend can hold you accountable too. My workout partner  has to exercise mornings. I hate mornings, I like to work out afternoons, but because I know he’s waiting on me, I show up.

2. Don’t Be Negative: This will only lead to anxiety, which can torpedo your progress. Studies  show stress   increases the body’s levels of cortisol. Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

This hormone can signal your body to store fat, suppress your immune system, and even decrease bone formation. Try relaxation techniques instead. One is called “progressive muscle relaxation.”

You start by tensing and relaxing each muscle group, starting with the muscles in your toes, and  working all the way up to your neck muscles.

You can also sit in a quiet, pleasant place, taking several slow, deep breaths, while visualizing your favorite peaceful places. Other relaxation techniques can include massage, Tai Chi, and yoga.

3. Consider food in a new way: Think of food as fuel for your body. This will help change the focus from just dieting. Realize how food nourishes your body, and you’ll make better dining choices.

Also, remember, if you slip up on your diet, don’t worry or beat yourself up. You can do no more harm to your body, eating poorly just one day, than your body can derive benefit from eating healthful just one day. It’s all about balance.

4. Banish that inner critic: My guess is you’d never stay friends very long with someone who constantly tells you how fat and out of shape you were.

Then you shouldn’t say those things to yourself. Encourage yourself instead; tell yourself that you might not be as fit and thin as you’d like “Right Now,” but you’re making progress and getting closer to your goals every day. You can do this. I’ve seen amazing transformations.

5. Don’t change things up too much with your exercise program: With so much information out there, some folks get nervous if they don’t see immediate results, so they quickly hop from one fitness program to the next.

I teach clients how to give their regimen time to work. I’ve had clients start slowly, and then loose 65, 71, even 108 pounds in 14 months. Get sound exercise advise, and then be patient.

6. Celebrate your success: Along your fitness journey you’re going to have setbacks, sure, but you’re also going to have successes.

You deserve to reward yourself for these with something you like. It could be a trip to a spa, taking in a movie , signing up for a cooking class, buying yourself something special, or even splurging on your favorite food.

Rewards are important, because they reinforce  and encourage positive behavior. Also, it’s important  to share your successes with those close to you.

Be sure to sign up for our free fitness/nutrition seminar  to be held at Ken’s Fine Meats and seafood, downtown Landrum on Thursday, April 3 at 6 p.m.. The seminar is free but you must make reservations by calling 864-457-3369. Seats are going fast, so sign up now.


Diet or exercise question? Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years. 

Editor's Picks