“Eat healthy foods and exercise”. It is very likely that you have heard this advice many times before. As a dieter, do you know what you’re supposed to do to succeed? What about the things you’re not supposed to do? Did you know, for example, that drinking diet soda and eliminating fat are both practices that can hinder your progress?
Here are 7 of the top things you should NOT do if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
- Eat too little or infrequently. In order to keep your mood in check, energy level up, hunger satisfied, and metabolism in high gear, aim to eat three meals and two to three snacks per day. Also, start your day off on the right foot and don’t skip breakfast!
- Load up on protein and eliminate carbohydrates (including fruits). Protein-loading has serious health risks, and few people can stay on radical high protein, low-carbohydrate diets for the long haul. It is much more beneficial to switch to a balanced diet that features healthy amounts of protein balanced with high-quality, complex carbohydrates. Extremely low-carbohydrate diets that forbid fruit are unnecessary and taxing on your body, and they invite cheating. Stay on track with moderate portions of fiber-rich and nutrient-rich fruit including, but not limited to, apples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapefruit, or oranges.
- Eliminate fats. Several studies prove that low-fat diets can result in weight gain. To lose weight, you need to increase your consumption of good fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats). Monounsaturated fats, in particular, play a huge role in helping to reduce belly fat. Look for these healthy plant-based fats in foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, various oils, olives, and even dark chocolate.
- Keep snacks out of your kitchen. Snacking helps with weight loss. There needs to be an abundance of healthy snacks readily available, such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, nuts, yogurt, protein shakes, celery, cucumbers, and other raw veggies. There is no need to completely eliminate your favorite indulgent snacks, such as chips or ice cream, but those items should not be your primary snacking source. Deliberately enjoying an occasional treat in the correct portion size will make healthy eating more gratifying and will make your long-term goals more attainable.
- Give up on healthy eating when you “mess up”. Many people are unable to recover from an episode of splurging and they start to feel guilty and defeated, like they have completely destroyed all of their efforts to lose weight or eat healthy. Your healthy eating program is a way of life, and no one is perfect. Try to stick to your new behaviors and habits as diligently as you can, regardless of where you eat – home, restaurants, friends’ homes, or while traveling. Nevertheless, if you do happen to get a little off track, don’t fret. Your next meal is a new opportunity to make better choices.
- Consume lots of artificially sweetened foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners can trigger cravings for additional sweets in some people. Others gain “false fat” or bloating caused by the body’s inability to digest sugar substitutes.
- Avoid exercise. Exercise is a crucial component of not only weight loss, but also general health and well-being. There are many options available, so if intense, killer workouts are just not your thing, that’s okay. Finding a daily activity that you enjoy and can sustain over a lifetime is much more effective. Inactivity is very detrimental to your health, so it is a good idea to adopt healthy and active habits that become second nature.