In our society, we are trained to seek out immediate gratification. I cannot sit here and say that I am not guilty of this mindset for I prefer for things to happen quickly and have been told that I am an impatient person. This can be good sometimes but when it causes us to quit at reaching a goal, when the desired results are not achieved overnight, this is an example of shortsightedness and can often times dissuade us from seeing the race to the end.
This is especially true when it comes to dieting. It took us months or even years to put on the extra weight that we now desire to lose. Even though a correctly applied diet should not take years to work, the results do not happen overnight and immediate gratification seems to always escape those of us who expect it. Also, for those who have lost the weight, only to regain it a few weeks or months later, the desire to continue down that path towards an emotional and physical rollercoaster. Is something that most people do not look forward to, and understandably so.
If you have been known to eat out four or five times a week and you regard it as an important part of your social life, then cutting it out all together will not yield long term goals. I know this from experience. My weakness is Chinese food. I used to go out to eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant five times a week. The food is great but it is also very unhealthy. As a result, after I ate, my energy would decrease and the visit to the gym would be put off for another day.
I once started a diet and boldly told myself that for the next month, I would not go to my favorite restaurant at all. At first, this worked. I had more energy and was feeling good. Soon afterwards however, I could think of nothing else but eating Chinese food and when my day at work was more stressful then I had assumed or something else in my life went south, I immediately sought out the Chinese restaurant for solace.
Needless to say, I did not eat sparingly but instead, it appeared as though I was making up for lost time and perhaps a week of dieting had been erased. Instead, I realized that I should eat out as a reward for a week of hard work on my diet. I would only go eat out when I felt as though I earned it. Now I go out to eat Chinese food. As a result, I have decreased my weekly visits from five times a week to only once a week; a commendable feat when one realizes how much I love Chinese food!
As a result, when I have a stressful day at work, I do not seek out food to the degree that I once did, as a stress reliever as I once did and that has helped contribute to the sustainable weight loss that I now enjoy.