Choosing How You Lose Weight Is An Important Decision
Weight loss is something almost everyone has thought about at least once in their life, probably more, not counting those people who have an inherently fast metabolism and eat everything without gaining any weight. And here comes the diet plan reviews to help ourselves find the right diet plan…
However, while it is one of the main concerns of the modern man and a source of a thriving industry, it is simultaneously a ploy that fails so very often. Being overweight can and does have some serious repercussions on one’s life, body, and mental health. It affects our social life, our habits, but it is also simultaneously the product of our habits. Hoping to lose weight and drop those pesky pounds – that’s what drives us to diet. However, in our struggle, we sometimes take it too far. This can include anything from a well-balanced diet and exercise to the latest fad, health-endangering diets that do more harm than good. “People get so focused on weight loss they are willing to do unproven and potentially dangerous things that can backfire and cause serious health problems,” says Michelle May, MD, who teaches mindful eating.
When it comes to trying to lose weight choosing a program that is right for you is the first and most important thing you should do.
While there are a million different programs promising the moon and the stars, the reality is very few of those programs actually work.
According to Psychology, “Whether it’s “No fats for a month” or “1000 calories a day,” these fad diets have been consistently popular, but studies have shown that your body’s reactions to such dieting can actually cause more weight gain than loss.”
This is because most of the diets you see being advertised online are nothing more than fad diets that leave you looking and feeling sluggish, tired, and overweight.
Yes, you might lose a few pounds in a few short days, but the weight will come right back once you go back to your regular eating habits. They are hardly sustainable because few actually address making profound and lasting habit changes.
That’s why it is so important you choose a program that not only promotes healthy and safe weight loss, but that also considers permanency.
Why Safety Matters When Choosing A Diet Plan
It is truly amazing what humans are willing to endure and do to their bodies in order to lose weight.
Tapeworm diet. Grapefruit diet. Cabbage Soup Diet. Baby food. Bananas. Starvation. Meal replacements.
Weight loss is a concern for millions of people around the world. In fact, in the US, obesity is at epidemic levels, with 2/3 of all adults either overweight or obese. Why is it so hard to lose weight? And why do so many seek extreme measures that may be more detrimental to their health than being overweight is?
The truth is many of us want easy and fast fixes, and some really don’t want to work for it. However, safe and lasting weight loss requires effort, and safety is key when you consider the many extreme fad diets out there that can do a lot more harm than good.
Not all diets are safe. Especially those that promise fast results with little effort, that rely heavily on supplements, or those that are too restrictive. Many fad diets fall into this category.
According to Livestrong, “Crash diets include any unhealthy diet, from severe calorie-restriction diets to diets that consist of only a few kinds of foods.”
Also, if the diet is not right for you, you’ll find it difficult to stick with it, which means gaining back the weight you lost. After all, permanency is the hallmark of successful weight loss, often keeping it off for the long-term is much more challenging than losing it, to begin with.
The first step you need to take before you start dieting is to talk to your doctor.
Why? Because there are some things, you need to check first:
Preexisting conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, allergies, arthritis, and other health issues mean you’ll have special dietary needs or limitations when it comes to workouts. Your doctor will recommend a diet plan that helps you lose weight without putting your health at risk.
In addition, in some cases, weight gain is the result of other health issues such as hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, or Cushing’s syndrome. If you suspect your weight gain is a symptom of a disease, talk to your doctor to get a diagnosis, and treat any health problems.
- Medications. If you’re concerned about weight gain as a result of a medication, your doctor can help you find other options or a diet plan to keep your healthy weight. Also, tell your doctor about any vitamins or dietary supplements you are taking.
- Nutrition. An effective, safe diet plan must guarantee you’re still taking all the nutrients your body needs to function. For example, according to Harvard Health Publishing, calorie intake from major nutrients should stay within the recommended federal guidelines:
1.10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein
2. 45% to 65% from carbohydrates
3. 20% to 35% from fat
If you already have a weight-loss program in mind, ask your doctor to help you determine if it falls within these ranges. Otherwise, it might be too restrictive and could be hard to stick with long-term.
