Everyone these days is trying to take their bodies to the next level. Whether you’re getting ready for a beach vacation or just to look & feel a little bit better, dieting is going to be the key. With so many diets flying around these days, it can get confusing deciding which diet to follow.
What’s worst? Some of these diets completely conflict each other. The vegan diet asks you to completely cut off any meat and dairy, while other diets focus on getting your protein through lean sources. The keto diet asks you to completely cut off the carbs while the Mediterranean diet asks you to keep the carbs high.
The fact is, any diet will work as long as it satisfies the basic principle of Calories In vs Calories Out. That is, the amount of calories you eat (Calories In) should be less than what you burn in a day (Calories Out).
Let’s check out 5 major mistakes that people make when it comes to eating for your goals.
- Starting too aggressively
This is probably the most common mistake that people make. We all know that in order to lose fat, we have to create a caloric deficit. But, this does not mean that “More is better.” Well, it may seem like on paper, but it’s far from the truth.
In reality, cutting too many calories and restricting yourself beyond a point can lead to the diet becoming unsustainable. Constant hunger, brain fogs, irritability, etc start happening and people start giving up on their diets.
We don’t want this to happen. A good strategy is to make the diet sustainable so that you can continue it for a long period of time, enjoy the process & get results.
- Expecting Linear Progress
Again, it might make sense on the paper that if we’re constantly in a caloric deficit, then our weight should also reduce linearly. Well, that’s hardly the case.
There are a lot of factors that govern how the scale moves - hormonal changes, water activity, bowel movements just to name a few. Some days the weight might remain the same and some days it might even increase. But that does not mean that you gained fat on those days even though you were in a caloric deficit.
Sometimes situations like these can cause frustration and stress which can lead to you making changes to your diet immediately thereby reducing calories even further. One thing to remember here is to give yourself atleast a week’s time to see if the scale is actually moving or not and to not make any decisions based on just one reading.
The process will not be linear and so it’s good to be aware of that and to be prepared.
- Too much restriction
It might seem reasonable to think that when you’re dieting, you probably have to give up the foods that you like and focus on eating stuff that matches your calories & macro intake for the day.
Well, that’s true, but too much restriction can often lead to the diet being hard over time. This can ultimately lead to you giving up on your diet due to the restrictive nature of the diet. The fact is, you’re better off allowing yourself some treats from time to time in order to stay in the dieting phase for longer.
This way, you won’t have to give up on the joy of eating a few foods that you like and still get the results you’re looking for.
- Relying too much on Supplements
Supplements should be used for just one thing – to supplement our progress. This means that you already should be making some progress before you think about adding supplements to your routing.
Sadly, there are no magic pills or magic supplements when it comes to losing weight. Without the strong foundation of a good diet and a great workout routine, no supplement will work.
However, if your diet & workout routine is strong, then supplement can help speed up the process a bit. Focus on building a strong foundation first.
- No Exit Strategy
Imagine this – you spend 3 months measuring what you eat everyday, working it out in the gym every morning, and getting down to your target weight only to see yourself go back to your previous weight. This is the reality for some people. The reason is – No clear exit strategy in mind.
When you’re dieting, your metabolism gets adapted to the lower calorie intake. Suddenly when you finish dieting and give in to your cravings and start eating a lot, it won’t be a surprise to gain the lost weight back in a short amount of time.
You should reintroduce the foods and calories slowly and still watch what you eat and focus on maintaining the weight so that you can succeed in the long term.
Having a good strategy combined with the basic principles can lead to long term success in your weight loss journey. Ignore either one and it can get pretty rough.