18 Ways You are Dieting Wrong!
Jan 18, 2016 10:40 PM EST | By Florence May P. Jose
Have you ever wondered why your diet just don't work? You eat less, you stay away from carbs and consume as little sugar as possible, but no weight loss, even a little? Maybe it's because you are following the wrong rules -- rules that get you gaining instead of shedding off some pounds!
Before jumping into another diet bandwagon, try to consider these 18 ways you are dieting wrong and you might just figure out why 'eating less' doesn't take you too far.
1. You vastly underestimate the number of calories you eat
"If you think a food is 300 calories, double it," suggests Amy Rothberg MD, PhD, director of the University of Michigan Weight Management Program. Of course you can't know the calories your food has, right? It is helpful to write down everything you consume-from drinks to food and the number of servings too, and if you don't know how much calories it contains, eyeball and double.
2. You only count calories.
"The calorie model is a complete delusion," says David Lutwig, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist and professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health as well as author of the book Always Hungry? Why? Let him count the ways: 1. Almost nobody is capable of accurately estimating how many calories their body burns and 2. Almost nobody is capable of accurately estimating how many calories they actually eat.
How to deal with it? Remember that the quality of what you eat is more important than the quality. A filling bowl of whole-grain oatmeal, for instance, will satisfy you more than a sugary 100-calorie cereal bar every time - even if the oatmeal contains a few more calories.
3. You treat fat like it's the Devil.
Though it's true that fats contain more calories than pure carbs and protein, fat is still an important component of your body for it to do its work. Also, experts believe that substituting everything with its low-fat version is the worst way of losing weight and keeping it off.
"When you cut out fat, you have to replace it with something else, so it's not a reduction in calories, it's just replacing calories from fat with calories from carbs and sugar," Dr. Rothberg explains.
In fact, some fats are actually beneficial, and you can see it through your physical appearance. Healthy fats like olive oil can help promote shiny hair and glowing skin. If that wasn't enough, it also keeps your digestive body moving, making you less bloated, no matter how much you weigh.
Instead of running away from anything with high fat content, opt for the good kind of fat-like avocados, nuts and oil based dressings. But, see to it you guard your serving sizes. Remember that anything too much is not going to help in your weight loss.
4. You add healthy food to your diet without cutting anything out.
Since you read somewhere that you should stock up on protein during breakfast, you literally add up ounces of steak along with your breakfast staples like cereals, milk and toast. We think you got the memo wrong.
Instead of just adding a new food to your diet, swap foods. That's why there are things called alternatives.
5. You deny yourself dessert.
Yes, many experts say that the fastest way of losing weight is cutting out the processed carbs plus the sugar in your diet, but studies suggest dark chocolate doesn't cause weight gain, in fact, it can actually be attributed to weight loss! Because of its rich cocoa content that is the source of polyphenol flavanols, which are thought to affect the absorption of fat and carbohydrates in a way that favors weight loss
The fix? Be smart on your dessert choices. When eating chocolates, always remember that the darker, the better. But then again, portion sizes is key.
6. You don't eat enough.
Yes, you read that right. Eating way lesser than necessary doesn't do you favors when you are trying to shed off some pounds. "The approach completely ignores how biology affects body weight," says Dr. Lutwig. Think of it this way, our body is programmed very well, with each process assigned to its designated function. Our metabolism is responsible in the digestion process, if there are lesser calories to do work with, your metabolism slows down to conserve its fuel.
7. You use exercise to rationalize - or compensate - for cheating.
"You can spend 20 minutes sweating on the treadmill and replace all the calories you burned by eating a handful of raisins," Dr. Lutwig says. "Exercise is effective for stress reduction and promoting better quality sleep, lowering your insulin levels, calming chronic inflammation, increasing your metabolism, and reprogramming fat cells - but its value isn't in burning calories."
8. You eat all the organic/vegan/raw foods.
"Just because it's made from a plant grown without pesticides doesn't magically means it has fewer calories," Dr. Rothberg says. When it comes to weight loss, she adds, "it doesn't make a difference if food is organic or not. You can eat Twinkies all day long and still lose weight as long as you're eating fewer calories." So next time, don't let the labels fool you. Yes, they can claim that they are organic even though the only organic ingredient they used are eggs.
Experts suggest that the best way to shop for food is not whether it is organic or not, if it is processed, toss it. The simpler the food is, the healthier it is.
9. You treat fruit as a freebie.
Fruits are packed with sugar and calories too, so you are not really helping yourself by popping up grapes in your mouth instead of candy.
Experts advice that when it comes to snacking, vegetables > fruit > chips and other snack foods.
10. You LOL at people who measure out their food portions.
If you are not a fan of meticulously measuring your food by cups or grams, measure it through your plates instead. Experts also advise against eating straight from the package. Because once you started munching, you won't notice until you finish it up in one seating. Always opt to use plates or cups. We know it could save you some dishes, but washing it is a form of exercise too, right?
11. You eat a minuscule breakfast for a "healthy start."
Our metabolism naturally works faster during the morning and slower during the night. So, better take advantage of that and make breakfast your largest meal-largest in the sense that it's more packed of healthy fats and carbs to use throughout the day!
12. You nix protein to curb calories.
13. You allocate calories for a drink.
14. You eat around your cravings.
Sometimes we tend to overcompensate. When we crave for something sweet, like chocolate for example, we tend to think that we need some sugar. In hopes of eating a healthier alternative, we might end up eating food with higher sugar content without our knowledge. So experts advise that it's okay to give in to your cravings every once in a blue moon. It's better to just eat it and move on - as long as you don't do it perpetually," Dr. Rothberg says.
15. You keep trigger foods in your kitchen.
There is no need to store foods in your pantry that would later on tempt you. Get rid of anything that has the potential of ruining your streak, also, stop shopping for those foods in the grocery. "I don't believe any one food is evil, but if it drives you to eat more, it's better to avoid it," Dr. Rothberg says.
16. You guzzle green juice.
It's been years since the juice diet fad, but the facts still remain true: "Juices are so high in sugar and calories that they're almost equal to cola," Dr. Rothberg says. And those "juice cleanses"? "There's really no such thing as a 'cleansing' drink," the expert added. Instead, drink up lots of water for your thirst and load up on fiber for the cleansing part.
17. You cut out carbs.
Because you think that carbs are only present in potatoes, pasta, bread and rice, you think that you can really get away from it. But, like fats, our body needs carbs, whether it makes you fat or not. The only way to make carbs your weight loss friend is considering the kind that you consume. Whole grains remain the best, but make sure that you eat it in its most natural form. "Most whole grains products are still processed," Dr. Lutwig says. When it comes to breakfast, oatmeal is a better choice than whole grain toast or cereal made with whole grains. And quinoa or brown rice beat whole wheat pastas.
18. You worry more about mealtime than bedtime.
Probably the most violated rule of weight loss is sleeping early or getting enough sleep. According to a study, sleep deprivation can sneakily lead you to eat an average of 549 more calories per day!