- Medical supervision. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), extreme or very restrictive diets should only be attempted under medical supervision. For instance, very-low-calorie diets may help some patients lose a lot of weight quickly. However, these diets are not sustainable long term, may not help maintain a healthier weight over time and may have health risks such as gallstones.
Fad Diets Are Useless And Maybe Dangerous
Fad diets often make over-the-top promises with no science to back them up. The NIDDK suggests avoiding weight loss programs that make promises such as:
No exercise required!
Eat as much as you want and still lose weight!
Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!
Shred belly fat (or some other specific area of the body)
In other words, if it looks too good to be true, that’s because it is too good to be true.
7 Characteristics Of Unsafe Diet Plans
The fitness industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. Every year millions of people spend billions of dollars on products they hope will finally help them shed those unwanted pounds.
Just think for a second about all the unsafe diet programs that have come out in the last 20 years. You have the Dukan diet, the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, the 24 hour Hollywood diet, and a host of other diets that in the end leave you feeling frustrated and in the same condition as when you started.
Fitness companies know people are desperate. They know you will spend money on almost anything if you think it will be the magic pill that will help you fit into those size 8 jeans you wore in high school.
These companies, many of which have absolutely no experience in health and fitness, create diet programs all in an effort to get their piece of the billion-dollar pie that is known as the fitness industry.
In other words, the last thing they care about is your health. They create products to make money. That is all they care about and that is all they focus on.
It Requires You Drastically Cut Calories
To lose weight you have to eat and truth be told, you need to eat more than what you think. Anytime a diet requires you drastically cut your calories that should be an immediate red flag.
Always remember food is fuel and anytime you drastically cut your calories you put yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies that can lead to serious health issues later on down the road.
Keep in mind that anytime you cut your calories you will lose weight. However, drastically cutting your calories is not a recipe for safe, sustainable weight loss. It Is Centered Around Pills
Unless your doctor is recommending medication and is supervising its use, diet pills are dangerous territory. Illegal drugs are of course in no way smart choices for weight loss.
It’s time, to be honest, there is no pill that will magically make you thin and physically fit. The only thing these drugs are good for is wreaking havoc on your nervous system, damaging brain cells and causing heart problems.
Other side effects include insomnia, high blood pressure, dizziness, stroke, blurred vision, and unhealthy bowel movements, among others. How many commercials have you seen promoting weight loss pills that absorb fat, suppress your appetite, and block carbs? Too many to count I’m sure. The problem with this type of diet is that these pills prevent your body from doing what it was naturally designed to do. They literally signal to your brain that you’re full even though you haven’t eaten. So yes, while you will lose weight, you will also destroy your metabolism and could potentially do some serious damage to your organs in the process, and most important this method is not sustainable for the long-term, so will not support permanent weight loss.
It Eliminates Entire Food Groups If a diet recommends you eliminate an entire food group, or it requires you to eat only ONE food group, be very wary. The major food groups are what provide your body with the nutrients it needs to not only survive but to thrive. It is therefore never a good idea to do away with an entire food group. While you will initially lose weight by eliminating food groups, this type of diet is too restrictive to produce results over the long haul. It Claims To Be a Miracle Breakthrough Unsafe diets are almost always advertised as being the new miracle breakthrough. They make absurd claims about finding some miracle herb, pill, or spice that can help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days.
And just in case it needs to be said, there is nothing safe or healthy about losing 50 pounds in 30 days. Nor is there a miracle herb or food that can help you do that.
This falls into the category of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Never trust a product that claims to be a miracle breakthrough.
Starvation, Extreme Fasting, And Skipping Meals
Cutting back on too many calories in a short amount of time can lead to severe malnutrition, loss of muscle mass, and even type-2 diabetes.
Sure, there will be some weight loss, but it’ll quickly backfire. This is because when your daily caloric intake drops below a certain level, mainly 1200, then the body starts storing fat for fear of starvation. It goes back to our hunting days when people weren’t sure when their next meal was going to be.
So, anything less than 1200 calories per day won’t provide you with the number of nutrients you need for healthy development and to be able to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
The same goes for skipping meals, which may make sense at first, but science has proven that it’s one of the worst ways to lose weight. This is because your metabolism increases after eating.
