28 Nov 2013

 by Eshere Ward

Don’t be a victim to the deadly diet sins! With so much information about how to lose weight it is hard to cut through the fat and know what is real and what is propaganda. Stop your bad habits now and start losing weight more effectively and efficiently by conquering the five most deadly diet sins.

Sin #1: Night time Eatingshutterstock_105565040

Not eating enough food during the day can trigger hunger pangs at night. Be careful not to mistake consuming the majority of your calories at night as healthy, even though you may be making wholesome and nourishing choices. It is important to fuel the furnace, which means eating little and often during the day, this ensures that you are satisfied and not tempted to raid the fridge at all hours of the night. Eating little and often keeps your blood sugar levels stabilized and avoids overeating and gorging on unhealthy foods.

The old phrase ‘eat like a King at breakfast, a Prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner could not be more correct. This is because during the day you have time to burn off the energy you are consuming through food. Also a hearty breakfast worthy of a king will prevent you from feeling tired and restless during the day. It is important to note that your digestion rate slows when you are sleeping so if you have consumed a large meal before going to sleep it is likely not to be digested properly and the energy is stored as fat rather than being blitzed during the day. Therefore make sure you eat at least 3 hours before going to bed at a minimum.

If you are forced to eat late at night due to work and lifestyle balances just make sure it is part of a balanced healthy diet and you are not eating extra calories that are unnecessary.

Sin #2: Too much caffeine

A couple of cups of java have been proven to be beneficial to our bodies, from increased alertness to better concentration, however overconsumption can be shutterstock_129771275proven to be detrimental to weight loss and overall health. Too much caffeine is associated with reduced coordination, insomnia, headaches, nervousness and dizziness. Not only are these side effects damaging to our health but also weight loss can be inhibited, without realising the added cream, milk and sugar packs on numerous unnecessary calories that also adds to our waistlines.

If you must insist on getting your daily hit, then aim to have a maximum of 2 cups a day with low fat milk, no sugar and if you are feeling extra healthy try is black.

Sin #3: All or nothing

Setting unrealistic targets could be setting your self up for failure, just as much as being a diet perfectionist can also be extremely damaging to your weight loss. Sometimes you are going to have cravings or be surrounded by scrumptious food that isn’t on yourshutterstock_135290474 diet, however by restricting them completely you may be destroying your chances of success. This is because when we restrict ourselves completely we automatically go into overdrive and want what we cannot have. This is human nature and as a victim to this, we are likely to fall off the wagon and sabotage our diet by binging on food unnecessarily. Whereas if we had just had a small amount to satisfy our taste buds we would be able to keep little Miss or Mr Piggy at bay.

Therefore with this in mind a little treat every now and again can be the solution to your diet success. Creating a reward structure such as treat days has been proven to be beneficial in many peoples weight loss journeys. Nonetheless that is not to say that you such ruin all your progress and gorge all day long, but instead have something that you wouldn’t normally have. I believe that a great body is the result of consistency and eating a strict diet most of the time while still living in the real world and indulging occasionally.

Sin #4: Eating too fast

shutterstock_112017230Eating too fast can give your brain wrong signals encouraging overeating. According to Whole Living your brain takes about 20 minutes to fully register that you have eaten and are full. Therefore if you eat too quickly your brain does not have time to recognise that you are full which may result in the unnecessary consumption of calories leading to weigh gain or stunted weight loss. Another issue of eating too fast is indigestion and bloating, which is caused by excess air in your digestive tract caused by eating too quickly.

With these issues in mind it is important to eat slowly and chew your food properly. This will result in eating the correct amount of food to satisfy your hunger and assist your weight loss. Try to sit down at a proper table and chair away from computers and similar distractions. Take time out to enjoy and savour your meal, allow for at least 20 minutes as this will be enough time for the hormones that signal your gut is full to be released, preventing overeating.

Sin #5: Not eating enough

Ok so we are talking about diets, but that does not mean we are talking about starvation. It is important to remember that you must eat whether it is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. When we miss meals to save calories our body goes into starvation mode and holds on to energy bshutterstock_145910549y storing it as fat as it doesn’t know when its going to get its next feed. This also results in reduced energy levels and a lower metabolic rate. Avoid this by eating regularly, I recommend eating 5-6 times a day with 3 larger meals and 2 snacks. As I mentioned above fuelling the furnace is the key to optimum success, this fires up your metabolism allowing you to burn maximum calories. Not only is it key to eat little and often it is imperative to eat enough calories to stabilize your energy levels, allow you to exercise and most importantly enhance your weight loss.  Everyone is different but it is recommended that the average male should eat 2000-2500 and the average female should eat 1500-2000 calories per day for optimal health.

Dieting can be stressful, but don’t be a fool to the simple mistakes that can hinder your weight loss. The most successful dieters are those who make their diet part of their lifestyle, it isn’t a fad or a quick fix, but simply eating healthy, nutritional, and wholesome food becomes a way of life, while steering clear of the deadly diet sins.

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