Do you spend a month being ultra-strict with your diet, only to give up after you succumb to a slice of chocolate cake and then put all the weight back on again?
Chances are this is down to you being a perfectionist. You see a slip-up as a disaster so you give up on your diet. ‘This only leads to misery,’ says personal trainer James Duigan. ‘It’s stressful for your body to endure a low-calorie diet followed by a sugar binge. It also causes your metabolism to slow down because when you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body thinks you’re starving it and holds onto calories to stay safe.’
What you can do
Forget about diets. ‘It’s tempting to get wrapped up in the latest weight-loss trend, but these don’t work well for time-strapped mums,’ says James. ‘Instead, follow a few simple rules: eat lean protein with every meal (scrambled eggs, chicken, fish), something green every day (broccoli, salad, asparagus), a little healthy fat (nuts, olive oil, goats’ cheese), drink plenty of water and no more than two cups of coffee.’ And if you have a slip-up? See it for what it is – a small blip – and go back to being good the next day. The best diet is one you can stick to.
Your secret for success
Have a small and ‘naughty’ treat each day and eat a balanced and healthy diet the rest of the time. ‘The treat will keep you on track,’ says James.