Therefore, eating healthy foods means you’re consuming less or the same amount of energy being burned so nothing gets stored away as fat. On the other hand, if you skip meals, your metabolism slows down, so much so that if you repeatedly skip meals in an effort to burn off fat, you’ll find yourself gaining weight, rather than losing it.
Requires Little To No Effort
The most common theme among all unsafe diets is they require little to no effort on your part. All you have to do is take this pill, or eat that food, and all the weight will just fall off.
The unrealistic expectations are what draw people in only to let them down. It is also what leads people to the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Safe weight loss requires effort. Not only do you need to start eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, but you will also need to make working out a top priority in your life. This is what will allow you to start losing weight and transforming your body.
Incorporating exercise into your daily life will also help keep your heart and bones healthy. As a result, you will be less likely to suffer from health issues such as heart attacks, diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis just to name a few.
When it comes to losing weight, always remember that slow and steady wins the race. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight.
It Boasts Mass Loss In A Short Time
Diets that boast fast weight loss in a short time can really impact your health, and once again, these are typically so drastic in nature that they are rarely sustainable for the long term.
WebMD reports that rapid weight loss poses serious health risks:
Bone density loss
Heart damage, including heart attacks and palpitations
7 Things You Should Never Do To Lose Weight
We now live in a society where people have become obsessed with the way they look. We are so desperate to look like the photoshopped model in our favorite magazine that we are willing to do almost anything to lose weight. Not only is this approach dangerous, but it can lead you to a downward spiral that is virtually impossible to break free from.
If you are looking to lose weight, here are 7 things you should never do, and what you should do instead.
Go On A “Diet”
Dieting is temporary. Dieting will make your life miserable and it will never help you to change your dietary habits. It is tough to come across a happy person who is on a diet. Most people who go on “diets” always come off the diet eventually, go back to “eating as usual,” and regain the weight they lost and then some.
This isn’t about dieting – it’s about living a healthy lifestyle
You don’t need another diet, you need a new mindset
Every new diet you try takes you further from your ultimate goal
Success starts and ends with lifestyle habit changes.
It is quite surprising the number of people who think starving themselves is the best way to lose weight. Let’s be very clear…. It is NOT!
According to LiveStrong, when you starve yourself you ruin your metabolism and end up losing muscle mass instead of fat.
What’s worse is once your metabolism slows down your body will start to hold on to fat instead of burning it. This means you will more than likely end up gaining more weight in the long run.
A better option is to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Doing so will rev up your metabolism and turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Purging is another dangerous attempt at controlling weight and has been rumored as commonplace in runway modeling. Purging is a process by which an individual will vomit up anything they eat. Not only is this method unhealthy, but it is also extremely dangerous.
Purging can lead to severe cases of dehydration. It can also cause your body to become so weak that your organs start to fail. People who purge will often suffer from kidney failure, a slowing heart rate, and hair loss.
In addition, those pretty white teeth you once had, well you can kiss those babies goodbye too. The constant vomiting will erode the enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities and decay. In severe cases, the damage done to organs can lead to death.
Instead of purging, take the time to create a healthy meal plan that will help you get the results you are after.
Laxatives can come in the form of pills, powders, suppositories, and even tea. Even though they can result in the loss of a few pounds, laxatives can cause complications in the abdomen and can damage the digestive system.
This is another very common method people will use to try to lose weight as quickly as possible. By taking a laxative, you are basically causing all of the food in your gut to get pushed out before your body has a chance to absorb it.
Repeated use of laxatives will eventually disrupt the internal mineral balance in your body. When this happens, your body will be depleted of healthy nutrients such as potassium and sodium, which can cause severe dehydration and vital organ damage. One of the side effects of laxatives is that those using them on a regular basis quickly find out that their bodies have become dependent on them and that they can’t have a bowel movement without taking a laxative.
Other side effects include an imbalance of electrolytes in the body, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Excessive exercise is when an individual works out for 3 or 4 hours every single day. Moreover, while there is nothing wrong with working out every day, when you do so for hours on end you put your body and organs under a lot of stress.
When you put too much physical stress on your body, you put yourself at risk for injury, a weakened immune system, and insomnia. You may also find that you get sick more frequently.
Of all the ways you should not go about losing weight, over-exercising is the one that can lead to some very serious injuries.
