Do These Diet “Tips” Actually Prevent You From Losing Weight?
The cover of every magazine, every talk show and tons of websites talk about it: Losing weight. We've all tried it at one time or another. Some of us have found great success with whatever it was we tried, but some people (myself included) yo yo and some just can't seem to lose it no matter how hard we try. Here are some popular diet "tips" that may actually prevent you from losing weight.
Fat is Bad
This is only partially true. Saturated and trans fats like the fats found in beef and pork as well as margarine or butter are known to raise bad cholesterol, but mono and polyunsaturated fats like fats found in olive oil, peanut oil and corn oil can actually improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acids like the ones found in salmon and nuts are also good for you and can improve blood heath, joint health and lower cholesterol.
Swear Off Junk Food
My best friend lost 110 pounds and has maintained it for about two years. Last week, I watched her eat four pieces of pizza. As I watched, mouth agape she looked at me and said, "I don't deny myself. I just plan for it." I've always been an "All or NOTHING!" kind of dieter, but apparently this is not the best idea. Allowing yourself pizza, cake or a couple of cookies every now and then actually reduces the urge to binge. This is not a license to eat pizza for breakfast with a dessert of chocolate cake and a steady stream of cookies all day long, but enjoy them carefully and don't go for seconds and you'll be fine.
I remember being told that three square meals and no snacking between meals is the ideal way to eat, but this is also a bad idea. Eating small, healthy snacks is a great way to curb hunger and control portion sizes come meal time because you aren't starving hungry. Just be careful to watch you're snacking on so you don't go overboard on calories. One way to do this is to keep a faithful food journal. Speaking from experience, you pay way more attention to what you're putting in your mouth when it's written down.
Eat The Least Amount of Calories Possible
While it's true that burning more calories than you eat will help you lose weight, but eating the lowest amount of calories possible is an awful way to go about losing weight. When you don't eat your body goes into starvation mode and actually slows your metabolism down. Instead, cut out 500 calories out of your diet and you can lose a pound a week!
Skip Breakfast and Save Calories
Not eating breakfast can backfire and you may end up eating more calories at lunch and dinner than you would have "saved" by skipping breakfast. The longer you wait to eat, the hungrier you'll be and then you'll make bad food choices. Try and eat within an hour or waking up and when you eat, don't get a donut or caramel roll. Find a good combination of high fiber carbs, lean protein and healthy fats.