As we all know, dieting is one of the three primary pillars of losing weight, gaining muscle, and bettering your overall physique; the other two include a consistent workout regimen and proper supplementation. Dieting, however, is often the hardest of the three to maintain, improve upon, and master. For one, if you aren’t seeing the results you set out for in the early stages, you may be discouraged and discontinue your healthy eating habits. This, along with a plethora of other mistakes, which we’ll list below, are the most common reasons that you, and a majority of those looking to lose weight by way of dieting, have such a poor relationship with their diet. The five reasons below are some of the most common nutrition and dieting mistakes, which yield failing results for those looking to lose weight.
Believe it or not, your day-to-day dieting doesn’t have to be dreadful. In fact, it can and should ultimately become a standard lifestyle change, one that allows you to feel healthier, stronger, and more accomplished.
Your caloric intake is far too low, for far too long
It’s quickly become common knowledge that in order to lose weight, you must change your caloric intake. Unfortunately, a lot of people take this to concept too far, depriving their bodies of essential fats and proteins, which they ultimately need in order to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. Dieting actually induces a stressful process for your body, which leads to the release of a stress hormone known as Cortisol. Cortisol is actually good for fat metabolizing, but prolonged periods of cortisol release can actually have adverse effects on your body, and result in excess fat storage in the stomach region! We recently read a study from 2013 that stated, “long-term extreme diets, although good for your body composition, don’t necessarily have positive effects on your overall health.” Our recommendations for battling this all-too-common mistake is to “cycle” your dieting. For example, diet on for 6 weeks, then diet off for 1-2 weeks, to allow your body to recover from the stress experienced during your diets.
Underestimating protein intake
One of the most basic facts about protein is that it is absolutely essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. If you’re not getting enough protein, whether via protein shakes or food, it will be incredibly hard to not only gain muscle, but to also keep the muscle that you have already worked so hard to develop. We typically recommend consuming upwards of .5 – 1 gram of protein per pounds, per day. Which, may seem like a lot, but considered the benefits that it provides to your body, and the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass, it becomes crucial for those looking to improve their results. We understand that every body is different, based on gender, age, genetics, fitness level, and goals. Our recommendation is simple; regardless of what type of diet you’re current on, or planning to start, be sure to maintain and/or even increase the amount of proteins consumed on a daily basis. Check out this article on the best protein powder for weightloss.
Stick to one plan at a time
When dieting, it becomes very easy to jump from plan to plan, especially if you aren’t seeing the results that you initially set out to achieve. With all of the diet hype on TV and on the Internet, it’s easy to get caught up in the newest craze, and abandon your current diet and action plan. Every diet, and their results, are different for everybody. That’s no secret. There are hundreds of variables, like body composition, genetics, age, height, body fat percentage, etc. We recommend choosing a diet plan, whichever one it may be, and sticking with it for at least 10-12 weeks to give it the opportunity to run it’s course and give you the opportunity to yield results. We only recommend changing diets sooner if, of course, you have some type of bad reaction to the dieting.
Believing all of the “hype”
Whether you’re reading a newspaper or magazine, listening to the radio, or watching the television, you’re bound to come across numerous advertisements with promises of a “magic pill” or a “quick fix”. Don’t believe all of the hype. And, if you come across anything that promises to burn fat and give you washboard abs in a couple of days, run the other way! The truth is simple; actually, any type of weight loss, whether it’s 5 pounds, or 50 pounds, takes commitment, discipline, and time. It really is that simple. We recommend finding a nutrition plan that helps you to feel good and honest about your weight loss, stick to a simple plan that improves not only your health and body composition, but also your mind and your mood. The best way to think about a new nutrition plan is to think about it as apart of your lifestyle plan.
Not having an “I blew it” mentality
If you’ve ever attempted a diet before, than you know that it’s extremely hard to stay true to course within your nutrition plan 100% of the time. If you stray from your plan, it’s okay! Don’t panic if you aren’t’ perfect with your eating habits. Healthy eating is a habit, a lifestyle, not a chore. If you fall victim to treating your food and your eating habits like a chore, you ultimately begin to resent your relationship with your food (as odd as that may sound), you begin to feel guilty and begin to feel like a failure. Instead, understand that you don’t have to be 100% perfect with your diet, as long as you’re making improvements and cutting out as much of the unhealthy foods as possible. Our recommendation is very simple for this; ditch the “all of nothing” mentality. Nutrition is, like we’ve said above, a lifestyle change, so allow yourself to ease into it and to understand that one bad meal, or even and entire bad day or eating, doesn’t ruin your end goal!
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