Are you trying to lose weight?
The natural answer, particularly with the new year upon us, is a resounding “yes,” and with that you’re undoubtedly hitting the gym more so now than any other time of the year, along with monitoring how you’re eating.
New Year’s Resolutions almost always center on losing weight and getting healthier, but that shouldn’t include pushing yourself to the brink of starvation, only eating bacon and working out seven days per week.
As much as you want to curb those calories and lay waste to those love handles, you have to remember that weight loss is a marathon not a sprint, suggesting that it takes time to drop pounds, and nothing is going to change overnight.
And that’s where fad diets come into play.
The natural inclination of the average consumer, in this case someone who wants to lose weight, is to want instant gratification, so they’ll workout a lot, and then quickly burn themselves out and be pretty much done exercising around early to mid February.
The same goes for dieting; you never give yourself a fighting chance because, much like hitting the treadmill seven days a week for two hours each time, you try to change your eating so drastically that you end up back where you started or, in some cases, with more weight added.
The reason this happens is two fold: instant results, as previously mentioned, but also a penchant for particularly savvy marketing centering on fad diets and other means to change how you eat for results that are too good to be true.
Chances are, that’s exactly what they are. And in turn, you’re doing more harm than good.
The key to changing your diet really boils down to getting healthier in a more gradual way. Steer clear of fat burning pills or diets that limit you to only eating Kale six times a day or something that simply sounds ridiculous.
Losing weight is supposed to happen around the one to two pounds per week, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Anything else that is promised to you via a commercial or advertisement should be looked at as being suspect at best.
That isn’t to say you can’t eliminate foods that are clear cut culprits that lead to weight gain: sugar and sugary foods, enriched flour (white bread, pasta, etc.), dairy, soda and other excess calories that can be cut.
This is more about a diet telling you that you can eat bacon and pork all day, as long as you stop eating bread, or promising you’ll lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks. That has “red flag” written all over it.
Thirty minutes of exercise a day, and foods high in protein, low in saturated fats and a moderate amount of carbohydrates that are the healthier kind (whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, etc.) are balanced, complete and most importantly devoid of anything that resembles a detrimental step in the wrong direction, diet wise.