You Should Never Start a Diet When...

Published by FitWatch

There are good and bad times to start a diet or fitness program.  The most common times seem to be right after the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year holiday season, and right before summer (bathing suit season).  But even beyond considering the time of year, there are other times that starting a new diet may not be the best idea.

Here are a few you may want to consider.  You should never start a diet when… ... you are very stressed.

When you’re stressed by a hectic work schedule, your daughter is getting married in a few weeks, or you’re packing up an entire household to move, sticking to a new eating or fitness plan will be almost impossible.  A new lifestyle change like a diet or workout regime requires concentration, focus and commitment, which you may have a hard time summoning when your mind is distracted by other important tasks.  (Exercise is good for stress, so a long walk or regular exercise can help with stress.  I’m talking about trying something new and different.)

... you are sick.

Dieting shouldn’t cause any major problems if you have a simple head or chest cold, but when you’re not feeling well you may not be as motivated to count calories or stick to a strict eating plan.  Besides, feeling a bit under the weather triggers all kinds of cravings for “comfort foods” and you’ll be fighting an inner battle with them when you should be focusing your energy on getting better.

... you have a big event planned.

Maybe you were hoping to drop a few pounds before the family reunion you are hosting this weekend, but trying to stick to a diet when you’ve got a zillion other things to do is asking too much of yourself.  Instead, you could try to better balance your eating without actually following an official diet plan.  For example, you could increase your water intake or reduce your sugar and salt intake.  Those small changes alone are probably not enough to stress you out, but they can easily help you shed a couple of pounds quickly.

... you are going on vacation.

Sometimes people start a diet right before they leave for vacation in the hopes that they will avoid gaining weight, but this plan usually backfires.  Either you’ll stick to the diet during the vacation and be uncomfortable because everyone else is enjoying delicious foods, or you’ll simply give in and ditch the diet anyway.

The best time to start a diet is:  When your life is relatively calm; you have a little free time to prepare healthier meals; you are healthy with no obvious signs of illness; and when your routine is unlikely to change much in the coming few months.

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