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5 Common Mistakes When Starting a Diet

by Nicolas Uribe October 18, 2017

When we decide to lose weight it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hundreds of “flash” solutions advertised everywhere we look. Nowadays the fad is “elimination” diets based on juicing and extreme cleansing; Reader beware: this is NOT the healthiest approach to weight loss, especially if you’re first starting out. Undergoing such radical changes from one day to the next can have very serious consequences on your health, that’s why a gradual approach is the best way to go!

2017 is quickly coming to an end and a lot of you are probably starting to think about your new year’s weight loss resolutions, here are 5 common mistakes most people make when starting a weight loss plan and how to avoid them:

1. Change Everything at Once

There are certain people that can effectively change their nutritional and exercising habits from one to the next and achieve great results, for most of us this would be completely unsustainable. Harnessing the enthusiasm of the first stages is crucial but in order to achieve long-term weight loss success it is imperative that we make incremental changes to our lifestyle, finding the balance that works for YOU. Everybody is different and every process is unique, copying someone else’s formula will not guarantee results; this is why it’s vital to see your weight loss process as a lifestyle change and not just as a diet. Remember this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon! Choose a plan that fits your lifestyle and start making changes gradually, take your goals one day at a time, and one pound at a time.

2. Healthy Eating Does Not Equal Weight Loss

Just because certain foods are healthy it really doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose weight by consuming mountains of it. The same thing happens with organic foods; these are better for your overall health but they’re not necessarily low-calorie options. Fruits are a great example, even though they provide hundreds of nutritional benefits they have a very high sugar (fructose) content so they can really set you back if you eat too much of them or consume them at the wrong time of day. Eating healthier options can definitely help but you have to make sure you mind your portions and follow a comprehensive nutritional plan.

3. Skipping Meals

A very common go-to when we are trying to lose weight is skipping meals. It just kinda makes sense that less food equals less weight, right? Well, the truth is a little bit different! Skipping meals can really affect your process and keep you from your goals. There are two parts to this: first of all there’s your metabolism, this complex set of chemical reactions that manages the conversion of food to energy, the conversion of food to building blocks for proteins, fats, acids and some carbs and the elimination of waste. Your metabolism is basically what burns fat so you need it to be at tip-top shape 100% of the time. A slow metabolism results in more fat storage and less fat burning so you need to eat more times to keep it working and on-edge.

The second part to the skipping meals issue is the way we react to skipping meals, when we do we usually try to make up for it on our next meal, totally wasting the effort of not eating before. Feeling hungry while you’re losing weight is very bad sign! Obviously at the beginning your body will take some time to adapt but after a few days you should not be feeling hungry (which is the result of skipping meals). Because this is your body’s way to tell you that something is wrong. The psychological aspect is also very important since skipping meals will probably make you think about food even more which leads to stress and even worse results! So remember: 5 small meals every day following a comprehensive plan.

4. Stop Eating After 7 P.M

That old tale that if you want to lose weight you can’t eat past 7pm is an absolute MYTH! You can eat after 7pm, the key is to choose wisely (avoid carbs at night) and mind your portions. The right dinner should include one portion of protein, one portion of vegetables and a zero calorie drink. Skipping meals is a huge mistake we tend to make and skipping dinner is a big no-no because you’re leaving your body without any food for a long period of time, forcing it to go into “starvation” mode where it stores as much fat as possible to deal with the long periods of time without food.

One big problem for most people is that dinner becomes the only or main meal of the day, when this is the case you will most likely overeat since you have “starved” your body for an entire day. It’s crucial that you eat 5 times a day, even if it sounds counter-intuitive you need to eat more in order to lose weight; Following Carson Life’s nutritional guide can teach you how to eat 5 small meals a day to keep your metabolism going all day long. The important thing to keep in mind about eating at night is that you should leave at least 90 minutes between your last meal and your bedtime to allow your body to digest your meal and not turn that food into fat.

5. Not Paying Attention to Stress

There is new evidence every day about the impact of stress on our health and weight loss is one of the big ones! When we are stressed our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, a state of alert where we produce more cortisol and store more fat to deal with the strenuous situation. This is a very “primal” reaction we have and it’s one of the biggest causes of obesity in adults. Dealing with stress is tricky because modern life is stressful so there’s really no escape, the best we can do is make smarter decisions and make ourselves aware of the damage caused by stress so we can manage it better. Breathe… it sounds simple but it’s one of the best ways to deal with stress. Every time you feel stress coming acknowledge the moment, count to 3 and breathe. This is a very helpful exercise that also helps you identify the triggers of your stress so you can easily avoid them in the future.

Nicolas Uribe
Nicolas Uribe


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