The title to this post is a little bit deceiving probably because, as you might already know, I really don’t like the word “diet”. The word diet insinuates that you are changing the way you’re eating for a certain amount of time, but plan on returning to your old way of life at some point. So, even if you lose weight, you’re most likely going to gain it back, and if you diet the wrong way, you will gain your original weight back plus some.
Rather than starting a “diet”, start to use some of these tips to transform your lifestyle and make your weight loss permanent. Once you get the hang of it, you will see results and they will be easy to maintain.
1. You don’t Watch Your Calories
I know that everyone hates the thought of counting calories. I am not saying that you have to count every little calorie that you put in your mouth, but if you don’t understand the basics of what you’re eating and how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, you are neglecting the number one principle of successful weight loss. If you eat more calories than you can burn per day, you will gain weight. If you eat less calories than you burn in a day, you will lose weight. It is very important to understand this principle because it is the foundation to successful weight loss.
For my clients, the average calories for weight loss for women is right around 1500 cal per day. When it comes to men, most men will lose body fat by eating right around 2000 cal per day. Please keep in mind that this varies from person to person and also varies based on your activity level.
2. You Eat too Little
Burning away excess body fat is not just about starving yourself. The fact of the matter is that you need a certain amount of calories every day to keep your metabolism going strong and enough nutrients in those calories to make sure you don’t waste away your muscle.
3. You’re Going to the Extreme
Losing weight and being healthy is not about not eating foods that you love to eat. Because you are not on a diet, you should remember that you can actually eat any foods you want as part of your new lifestyle but you definitely have to watch how much of these “treats” you eat. Most of the foods that we crave like pizza, burgers, and sweets are packed full of calories that add up very quickly. Eating foods that are not necessarily “healthy”, from time to time, without feeling guilty is a huge breakthrough that will help you stick with your new lifestyle for a lifetime.
4. You are Eating “Healthy Foods” that are Unhealthy for You
Many times, people think they are eating healthy when they are actually piling on the fat. For example, many men and women will order a salad with the idea in the mind that they are eating healthy but neglecting to take into account how many calories are in that salad. Just because it is a salad does not mean it cannot be packed with 1000 cal to 1500 cal if you don’t watch what you’re putting into your salad. Watch your dressings, cheese, nuts, and other toppings that can add up quickly.
5. You are Skipping Meals
Think of your metabolism like a fire. What happens if you put a giant log on top of a fire? It puts the fire out, right? The same can be said for your body. A giant meal instead of smaller meals throughout the day can put a stop on your metabolism. What happens when you feed a fire small chunks of wood more often? It makes the fire burned hotter and longer. What if you stop feeding the fire altogether? Well, the fire goes out. The same principles can be linked directly to your metabolism, so make sure you feed yourself three meals and 1 to 3 snacks throughout the day to keep it burning hot.