Since so many of us are trying to lose a few pounds, I was thrilled when Diane, from Classes and Careers, offered to write this article for Naturally Radiant. I found some valuable information in it, and I hope that you all will as well. Thank you, Diane!
1. Liquid calories
Sodas seem harmless, and in our busy daily lives, caffeine is king. Just one can of soda can contain 150 calories or more, depending on the drink. If you’re a regular drinker of sugary drinks, you can pack on pounds and ruin your diet before you even know it. Try replacing some – or all – of your daily sodas with water or herbal teas. Starting small and making gradual changes can make a huge difference.
2. Skipping meals
Sometimes we fall prey to the idea that food alone is the only problem, and if we can just eat less, we’ll watch the pounds disappear. While this theory has merit, it is also true that shocking your body into eating less is a bad idea. When we skip a meal, that hunger doesn’t go away and we often end up overeating later on in the day, and in turn we may wind up eating more calories than we normally would. Instead of skipping meals, try eating smaller meals and eat small snacks during the day. (My two cents – try to include a bit of fiber and a bit of protein in each meal/snack – you’ll stay full longer! Siobhan)
3. Starving yourself
Going on an anti-food binge can be the worst thing for your diet for more than one reason. When you deprive your body of food, and do it suddenly, your body reacts to the stress by storing more calories and fat to be ready for the next time you deprive it of fuel. The pounds will drop off, but the next time you eat fat or provide your body with that fuel, you will actually put back on that weight you lost, and more of it. Dieting cannot be a temporary thing, and it needs to be a permanent, gradual lifestyle change.
4. Healthy foods
There are many companies that make healthier versions of the food we love, and healthy eating is a trend that is here to stay. With so many ‘healthy’ choices available to us, it is easy to fall into the trap of eating too much healthy food. Just because that boneless grilled chicken breast with mustard sauce is better than a plate of fried chicken, doesn’t mean that it is free of calories and fat. If we eat more of the healthy foods than we did the bad foods, then we may end up consuming additional calories and putting on weight instead of losing it.
5. Dieting without exercise
One potential effect of dieting is that our bodies can end up losing muscle as well as fat, thereby lowering our metabolism, making it even harder to keep that weight off! To keep up strength and to be healthy, we need to exercise along with diet. Muscle burns calories, and building muscles burns them as well. Every diet should include exercise.
6. Forgetting calories
Calories are the most important thing to keep track of when dieting. In order to lose weight, we need to cut our calorie intake, so we need to watch closely what we put in to our bodies. If we don’t, we don’t know if we’re cutting, or adding calories.
7. Skipping water
With all of the energy drinks out there, with so many supposed health benefits, we often overlook water. Water helps keep your metabolism on track and being hydrated is very important. Many energy drinks are filled with calories, because the people that use energy drink need fuel to replenish lost electrolytes, salts, and calories. If you’re not actively working out hard while dieting, stick with water.
8. Weighing yourself
It is tempting to want to see results from all of your hard work, but watching the scale can be discouraging. We are used to instant results in this society and if we don’t see the pounds flying off, we can become discouraged. Most dieters reach plateaus and the weight may not be coming off as quickly as it once did. Try to fight the urge to weight yourself every day and instead check weekly, or after changing your workout routine. (My two cents – remember that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story – if your clothes fit better (or looser), that too can be an indication of fat-loss. Siobhan)
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About the Author: Diane Johnson primarily writes about online classes and anything else that interests her. She enjoys traveling, reading, and sports.