It seems like every time you turn on the television or surf the Internet there's some new diet being touted. How do you know which one to follow or what to do? Many people end up just jumping from one diet to another, never really figuring out what works for them and never getting the results they're after either.
This doesn't mean that it's not possible to get on a healthy diet and stick with it. You can get on a path to healthy eating simply by correcting these five all-too-common diet mistakes:
1. You're Cutting Calories Too Much.
When you're trying to lose weight, restricting your calorie intake can help to create the deficit needed to kick your body into fat burning mode and help you shed pounds. That doesn't mean that you should restrict calories too much though. When you create too large of a deficit, you can put major stress on your body, causing it to release cortisol. This hormone can make you hungrier and more prone to over-eating, undermining your efforts entirely.
How to Solve It:
Don't go to extreme with calorie reduction. It's better to make your deficit smaller and lose slower than it is to shift yourself into dietary distress and end up ravenous and unable to lose. Experts also recommend that you don't follow an intense calorie control diet forever. Instead of endless calorie restriction, approach your diet as a 2-month cycle, in which you control calories for 6 weeks and then increase slightly for 2 weeks before going back onto your diet.
2. You're Not Eating Enough Protein.If you're working out for weight loss or muscle mass gain, you need protein, pure and simple. Public health officials will often state that protein deficiency isn't a cause for concern, but they're referring to the general public. Many people who work out regularly don't get enough protein to support muscle building, which can lead to poor results from the gym. While the average recommendations are around 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight, you likely need more than that if you're hitting the gym regularly.
How to Solve It:
A 2011 study found that active adults required 1.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight to maximize muscle protein synthesis.
That means that if you weight 70 kilograms, you should be eating around 126 grams of protein daily to help your body produce muscle mass in response to the demands you're placing on your body at the gym.
If you find that you get hungry within 1 to 2 hours of your meals, that's a sign that you might not be meeting your body's needs for protein. Also, as you begin to increase your protein intake, be sure to monitor your weight on the scale but also changes to your measurements.
3. You're Not Committing.How many diets have you been on already this year? If it’s more than one, you struggle with commitment. While it's tempting to give up one plan for another when the new one sound easier or more appealing or you don't think your current one is working, switching things up repeatedly is a recipe for disaster. It often takes time for any diet to produce consistent steady results whether you're trying to lose weight or build muscle. When you shift too often, you're cheating yourself out of the chance for your new diet plan to begin to help you.
How to Solve It:
When you start on a new diet plan, don't veer from it for at least 10 to 12 weeks. By sticking with a program longer, you'll be able to truly see how it works for you. Not only will you give your body the opportunity to acclimate itself to the new way of eating, but it will also give your mind a chance to adjust. Many people don't like change and end up hating diets at first, but you may find that after a few weeks you actually enjoy your eating plan. Of course, if you experience an allergic reaction or another severe side effect from a diet, you should walk away guilt free!
4. You're Still Searching for a Quick Fix.You pick up the newspaper and see an article about a new super food that's helping people lose weight without any effort, so you go to the grocery store and buy a ton of it immediately. You hear that some food is responsible for obesity, so you give it up fast. When you see an article about a new training regimen, you switch to that, and you're constantly trying new gadgets and gizmos that promise to help you finally lose weight fast. In other words, you're constantly looking for a shortcut, a quick fix, an easy route to your goal that won't require all the dieting and effort. Sadly, there isn't one. It's going to take work to accomplish your weight loss or fitness goal no matter what it is.
How to Solve it:
Solving this problem will require you to begin to tune out the hype and focus on the facts. When you hear about something new that sounds too good to be true, tell yourself it is until you see scientific proof that it's not. Don't be afraid to consult experts if something does look promising. But most of all, work toward accepting the fact that while it will take work to accomplish what you're after, the rewards of doing so will be more than worth it. Learn to enjoy the path rather than looking for ways to run down it faster.
5. You're Your Own Worst Critic.When you stray from your diet plan, you beat yourself up over it. You agonize and worry. You name call in your head. You feel guilty and even ashamed that you let yourself indulge in something. In the end, all of this severe self-criticism demotivates you. You feel like you failed. You feel like it's hopeless, so you just stop following the diet entirely.
How to Solve It:
Don't be so hard on yourself. Weight management is something that you need to think about for a lifetime. Will you really go your whole life without ever eating ice cream? More than one piece of pizza? Birthday cake? There will always be times when you'll indulge, and that's okay. The important thing is to have a healthy relationship with your food. When you do stray, don't treat yourself like a criminal. Look at is as a treat and move on. Begin the next day fresh and don't dwell on whatever you ate the day before.
Whether you're relying on your diet to help you lose weight, gain weight or simply maintain your muscle mass, the right sports nutrition supplements can support your efforts. Sportsfuel can help you put together the right combination of supplements to complete your diet and help you achieve your weight management or fitness goals. Contact us for assistance, and in the meantime, get back to following that healthy diet!