If you have despaired of losing weight because all your diets have bombed, it may be due to diet blunders rather than frail determination.
When you set yourself unachievable goals for your dieting program, you’re up for defeat. If you do not meet your goal, you’ll give up. Or worse still, you may seek solace in the food you denied yourself the week(s) before. Rather than hope for the impossible, set realistic, short-term goals, and jot down your successes and progress in a little notebook as a morale booster.
Contrary to common belief, eating less of everything will not help you to lose weight. When carolic intake is greatly reduced, the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) slows down as much as 45 per cent, which means that you burn 45 per cent fewer calories than usual. Cut down too much and you won’t lose much weight either. How much BMR actually slows down depends on body weight, how much caloric intake is reduced, and how much you exercise.
Skipping meals often backfires. Watch it! You may either become so hungry that you gobble the next meal, or you reward yourself with the first candy bar around. If you eat only one or two meals a day, a lot of calories will be injected at a time, and the excess calories are stored instead of being used up. Complex carbohydrates like bread, cereal, grains, fruits and vegetables give bulk, which makes you feel full and stave off hunger. They can actually help you lose weight!
Another blunder in dieting is the use of diuretics and laxatives. The former causes water loss, not fat loss. As soon as you stop taking the pills, the water will be replaced and you’re back to square one. Besides, diuretics also make you feel run-down. If over-used, they can cause dehydration and improper muscle function. Laxatives also cause water loss, but temporarily. It could, however, lead to mineral deficiencies and constipation.
Lastly, if your diet cuts out entire food groups, you will suffer a nutritional imbalance. The trick is to eat a wide variety of food in small amounts. Coupled with a regular work-out program, you will be on your way to a firm, well-proportioned body.