I don’t need a diet, I will just eat less!
This statement does not always hold to be true. Depending on how much “less” you eat, you may or may not lose weight. Cutting back excessively on food (i.e. extreme diet) will cause your body to slow down its metabolism. As a result, weight loss becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible.
Cutting back moderately on how much you eat every day may actually help you on your weight loss journey. The key is moderation.
One “trick” that will help those of you who are eating less and not seeing results is for you to add exercise to your daily routine. This will help to boost your metabolism and, in a way, counteract the slowing down of your metabolism that may result from eating less.
I can diet alone!
Most people talk about dieting far more often than they actually do. Even if you know the appropriate foods and quantities, it is sometimes difficult to stick to your new eating plan without someone supporting you and your weight-loss goals.
Join a weight-loss support group, or ask a close friend or family member to be your accountability partner to help keep you focused and on track.
Never eat between meals!
In fact, health professionals strongly recommend eating low-calorie, high-energy snacks such as cucumbers, carrot sticks, rice cakes and whole grain crackers to tide you over until your next meal. So, if you like to snack, grab a bag of raw veggies to fend off the vending machine temptations.
Another option is to eat 5-6 small meals a day. Research suggests that doing so may help keep your metabolism going (and prevent it from slowing down) throughout the day. In addition, eating small meals frequently helps to maintain energy levels, decreases appetite, and may prevent overeating.
The important thing to keep in mind is that failing to eat regularly, whether it be 3 meals with healthy snacks in between or 5-6 small meals, will likely slow down your metabolism and thus decrease your overall calorie burn over the long run.
All calories are equal!
On the contrary, your diet will not work if you substitute ice cream for an equally caloric and fatty meal.
Studies show that calories derived from fat are more fattening from calories derived from carbohydrates and protein rich foods. It seems that the body burns calories to convert carbohydrates and protein into fat for energy whereas extra fat calories consumed are stored in the body as is.
Protein is the best diet food!
Most of us believe broiled fish and chicken are key weight reducers; however, excess protein that our body does not need or use for energy, is stored as fat.
Exercising makes me hungrier!
Exercise suppresses appetite temporarily. Depending on the type of exercise, it may also increase hunger. Adding regular exercise to your lifestyle leads to increased metabolism and muscle growth. Over time, this may lead to increased hunger. In addition, engaging in new/intense activities may also cause hunger immediately after being introduced to your lifestyle. This hunger is not a bad thing. It is important, however, not to overeat as a result of this hunger.
One suggestion to prevent weight gain is this: quiet your hunger with a low-calorie, high protein snack, such as a handful of almonds or a banana and skim milk.
I can lose weight if I skip breakfast!
Breakfast is a must, even if you are not dieting, you need a healthy, fibrous meal to start the day and give you enough energy so you do not “burn out”. Even if you only snack on some fruit, yogurt or a piece of whole grain toast on the way out the door in the morning, you are getting your energy.
Studies show that people who eat breakfast lose more weight and eat less throughout the day, than do people who don’t eat breakfast. Eating breakfast keeps the metabolism from slowing down early on in your day, which is what happens if you function for too long without fueling your body.
Diets do not work!
This myth is perpetrated because an estimated 95 percent of those who lose weight by following some type of diet plan or weight-loss program, gain the weight back, and sometimes more. When you go to lose weight, using the word diet can be a negative word, so look at this phase of weight-loss as a complete lifestyle change and behavioral modification plan; something that you know you will be able to maintain far beyond you lose the initial weight. Do not go back to your old eating habits once you have lost the weight that you have worked so hard to lose.
Ultimately, successful weight loss depends on healthy, permanent lifestyle changes. Extreme dieting and/or engaging in extreme exercise regimens, makes it much more difficult to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. It is difficult to stick to an extremely depriving diet or to an intense workout routine. Because of this, gradual changes are the key to successful weight loss and lifestyle changes.