Happy New Year!!
I’m seeing a pleasing amount of posts this year resoluting to make some positive changes with less focus on weight. It’s truly refreshing to see people’s priorities and mindsets shifting.
Having said that... overtime sometimes our old negative thought patterns creep in and we find ourselves back in the habit of food being the enemy and punishing ourselves with exercise.
So this year, let’s start the right way and nip those bad habits in the bud before they lead to the vicious cycle of self-sabotage.
These are easily the top 10 mistakes dieters make:
1. Skipping Meals
We have this incessant belief that our appetite is working against us. We’ve stopped trusting our bodies to naturally guide us and instead, decided that If we can control them, we win the dieting game. Our bodies’ main goal is to keep you alive, which means eating enough food for our activity levels. Skipping meals will only increase hunger and urgency later, leading us to poorer choices.
2. Cutting Calories
Yes, cutting calories works if we’re over eating but we only need a daily deficit of 500 cals to begin to shift weight. When dieting, we go to the extreme, sometimes cutting our intake down to half or more of what we were currently eating. This may work initially but it will leave you with an appetite that’s difficult to ignore and no where to go once your weight loss plateaus.
3. Too Much Restriction
What happens when you take children into a fine china store and say “don’t touch anything”, they want to touch EVERYTHING . The more we restrict to more we want something. You’re basically setting yourself up to obsess over the one thing you don’t want to have. 9 times out of 10, restriction leads to rebound.
Enjoy all things in balance instead.
4. Focusing on only “Light Food”
We seem to think that if we eat light foods, we’ll be consuming less calories and less calories = more weight loss.
Which is true to an extent. The problems lies in the “light” foods being just that, light. They’re not very robust. They are generally carbs and low calorie foods like popcorn, crackers, salad or fruit. Unfortunately these options lack protein and healthy fats, which keep us fuller for longer, so we’re less likely to snack mindlessly.
5. Eating “Diet” Foods
Diet Foods are misleading, often they have added sugar or salt, are highly processed or have all the good stuff stripped away to replace it with chemicals to bring the calorie content down.
Hot tip- diet foods, won’t have a label that needs to say so. Eating packaged foods is fine, but search for the option that is closest to the way nature intended it to be.
6. Not Enough Protein
Protein is the building blocks to our muscles. When we have more muscle, we have faster metabolisms, making it easier to lose or maintain our weight. Protein also helps you balance your appetite and energy levels from meal to meal. It’s a win win!
7. Too Many Artificial Sweeteners
You’ll find these in energy drinks, soda’s, sugar alternatives to sweeten our daily coffee and diet foods. Aside from the pointers already mentioned above, artificial sweeteners play havoc on your satiety hormones, gut health and blood sugar levels. When these are out of whack some of the symptoms you’ll be dealing with are fatigue and poor moods which then lead to wanting quick calories or more caffeine and the cycle begins again.
8. The Mon- Fri Dieter / Weekend Blowout
As I said above, restriction always leads to blow out. We’ve all experienced the frenzy over the weekend of aiming to get as many bad calories in before Monday starts again. Imagine if we allowed ourselves some pleasure during the week. We would no longer have that overpowering urge to splurge while we still can because we’re enjoying our diet throughout the week to.
9. Not Managing Expectations
Expecting too much, too soon leads to disappointment which often leads to falling off the band wagon and sabotaging your efforts. Consider, have you made smart goals that will realistically fit within your lifestyle and be achievable in the time frame?
10. Not Being Prepared
This one is obvious but always worth a mention. The reason some habits are hard to break is because they work for you, they’re convenient. When starting new habits, it’s important to be prepared so when the temptation of ordering that pizza hits, you have other options ready to go.
To wrap up, diets should be temporary and effective. They shouldn’t be something that is an ongoing saga of restriction and rebound, then further calorie cutting and more punishing exercise.
I want to help you find a diet that works for you and your lifestyle in 2018, so send me a message with your story and let’s get started!!