Thank you for signing up!
Dodge Diet Disasters: 5 Practical Strategies That Really Work!
We are constantly being bombarded with messages that weight loss would be easier if you followed this or that diet, take this or that supplement, or eat this or that food. It never stops. I see clients who come in suffering the effects of diet misinformation — including weight gain and frustration with their battle of the bulge. To arm you in the weight loss war, I’ve identified the five most common diet disasters with practical, “get real” strategies to help you avert them!
Diet Disaster #1: Quick-Fix Fad Diets
Diets that promise you large-scale weight loss in a short period of time are so tempting. But any plan that promises weight loss of greater than two pounds per week should raise a red flag. These rapid weight-loss diets do not work in the long run and are most often devoid of critical nutrients. When my clients try these diets, they most often lose five to eight pounds, and then, after growing tired of extreme deprivation, they fall off the wagon and gain more weight than they started with.
Instead: Opt for a diet plan that promises one to two pounds of weight loss per week. A sound weight-loss diet does not exclude entire food groups and should incorporate a maintenance plan.
Diet Disaster #2: “Eating back” Your Calories From Exercise
Many of us are enamored by the “calories burned” panel on our treadmill. That fabulous number telling us how many calories we just sweated away gives us license to eat more food. This common act of eating more because you exercised more results in frustration on the scale.
Instead: Add extra protein to your diet after extreme workout sessions. This increase in protein will fuel your muscles and keep your hunger at bay without thwarting your weight-loss goals.
Diet Disaster #3: Confusing “Healthy” Food With “Weight-Loss” Food
It’s easy to get confused about foods that are “good for you” and foods that are “good for weight loss.” There is a big difference between these two groups of food. For example, grape juice and chocolate are loaded with powerful antioxidants, but they are not good for weight loss.
Instead: Check calorie levels of “healthy” foods before adding them to your diet. There is always room for “healthy food,” but you want to ensure that you are accounting for the calories.
Diet Disaster #4: Not Eating Enough
Common wisdom would tell you that “the less you eat, the less you will weigh,” but this is NOT true. By eating too few calories, your metabolism will slow down, and your body will stop burning fat. You must fuel your body in order to lose weight. Your body is very smart, and it will conserve resources (fat stores) when it thinks it is not getting enough food.
Instead: To figure out your calorie needs for weight loss, simply multiply your current weight by 10. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you would require 1,600 calories for weight loss. And no matter how small you are, I would never suggest going below 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day.
Diet Disaster #5: Not Getting Enough Sleep
Skimping on your sleep will defeat your weight-loss efforts in more ways than one. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation can decrease your metabolism and boost cortisol, a hormone that causes you to store fat and increase your appetite. And, when you are tired, it is even harder to watch what you eat!
Instead: Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If this is an unrealistic goal given your work schedule, then try to work in power naps through the day.
Article courtesy of The FIRM Believers Club, an online community that helps you reach your fitness goals. With maximum-efficiency home workouts, support and motivation from The FIRM Master Instructors, daily tips, personalized workout rotation calendars, and access to other members through discussion boards, The Club provides all the tools you need to get in the shape you want.