Many people make New Year's resolutions to lose the weight they've gained over the holidays. However, these resolutions tend not to last and most people wind up a few pounds heavier each year. Dieting should be as simple as eating less and moving more; what are the common pitfalls that prevent you from reaching your ideal weight?
Setting expectations too high
As with any goal-setting exercise, you want your weight-loss goal to be reasonable. If you want to lose 10 pounds in a month, chances are you will either succeed or you will fail and decide that dieting is not for you.
Having a reasonable goal means setting yourself up to succeed. A loss of one pound a week is sustainable and manageable for most people, without needing hours of exercise or starvation diets, As you witness the results, you're more likely to keep going with the diet until you reach your end goal.
One of the most common dieting tricks is to skip breakfast, but this has been shown to not work. Breakfast provides you with the energy to start your day, and the fuel you need to concentrate and be at your best until lunch time, without feeling the urge to snack on unhealthy products beforehand.
A good breakfast should incorporate a balance of proteins and carbohydrates. Proteins (like eggs) will help you feel fuller for longer. Carbohydrates provide you with energy, and low GI carbohydrates will also help you feel full for longer. Whole-wheat bread is a great way to get in your low GI carbohydrates, and they also provide plenty of fiber to help with digestion.
Cutting out an entire food group
There are plenty of diets that advertise cutting out fats or carbs completely; while these diets may work in the short run, they almost never work in the long term. Your body is a complex machine that requires all food types; cutting out an entire group does more harm than good.
Instead, consider alternative and healthier options. Cut out sugary foods while still allowing yourself to eat bread, pasta and other starches. Cut out fatty take-out foods, but include healthy fats such as avocado, fatty fish and even peanut butter in your diet.
Viewing dieting as a temporary thing
Many people "go on a diet" with the expectation they can start eating normally again after they've lost the weight. Eating normally is what put on the weight, and yo-yo dieting can be harmful to your health.
Instead of extreme diets, focus on making small changes you can keep doing forever. If you don't like kale, but you're eating it because you're on a diet, understand this is something you can't maintain. Instead, find another leafy vegetable you do like. Healthy living is much more important than a fad diet you'll drop in a month or so.
Most diets fail because people think they're unpleasant experiences to be endured until they reach their goal weight. Instead, view dieting as a lifestyle change: something enjoyable you will maintain on a daily basis.
CATEGORIES: Diet, Food, Dieting, Dieting Tips, Dieting Strategies