There is a right and a wrong way to lose weight, but with all of the conflicting diet advice that the media throws at us, sometimes it can be a bit confusing. While different combinations of nutritious meals and exercise may work for different people, there are many diet ideas that are just plain bad logic.
The following is our list of top five diet mistakes:
Most of us know that starving ourselves is not healthy, but some of us think that if we skip one or two meals a day, it will be ok. This is far from the truth – it can take a very negative toll on your body, and in reality will not help you lose weight.
According to Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), “When you… consume too few calories, your body thinks it is starving and adjusts the metabolism. But when you go back to eating normally, your metabolism doesn’t readjust and therefore you need fewer calories than before — otherwise known as the yo-yo syndrome.”
Giancoli goes on to say that this practice can make you feel weak and sick, therefore leaving you with no energy to exercise. Going down the skipped meals road means almost certainly putting any weight you do lose back on, and likely gaining more.
Avoiding saturated fats
Most of us have been taught since we were young to avoid saturated fats like the plague. It’s the line on the ‘nutritional contents’ label we tend to focus on heavily and fear if we are trying to lose weight.
However, as we reported in a recent article, the science behind saturated fat-bashing was flawed at best, and a great deal of recent research has found that a moderate intake of saturated fats can actually aid in weight loss and LOWER the risk of heart disease.
This type of fat is important for the proper functioning of all of the organs in your body, and can even help cleanse the liver of fat cells. It has also been found to play a role in boosting the immune system.
In addition, our brain needs saturated fat to function properly (it is made up of fats and cholesterol). The saturated fats found in organic, extra virgin coconut oil and pastured butter are especially beneficial.
Focusing on the number of calories that you eat is a self-defeating process. In a previous article, we detailed how focusing on the quantity versus the quality of your foods seriously sets you back on your goal to acheive a healthy weight.
If you are eating less calories of unhealthy foods, you are still getting all of the unhealthy, often weight-gain promoting ingredients which will make you feel tired, hungry and defeated. If you focus on eating whole, nutritious foods, there is no need to count calories as long as you are physically active enough to balance them out.
According to Mike Clancy, CDN, a personal trainer based in New York City, “the type of calories, the timing of the calories, and the quality of the calories can significantly alter the effect of the calories on the body… the quality of the calories is also important because the chemicals, hormones and general byproducts that are found within processed food affects the absorption of real nutrients.”
Binging on weekends
Giving yourself the leeway to eat whatever you want on the weekends, as a reward for sticking to a healthy diet the rest of the week can be hazardous to your plan, if your weekend foods are processed or filled with refined flour and sugar. These stay in your body and have toxic effects on your digestive system, and may actually negate the healthy things you do during the entire week.
Relying on a ‘miracle cure’ for all of your weight-loss goals
A healthy diet is all about balance, and there is no magic pill, formula, or even food that will make you lose weight in a healthy way on its own, if the rest of your diet and lifestyle is not on track.
Many diet pills and drinks contain potentially dangerous chemicals, and while you may lose weight, it certainly will not be healthy, could cause damage to your body, and you will likely gain it back when you stop your ‘elixir.’
While it is true that certain foods can greatly aid in weight loss efforts, even these in isolation can’t do all of the work if the rest of the food you eat is not healthy, and if you do not exercise.
To truly lose weight in a healthy way, you need to be of the mindset that your lifestyle must change to a healthy, active one, instead of seeking one thing to add to an unhealthy lifestyle to magically erase the extra pounds.
The simple formula behind losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. To accomplish weight loss in a healthy way, combine a diet of whole, organic foods, focusing heavily on fruits and vegetables, with a physically active lifestyle, and you will be well on your way.
-The Alternative Daily