For you to have clicked on this article, you must be having weight loss concerns. Don’t worry; such problems are not uncommon. Nowadays, when so many weight loss tips are popping out of the Internet, it can become very confusing as to which of those tips work and which do not at all. You most likely may be among those who find it frustrating to be on a weight loss program for so long without seeing any satisfying results.
What could I have been doing wrong? You wonder. Such query is understandable. After all, when you follow a certain weight loss routine religiously, you rightly expect results. This article will, therefore, help you identify the most common culprits behind a failed weight loss routine so you would have a clear idea of how to successfully manage your weight.
Faulty Weight Loss Methods
1. Skipping meals is ALWAYS okay (the ‘Crash’ diet plan).
Many people assume that the quickest route to weight loss is skipping meals regularly. “If I make it a habit not to eat breakfast,” some reason, “I can successfully cut back on my daily calorie intake and lose weight.” Others simply try to starve themselves, hoping that their bodies would resort to burning their fats to make up for the deficiency in their food intake.
Will skipping meals help you lose weight?
Yes, BUT (there’s a big ‘but’ here) such drastic weight loss is NOT safe and NOT permanent. When you starve yourself, your body will burn your fat reserves. However, it will also lower your daily calorie threshold as a defense mechanism to what it perceives as a sign of famine. So, what happens is that the moment you go back to your normal eating habits (because you feel that you’ve already lost enough pounds), your body uses up a smaller portion of the calories you have consumed than your normal required calorie intake. As a result, your body ends up storing more calories than it burns, making you gain more weight than you have lost.
Here’s another thing about going on a ‘crash’ diet: It’s very difficult to maintain. When you eat less, you run low on energy, making you crave for sweets and other carbohydrate sources. It is no wonder, then, that those who crash diet end up eating more (and feeling guiltier every time) than they planned to eat!
Bottom Line: Going on a ‘crash’ diet won’t give you permanent results, so don’t even torture yourself by keeping your tummy from having its healthy share of food.
2. Loading up my diet with fruits and veggies will guarantee weight loss.
There is a morsel of truth in the statement above. However, there are NO guarantees that eating vegetables and fruits will make you lose weight. Fruits and vegetables can only help you lose weight, BUT only if you eat the right amount. Remember that although fruits and vegetables contain healthy calories, if you consume more than what your body needs, you will still gain weight.
How much of fruits and veggies should you eat, then?
Nutritionists have the formula to answer that question. A healthy eating habit would be one that allocates half of your plate for fruits and vegetables. Take note that your plate should be a tad smaller than the regular size; there’s no point in claiming to be on a weight loss diet while eating too much.
However, your eating habit is not the only aspect of your lifestyle that you should work on if you want to lose weight successfully. Do you remember what the preceding paragraphs have emphasized? You should only consume the calories that your body needs.
So, if you want your body to burn more calories than it usually does, you need to give your body a reason to change its calorie requirement. You need to engage in regular physical activity. Build an exercise routine and strictly follow through. Physical activities such as gardening, playing a sport, or swimming can do so much to motivate your body to burn calories.
If you think you’re just too busy to engage in such forms of physical activities, try to incorporate your exercise in your daily routine. For instance, why don’t you take several flights of stairs to your office? Or why don’t you park a bit farther from your destination so you could walk the remaining meters?
Bottom line: Observing a healthy diet and incorporating exercise into your hectic schedule take a lot of discipline, but the results are worth the effort and sacrifice.
3. A low-fat diet is a healthy weight loss diet.
Just because the label of that food product reads ‘low-fat’ does NOT necessarily mean that it is low on calories! Most of the time, such low-fat products contain more calories than their full-fat counterparts!
But how can that be true? How could a low-fat product have more calories than its full-fat equivalent?
Well, manufacturers could add more starch, sugar, flour, or salt to improve the product’s texture and taste after they remove the fats. Once they do, the product ends up having the same calorie amount as the full-fat product or even more calories than that. Yup, you got that right. ‘Low-fat’ product labels can be deceiving to those who are trying to cut back on their calorie intake.
Should you avoid ALL low-fat products then? Of course, not! You can make wise food product choices if you check the nutritional fact labels first before deciding on the purchase. The first thing you have to check on is the nutrition facts label is the serving size—make sure that it is enough for your dietary needs. Next, check on the calorie content and evaluate if the food product is worth its calorie level. Then, check on the amount of cholesterol, fats, and sodium—you should limit your intake on these nutrients. Lastly, check on the amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals—you should be getting a sufficient amount of these.
Bottom Line: When choosing which food package to purchase and consume, focus on its nutrition facts than on the food label.
4. I should avoid eating carbs.
Some weight loss programs shun carbs when, in fact, you need carbohydrates in your diet! The technique in losing weight is not to avoid carbohydrates altogether, but rather, to minimize intake of it. If you are on a weight loss routine that involves eliminating carbohydrates from your meals, you need to quit it.
Carbohydrates are essential for you to have enough energy to complete your daily tasks. Without enough carbohydrates in your system, you would end up feeling weak because your body cannot produce enough energy. Again, when it comes to carbohydrate intake, moderation is the key. Choose the right kind of carbohydrate. By the term ‘right carbohydrate’, nutritionists refer to whole grains—not highly refined or processed ones. Whole grains such as barley, oats, and wheat, are excellent sources of carbohydrate because they do not speed up the process of glycation (conversion of carbohydrates to sugar) and keeps you full for a long time.
It is no wonder, then, that those who consume the right kind and amount of carbohydrates end up with good weight loss results!
Bottom Line: It is not about avoiding carbohydrates for weight loss. It is about choosing the right carbohydrate and eating just enough for your body’s dietary needs.
5. No snacks for me if I want to lose weight!
Who says you should do away with snack time? Certainly not the dietitians! Snacks are not a problem for those who want to lose weight EXCEPT when you are snacking on the wrong foods. And by ‘wrong foods’, dietitians refer to artificially-sweetened products and unhealthy fats.
So, if your idea of snacks involves pizza or cake, you have to reconsider your food options. The same goes if you find yourself feeding on more calories than you are burning. Again, remember the principle of weight loss: Burn more calories than your body stores. Snacks can help you control your appetite, but only if you stay disciplined enough with your food intake.
Bottom Line: Snacking can’t hurt if you know what to snack on and if you do not overeat!
6. If I take fat-burning supplements, I won’t have to worry about my diet.
Natural fat burners CAN help you burn excess fats the healthy way ONLY IF you also make sure to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Remember that fat burners are only food supplements, not the main thing itself. Also, you should be wary when choosing weight loss products. Ask a medical professional before deciding to take one to ensure that your body will not suffer from any adverse effects due to the ingredients of that supplement.
Bottom Line: There is no shortcut to healthy weight loss. If you want to lose weight the right way, then you have to put in effort—you have to work for it. A weight loss pill will not instantly make your excess fats go away, and it should not.