The top 9 diet mistakes aren’t what you think they’d be
The top 9 diet mistakes aren’t what you think they’d be
Don’t let these obstacles trip you up in your quest for a slimmer waistline.
You've set yourself a resolution to start getting fit and so far you're doing well.
But there are a few diet tips out there that could trip you up in your quest for a slimmer waistline – and actually make you fatter.
Dieting can be quite overwhelming, especially as everyone has their own opinions on the best way to trim the fat.
Run more. Eat less. Ditch certain foods. Lift weights. Drink more water. The list goes on.
That's why it is important to listen to the experts to make sure your diet and exercise plan is on the right track.
Here's 9 things you shouldn't be doing if you are trying to lose weight.
1. Don't cut out treats
You're allowed a treat every now and then – remember, everything in moderation.
Pippa Campbell, a nutritionist and weight loss coach, said: "If you say you are going to lose a certain amount of weight and cut out all your treats including coffee then you can be setting yourself up to fail.
"You need to embark on a sustainable eating plan that includes a treat meal.
"Giving up coffee is not always necessary unless you are sensitive to caffeine, but cutting down is a good idea.
"My clients love the fact that I allow them to have coffee on their plans as they see it as their treat.
"And they love their weekly treat meal. Once my clients have reached their goal weight I suggest that they continue to eat in that way 80 per cent of the time to sustain their weight and new found health benefits."
2. Not sleeping enough
With our busy schedules it is easy to think that getting little sleep every night is normal, but it's not good for you.
"People who are sleep deprived have an increased appetite," explained Dr Marilyn Granville, a leading UK nutritionist.
"Inadequate sleep lowers levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and increases grehlin, a hormone that increases food intake and is thought to play a role in the long-term regulation of body weight.
"All this suggests that sleep deprivation can make weight loss extremely difficult because it causes your body to work against you."
How much exercise burns off a treat?0:54
Are you obsessed with chocolate or nuts about donuts? If so, just how much exercise does it take to work that indulgence off?
3. Don't count calories
It is OK to know how much food you are eating in a day, but focus less on the calories and more on the quality of the food you eat.
"It’s just not that simple as sugar calories cause fat storage and spikes hunger, while calories from fat and protein promote fat burning," Pippa said.
"What counts more is the quality, not the quantity of the calories."
4. Leftovers are not always good
You may want to eat your leftovers to save wasting food, but if what you had the night before isn't healthy you are undoing your hard work.
Martina Della Vedova, a nutritionist for Natures Plus, said: "If the night before you had oven-cooked salmon with herbs and a green salad, then having the leftovers for breakfast is not a bad idea.
"But if you indulged in pizza or fish and chips, then maybe rethink the dinner leftovers as a breakfast option.
"It is essential to start the day with energy and a clear mind to sustain activities throughout the day.
"Choose foods rich in fibre, antioxidants, and good protein and fats.
"A healthy and fulfilling option can be poached or scrambled eggs on a piece of whole grain bread and a freshly made green juice."
5. Don't eat sugar before you work out
Sugar gives you a good energy rush but you crash soon afterwards.
"To give yourself enough energy to work out – and to enjoy it – base your diet on foods that release their energy slowly and steadily," said nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns.
"We’re talking mainly about whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, meat, eggs and fish, nuts and seeds.
"The opposite – processed foods, high-sugar snacks or sugary drinks – will give you an initial burst of energy followed by a slump that can leave you feeling drained.
"Not ideal in the middle of a workout."
6. Add protein
You've heard it before, protein keeps you fuller for longer.
So don't skip it for breakfast as it sets you up for a better day.
"Protein-rich foods are more satiating than carbohydrate-rich foods – in other words, they can fill you up more quickly and for longer," Cassandra said.
"They seem to do this by slowing down the emptying of the stomach, and by reducing the release of hormones such as ghrelin that stimulate appetite.
"The result is that you’re likely to eat less over the course of the day, making it easier to control your weight.
"To ensure you’re getting your daily dose of protein, try a plant based protein powder.
"They are easy to digest and can be low-calorie. They can be used to make smoothies or shakes, and also added to savoury foods such as stews and soups."
7. Fad diets are bad
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking a fad diet is a quick and easy fix, but they don't work in the long run.
"Fad diets are not sustainable," said Pippa.
"It is important that the client learns how to prepare simple meals and what to choose on menus or the weight will just go back on.
"It has to be a lifestyle change. Starving yourself, for example, on a juice diet can cause your body to go into shock, thinking that it is in starvation mode.
"This can cause the body to store fat, so after the fad diet is over you can put on even more weight than before."
8. Don't worry about other people
If you are hitting the gym with a friend that's great because it keeps you motivated.
But don't worry if they are losing weight faster than you.
"Weight loss depends on a number of things especially the medical conditions of the client," Pippa said, who runs the Metabolic Balance programme that bases a person's weight loss plan on their DNA.
"The Metabolic Balance blood tests show a number of out of range markers such as C reactive protein (which is an inflammatory marker), liver enzymes and thyroid, which may take the client longer to get to the fat-burning stage.
"This is when the body starts to burn fat for fuel, when this process occurs then the weight loss really happens."
9. Look after your gut
Our stomach is made up of good and bad bacteria, called gut flora, which has an influence over important body functions including metabolism and fat reduction.
However, our lifestyle habits, like taking antibiotics, diets high in sugar, stress and alcohol, damage our gut bacteria.
"Feed the good bacteria with fibrous foods and plenty of probiotics, which you can find in fermented foods like Kombucha tea, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and apple cider vinegar, Cassandra said.
She also recommends diet supplements like Tum8Biotix by Quest Vitamins.