When you are ready to start that weight-loss program and kicking off some food routine to get in shape, you might look to an elimination diet, juice cleanses (bad idea), or take your diet to a Gwyneth Paltrow-level of clean eating. And a few days after starting whatever diet plan you chose, you probably realise that it's a huge mistake.
The Christmas season is here and everyone will be wanting to lose that holiday weight (pudding, roast beef and pies galore) after the jolly season is over. So, even if you find a weight loss plan you can actually see yourself sticking with, it is easy to get totally off track especially in the beginning. That’s because your new habits haven’t quite solidified yet, making it super easy to slide back into your old ways.
Protect the changes you are making by steering away from these super-common dieting blunders that tend to strike at the beginning. Here are the biggest DON’TS:
Sacrificing your sleep to work out and prep meals
Starting a new diet and exercise plan often involves more time and effort, and you might find yourself reducing your regular hours of sleep to fit everything in. But don’t do that. Our hunger and satiety hormones are brought into balance as we sleep and our muscles are healed or restored while we are sleeping. Plus, your impulse control hits an all-time low after a night of little or no sleep, making it harder to repel temptations.
Ignoring your hunger indications
If you ate only an apple knowing that you’d be starving in an hour, you know that portion-controlled meals don’t always leave you filled. Trying to control how much you eat via someone else’s instructions won’t ever be as satisfying and sustainable as learning to respond to your own hunger and fullness signals. The feeling of deprivation is enough to throw even the most resolute individual off the healthy-eating wagon. Learn to eat to contentment rather than a preconceived idea of how much you should eat. Be responsive to your own requirements.
Eating only what is considered healthy foods
An interesting thing happens when you concentrate on making careful diet decisions. If you just believe or think of your meal as a light choice, it can cause your brain to make more of the ghrelin hormone. More ghrelin makes you feel less full and signals your metabolism to slow down. To keep your ghrelin balanced, focus on the more indulgent parts of your meal, like the nuts and cheese on your salad, rather than the lettuce. It also helps to pick foods that are healthy AND double as a treat, like a warm bowl of broth with whole-grain bread.
Cutting out foods or entire food groups
If you thought about kissing dairy or gluten ta-ta so you will lose that weight, you would be making a huge mistake. Ditching certain foods when you aren’t actually really allergic to them can seriously mess with your weight-loss goals. If you restrict yourself, you can increase desire and cravings for the restricted food and make your brain think it tastes even better once you actually eat it. Worse, it creates scarcity and makes it more likely that you’ll indulge on the restricted food when you get the chance.
Eating only low-fat foods
Based on our defective evidence, the myth that fat is bad has been for the most part harmful for our health and waistline. We have been encouraged to stock up instead on carbohydrates, but we tend to focus on the processed breads, pasta and rice that may actually be causing us more harm than good. Many fats are actually healthy in moderation and are vital for brain and body health. Yet we still get bombarded with low-fat yoghurts, ‘slimming’ frozen meals and processed suppers that are bulked up with sugar and chemical nasties, and deliver little nutrition.