The secret to losing weight and keeping it off is to make a lasting, long-term commitment to doing exactly that. Trying short-term fixes like crash diets are never going to be a lasting solution.
Far too many people want to lose weight but flip flop on commitment until a big event is just around the corner, like a wedding. Then they panic and try a crash diet, hoping they will slim down in time. These strict diets and crazy fads are potentially dangerous and won’t sustain us over time.
Crash diets are notorious for causing headaches, mood swings, mental and physical fatigue, digestive upset, brain fog, and irritability. Because of the severe nature of crash diets, once completed most people return to their original unhealthy eating habits and regain all the weight they lost.
You may try to justify that skipping meals means taking in fewer calories overall. However, this is a terrible philosophy. By not keeping your body on a regular eating schedule, you will end up with hormone fluctuations. Even eating a small healthy snack like fruit slices and almond butter is better than skipping a meal altogether.
“Your hunger hormone – ghrelin – and satiety hormone – leptin – work best when nourished every four hours,” says Fiorella DiCarlo, R.D. “If not, they go out of whack and can cause overeating later.”
Removing fat from your diet
Fat is not the enemy. Trying to remove fat from your dietary intake by consuming mostly fat-free foods is a recipe for disaster. These versions of food generally have far fewer nutrients in them and are not going to leave you feeling full, which can also lead to overeating.
“Removing fat from foods like dairy prevents absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins like A and D – and calcium, as well,” says DiCarlo.
Swearing off favorite indulgence
Everyone has a favorite indulgent food that is bad for the diet, but they simply cannot seem to live without. Trying to banish it forever will not work. These types of restrictions will only make the food that much more tempting and make you more vulnerable to eating junk foods. The key is moderation. If you can’t eat one cookie without eating the whole box, don’t buy a whole box. Instead just buy one cookie from your local bakery so you can’t overdo it.
“I often ask my clients to list which splurge foods they could happily go through the rest of their lives without, and which they know in their guts they simply cannot or don’t want to swear off forever. It’s a critical question, because long-term weight control is a lifetime commitment. Not finding a way to build-in indulgences is the primary reason many people ride the weight rollercoaster – lose 20 pound, gain back 25, lose 30, gain back 40… ” says Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D.
Cutting back on sleep
Being tired opens the door for thoughtless eating. It is very easy to wander to the cupboard in search of a snack when you’re in a brain fog from too little sleep. Try to average between seven and eight hours of sleep a night for optimum health.
“Sleep loss is the number-one culprit that can throw your hunger cues out of whack,” says DiCarlo.
-The Alternative Daily