Image by: LocalFitness
By George Lamb
Starting a new diet plan may prove to be quite a scary experience, especially when you’re first starting out. Giving up pizza, candy, soda and delicious pastries may seem virtually impossible, but before committing yourself to an effective diet plan it is essential that you do whatever it takes to eliminate the useless calories your body doesn’t need. Yes doughnuts, danishes and eclairs are among the most delicious foods on the planet, but do you know what your body converts these foods (i.e. useless carbs) into? Fat! And I’m going to make the assumption that since you’re reading this you want to take the slim and trim route rather than the pleasantly plump.
It’s easy to say you can take the slim route and Google the ideal diet plan, but its an entirely different story to actually commit yourself to to this and follow through for a long period of time. You can have the best diet plan in the world, but if you’re not executing, then all the time and energy you have spent is utterly wasted. But in case you’re among those who have the drive to execute and the discipline to stave off any bothersome foods that may fall upon you, here are some of the biggest traps to avoid when starting a new diet plan.
#1) Skipping Meals
A lot of naive people think since eating too much tends to cause obesity, skipping meals or not eating at all equates to getting skinnier. In theory, that should be correct, but research shows that people who skip breakfast weigh, on average, more than dedicated breakfast eaters. Now, if said non-breakfast eaters were to skip that first meal and intake the same amount of food as a breakfast eater, he or she would consume less calories and therefore put on less weight.
But since those who skip meals typically indulge themselves later on out of the intense hunger signals that their brain sends to their body later on, they actually end up consuming more calories with other meals throughout the day, which increases the chances of weight gain.
#2) Not Eating Enough Meals
Skipping meals is just as bad for those of you trying to lose weight as not eating enough meals. It might seem a bit counterproductive to plan to eat more meals than you already do when you’re tying to lose weight, but if you analyze the diet plans of athletes, body-builders and other active people, you will likely find that even though they are in great shape, they probably eat more meals than the average person.
Of course, there is a drastic difference between eating more meals and eating more food, as the latter will undoubtedly cause you to gain more size. But eating more meals–with the same amount of calories and nutrients that you would regularly consume–will do well to speed up your metabolism and keep your body burning calories even while you’re stationary.
4-6 small meals with healthy snacks or protein bars in between will keep your metabolism moving throughout the day. And since it will be getting all the fuel it needs regularly, this will help your body produce the results desired.
#3) Improper Balance of Nutrition
Getting your required meals throughout the day and keeping your metabolism running is integral, but another thing that is just as important is keeping your nutrition intake balanced. Things like protein, carbohydrates and fats are all essential to your bodies performance and if it’s seeing an excess of one of these components and not enough of another, then it will have a reverse effect on your diet. Protein is essential for muscle development, but in order for it to develop properly it needs to be accompanied with a certain amount Carbs and fats to give your body the energy it needs to both convert that protein into muscle and give you energy to excel in the gym.
#4) Unhealthy Add-Ons
You may think substituting that greasy burger for the grilled chicken salad would be a better, more healthier option, but after you add on things like fat-filled dressings, croutons, bacon bits and cheeses even a mere salad can give that burger fierce competition. The meal itself may be healthy, but it is important to always watch what you’re topping it off with, or else you may end up consuming much more calories than you are supposed to.
You don’t necessarily have to give up toppings all together, as I can imagine that wold leave your life decidedly drab. Instead, try trading off calorie heavy foods like mayo for mustard on your burger, or zero calorie Italian in place of creamy ranch for that grilled chicken salad. Always look for the healthier alternative, and if you’re wary of it’s nutritional value google how many calories linger in a certain condiment or dressing before you decide to lather your food up with it.
#5) Liquid Calories
When you drink calorie heavy beverages on a regular basis, it will almost certainly conflict with your diet. While you may account for the calories present in the drink, these calories often times do nothing to quell your hunger. Drinks like teas, coffee, juices, alcohol and sodas can all contribute to weight gain, and when you consider the fact that nearly 21% of all Americans get their calories from beverages, it’s no wonder why so many of us have tipped the margin of obesity.
To avoid becoming one of these statistics, consider trading off whole milk for skim milk, soda for water, and sweetened juices for %100 fruit. Switching out calorie heavy beverages for their healthier counterparts is essential to maintaining the integrity of any diet.
Have you had success with a your new workout and diet plan combination and has it gotten you any results? If you’re up to it, how about sharing with your fellow readers in the comments below. We appreciate it!