Seven Stupid Mistakes To Make When Dieting
Dieting sucks. Plain and simple. The idea of having to eat less and not being able to enjoy some of your favourite foods is always an emotional struggle - especially if it stands in the way of you achieving your ideal shape or image.
It can be a tough process for some, so it's vital that you have the correct strategies in place to see you through to the finish line.
So let’s check out seven stupid ways you may be derailing your own progress and how you can fix them!
Not eating enough vegetables at meals
Is your plate filled with vegetables? If not, why?
A big mistake I see a lot clients make is seeing something like a teeny tiny salad that has a few leaves to it with a small can of tuna for lunch. That’s not really going to cut it – pack that plate to the rafters with veg to avoid binging later in the day!
You cannot eat too many vegetables...
...well you technically can. But it's pretty much impossible. So try and get in at least half a plates worth per meal to ensure you don't have the urge to satisfy yourself with high calorie foods.
This is a simple fix – if it’s not water don’t bother.
That goes for sugary drinks, juices, squashes and alcohol.
The only exception I would advise is if you do get sick and tired of water is to give a diet drink a go. Zero calories and can make dieting a bite more bearable with the added sweetness.
I’ve gone into far greater detail regarding artificial sweeteners here if you are concerned about any health concerns that are linked with artificial sweeteners. But essentially, you’ll be fine to include a few glasses over the week if they will help you slim down.
Fruit teas and herbal infusions can be included as well mix thing up.
Not eating enough protein
I briefly touched on this earlier. Pack your meals with protein. It really is the determining factor for a successful diet. As the most satiating food, protein will hold on to your muscle mass (which is important) as you diet down.
You’ll also burn more calories through the process of digestion. About 30% of consumed protein is lost through the digestive process. So that 100 kcal chicken portion will only really give you about 70kcal.
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You want to limit the fattier cuts as much as possible because they are packed with extra calories. Think beef, pork and lamb.
Ensure that the protein you do consume is of the leaner variety. Chicken, turkey and eggs. The same goes for seafood. Fish like tuna and cod have a much lower calorie content so be considerate when tucking into that salmon.
Removing all of your favourite foods
If your diet is too rigid - being that you remove any morsel of enjoyment from your diet - it will only be a matter of time before you give in to temptation and over-consume on your vice or vices.
The trick is to fill the majority of your diet with meats/fish (if you eat these), vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains - and then sprinkle in some of your favourite foods to make up the rest of your diet.
80% single ingredient whole foods
20% your favourites
Not only will this give you a flexible diet, but a diet that you will have a better chance of sticking to for life. Wave goodbye to yo-yo dieting!
Not getting enough sleep
Sleep affects how you feel, your motivation, your focus and also your hunger hormones!
If you consistently sleep poorly you risk upsetting your hunger hormones leptin and grehlin which regulate how hungry and full you feel during the day.
Your food choices will more likely be high in calories because you have less will-power to stop yourself. Just like when you have had a few drinks and feel peckish – this is the same premise and can cause havoc with your energy intake. So nail yor sleep for long term dieting success.
Buying take-aways and ready meals
I mean this one is a no brainer! How you can possibly expect to lose fat if you are buying food that is going to soar your calorie intake into the stars.
Bin them – at least until you are at a comfortable weight. Then have one on occasion if you can’t resist.
Spoiler alert – once you get into the habit of making your own food you never go back anyway!
Not having a diet break
If you’ve been staying the course and have been heavily dieting for a number of weeks, it may be time to have a week off and take a diet break.
That does NOT mean you completely ditch everything you’ve done and go and eat and drink everything in reach.
Instead allow yourself to eat at maintenance calories.
To work out your maintenance calories, go to an online calculator and enter in your details to find out your BMI and TDEE. IT’s the TDEE figure that you can consume at.
Once the week is over It’s back to dieting.
This is a more advanced technique that I use with clients who have dieting for a number of weeks. It not only helps them physiologically (because the extra calories will up-regulate your normal day-to-day functioning which is vital for long term dieting success) but emotionally as the client can go back to enjoying a few more foods that they might have temporarily removed.
If you are unsure get in touch I’ll happily talk you through it!
For more sensible advice and tips head to Richard Angel on: