When I say the word “diet”, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?
Perhaps you think of that friend that chows down on nothing more than salad and fish. Maybe you know someone that swears to ditch sweets, only to be back on a bender a week later.
Diets have always been known as the “magical elixirs” that cut body fat and get you in shape. Yet there are still plenty of diets that fail to deliver results, even though they are “scientifically proven” or tout case study success stories.
Well, it’s simple. Health studies often produces conflicting results, which confuse the public about what to eat and what to avoid. Only recently has research narrowed down core health guidelines to follow with any diet.
We thought it would be a great idea to fill you in on dieting missteps people often make. Maybe you’ll spot a few you make, and can change your eating habits for the better!
One thing to note: there are different diets that target different fitness goals. These are simple tips that relate to any healthy diet you choose. If possible, consult with a trained medical professional to determine the diet that is right for you.
They Eat Too Few Calories
So many people on diets starve themselves. They think that decreasing the amount they eat will shrink their stomach and lead to faster results.
That’s an older school of thought. However, it ignores the fact that the body needs nutrients to replenish its energy supply. When you add exercise to the equation, this demand only intensifies.
So…. don’t be scared of the calories!
Of course, caloric intake is a significant factor to consider when you diet. But when you really want to target specific fitness goals, such as adding muscle mass or pushing your aerobic endurance, monitor nutrients like proteins and carbs more than how many calories you consume.
They Eat the Wrong Foods
Now, even if you ease up on the calorie-surveillance, it doesn’t mean you can eat anything you set your eyes on.
All foods are not created equal. Write that down, store it in your favorite drawer, do whatever you need to do to remember that.
If someone feasts on nothing more than greasy hamburgers and chili cheese fries, their body will pack on bad fats. They’ll lack the energy to workout or even to make it through the day.
But when you stuff your diet with healthy, organic, natural foods, you’ll notice your energy won’t dip all day. Your body will function the way it’s meant to, and you’ll lower your risk of contracting heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other severe health conditions.
They Consume Carbs and Proteins at the Wrong Hours
People often budget their carbs and proteins without considering when to eat them. That can shortchange the body when it needs either of these nutrients at a specific time of day.
That’s why it’s vital to eat your carbs earlier in the day if you want to burn them off throughout the day. Likewise, stock up on the proteins at night, perhaps after you workout, to refuel your body for the next day.
By doing this, you will also limit the amount proteins and carbs you consume per day. It also allows you to keep your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals fresh and unique.
They Don’t Cut the Carbs
In general, you want to eat plenty of proteins while limiting the amount of carbs you intake daily.
See, carbs elevate the body’s insulin levels. Insulin naturally blocks the body from burning fat.
Carbs are a great source of energy for athletes who require high endurance levels, such as long-distance runners. However, most people aren’t that active, so these carbs work against them instead.
Again, replacing your carbs with proteins will maintain your energy levels, and you’ll still burn fat and get fit.
They Don’t Do Cheat Meals
I know some of you just perked up with joy upon hearing the words “cheat meal”.
Make sure to structure your cheat meals. How do you do that?
Set a specific time and date to give yourself a break. Make this meal your guiltiest pleasure, your most savory temptation.
When you plan out your cheat meals, you give yourself an incentive to work toward. It breaks dieting into smaller, less daunting chunks.
These cheat meals also alleviate any cravings that can veer your diet off-course. Unless you are incredibly prepared, those cravings will eventually wear you down. Soon, a one-time indulgence becomes a habit, and you’re back to square one before you know it.
Cheat meals also boost the body’s leptin levels. Leptin is another hormone that, when in high volume, spurs on fat-loss.
This prevalence of leptin will make you lose more fat after you return to your diet from a cheat meal.
They Don’t Follow a Meal Plan
They say if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
That’s especially true with food; it’s so easy to lose track of your diet without proper knowledge and planning.
We always encourage our Fit Body members to follow the meal plans endorsed by our coaches. They craft and adjust these meal plans to fit your fitness needs.
Consult with a nutritional expert to determine which foods to eat and which to avoid. Fit Body locations feature appointments with nutritional specialists, where they will go over your fitness goals with you and discuss changes to your diet to meet these goals.
They Consume Too Little Water and Too Much Alcohol
Two liquids come to mind when thinking about weight loss: water and alcohol.
Most people don’t drink enough water. Alternative drinks like soda and juice often take the place of water in our diets. Even coffee and tea, while healthier, still can’t replace the benefits that water brings the body.
Water keeps us hydrated, and hydration aids the fat-loss process. Our bodies also need water to perform its various internal processes.
Meanwhile, many people drink alcohol in excess. Drinking in moderation won’t kill your diet.
But drinking on a regular basis adds unnecessary carbs to your diet and counteracts your weight-loss progress. Even a few late-night glasses of wine can throw your diet off.
Again, there’s no need to completely curb alcohol from your lifestyle. But the more you can refrain from drinking during a diet, the better your results will be.