Horrible (and Hilarious) Thoughts Everyone Has When They’re Dieting

It’s exciting to begin a weight-loss plan at first. You find healthy recipes to try, you get your exercise regimen in order, and you can’t wait to see the number on the scale go down. But after a few weeks of tracking your calories and seeing minimal results, horrible thoughts start to take over. You begin to wonder if you’ll ever be able to squeeze into those old jeans or look like your naturally thin friends.

We know how it is — but even so, you shouldn’t let these negative (and very common) thoughts rule your life.

‘I can never eat anything I once enjoyed while I’m on this diet’

A man holds a burger with both hands.

You can totally enjoy a cheat day. | Kzenon/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Your love of baked goods may have to take a backseat when your diet kicks in, but that doesn’t mean everything you love needs to be off limits. Yes, watching your caloric intake while you’re trying to lose weight is key. But remember — you’re trying to make a lifestyle change, as that’s the best way to keep the pounds off for good. Quick weight loss schemes that involve a life of only quinoa and steamed broccoli are going to make you miserable fast.

‘I’ll never lose the weight anyway’

An athletic runner eating a banana.

Your weight loss journey is not something to be rushed. | Antonio Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

It’s time to stop with the self-doubt. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, which means it may take months (or years) to get where you want to be. That doesn’t mean a week of healthy eating and no results should turn into a relapse of bad habits.

As Mark’s Daily Apple says, weight loss is easier the more you have to lose — and your results may stall when you get to the last 20 pounds or less. Instead of focusing on the scale during the final push, focus on your newfound energy and how much healthier you feel now that you’ve cleaned up your diet.

‘It’s just calories in, calories out — simple as that’

Lemon and herb and chicken on a white plate on a table.

While your body needs protein, a little ice cream is always good for the soul. | Bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

We hate to burst your bubble, but 200 calories of chocolate ice cream isn’t the same thing as 200 calories of grilled chicken. High-protein foods, like meats, take a lot more energy to digest, thus they have a much different effect on your body. And foods high in healthy fats and fiber will keep you fuller for longer, which will keep you from reaching for those sugary midday snacks.

Calorie counting is a good way to get started, and cutting 500 calories out of your total daily expenditure isn’t a bad plan for steady weight loss. Just make sure you’re eating quality foods.

‘Some people are just naturally skinny — and I’ll never be one of them’

Young woman preparing dinner while staring sadly at her pot.

You don’t know your skinny friend’s entire health history. | LarsZahnerPhotography

We all know that one person who can eat an entire pizza and still fit into their size 2 jeans. As annoying as that may be, you shouldn’t compare your body to theirs. Your naturally thin friends may just have a genetically faster metabolism, thus allowing them to eat more without the excess pudge.

SparkPeople reminds us they may also have adopted some healthy habits that help them out. It’s likely they’re more active throughout the day, get enough rest, and stay away from high-calorie beverages. Try incorporating some of their habits into your day, and see what happens.

‘If I eat this cookie, I might as well give up on my diet for the rest of the day’

Chocolate chip cookies on a white table.

A small treat doesn’t have to derail your entire day. | CuorerouC/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, weight loss is hard work — and there might be times when you stray from your low-calorie and veggie-laden path. But that doesn’t mean everything goes out the window just because a sugary treat was calling your name. If you cheat on your diet, pick right back up where you left off by fueling your body with plenty of fruits and veggies and de-bloating with lemon water. And the next morning, go for a protein-filled breakfast to start the day off on a high note.

‘If I don’t hit my goal weight this month, I’m giving up’

Woman looking stressfully at a scale.

Don’t get stressed by the number on your scale. | Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Goal setting is good — but you have to make sure your goal is achievable so you don’t give in too easily. Let’s say you want to lose 50 pounds. That’s totally fine, but make sure you set smaller goals along the way so you don’t get discouraged.

As June Kloubec, Ph.D., tells Self, your goals can even be less about weight loss and more about staying active three times a week, or incorporating more veggies into your dinners. With the accumulation of meeting these small goals, you’ll see the weight melt off in no time.

Don’t let negative self-talk get in your way

A happy and healthy woman stretches in her bed.

If you focus on eating nourishing foods and getting enough rest, your body will respond accordingly. | MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s easy to get caught up in all this harmful thinking, so it’s important to understand when you’re having a moment of negative self-talk and how to stop it in its tracks. WebMD says you should write in a journal all the things you tell yourself while you’re on a diet. Then, go back through those thoughts and throw a positive spin on any negative thinking. Eventually, you’ll teach your mind to start naturally thinking more positively, which will result in a happier and healthier lifestyle altogether.