Instead of going to the gym for hours on end, consider finding a 30-minute, high-intensity workout that you can do 4 or 5 times a week.
Make sure it includes a combination of cardio and resistance training. Combine a regular workout routine with a healthy diet you will start to see your body transform in a relatively short amount of time.
Use Fad Diets
When it comes to fad diets there seems to be a new one every other day. You have the Tapeworm diet, the cabbage soup diet, baby food, grapefruit diet, fruit only, the one that has one cheat day where you stuff yourself, and a host of other diets that feature drastic, bizarre, and unsustainable methods for weight loss.
The problem with dieting is that people make the mistake of thinking it’s all about elimination, when in fact; it’s actually about changing habits from bad to good and living an overall healthy lifestyle.
In order for humans to properly function, we must get our nutrients from a variety of different sources. Whenever you eliminate an entire food group, you put yourself at risk for various deficiencies.
Instead of eating one particular food, or eliminating entire food groups, focus on eating a well-balanced diet. Include a small portion of a complex carb, healthy fat, and protein with every meal.
Also, when choosing an eating plan, make sure it’s right for you and your lifestyle choices. It should be one that you can turn into a lifestyle choice, not just a passing phase.
Refrain from trying quick and risky eating plans that will prove dangerous to your health. If unsure or confused about what’s right for you, talk to your doctor.
Use Extreme Detox and Cleanses
Getting rid of harmful toxins and processed chemicals is a great idea, but done via a diet that hasn’t been health certified is another matter. While cleansing may help you shed a couple of pounds, the truth is, you’re only losing water and not actual fat.
In the process, you’re subjecting your body to vitamin deficiencies, heart palpitations, hair fall, mood swings, and abdominal pain.
All of that plus the fact that you’ll eventually gain back the weight you lost, if not more. Moreover, there are medical experts who aren’t fully convinced that these plans actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health in any way.
5 Major Problems With Fad Diets
The Stanford University-sponsored website, Wellsphere, reports that a mere 5% of people who actually lose weight on a crash diet will be able to keep it off.
According to the Oxford Dictionary,
“Fad: an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.”
Just looking at what the word fad means should let you know that a fad diet probably isn’t something you want to do. However, if entering onto a short-lived and without basis diet is something that you are considering, here are five major problems that may dissuade you.
Fad diets can cause nutritional deficiencies. In fact, they can cause nutritional deficiencies pretty quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Some people insist that the cabbage soup diet offers everything you need to survive when in fact it does not. If you’re looking for quality nutrition so that your body can function at its peak, a fad diet is not going to provide it to you.
Hydration is one of the most important things that you can do for your body. Moreover, water is an element of almost all cellular functions. Since water is so important any idea, diet, medication, an exercise that depletes your water should be done with care. If you can’t replenish your water due to a fad diet, you run a serious risk of chronic dehydration.
The majority of weight loss on fad diets is water weight. Reader’s Digest easily illustrates that when water weight is shed to quickly rapid dehydration occurs your body burns calories and excess weight in stages so you can’t force rapid weight loss. If you see that you’ve dropped 5 pounds in three days, you’re now dehydrated!
Kidney Stones And Gout
The University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences wants you to know that fad diets that promote ultra-low carbohydrate content can lead to the formation of kidney stones and gout.
Kidney stones are due to a buildup in calcium oxalate in the body and often occur when a low-carb diet or is not properly hydrated. Gout is a buildup of uric acid in the body and can cause painful inflammation in the joints. If you do have a medically ordered low-carb diet make sure, you’re following your healthcare provider’s instructions, or you could end up in the hospital.
They Are Not Sustainable
According to HealthResearchFunding.org, the average American adult tries some type of fad diet 4 times per year.
Remember the definition of a fad? A short-lived and without basis on the quality craze. That should have been the big red warning that a fad diet isn’t one you can stick to.
The Huffington Post points out that nutritionist Fiona Tuck says, “Sustainability of this diet is questionable. To severely restrict calories for two days a week for the rest of your life may be hard especially when eating out or over holiday periods.”
Fiona is talking about the 5:2 protocol of intermittent fasting where people choose two days out of the week not to eat. This is a typical fad diet because long-term fasting can cause crankiness and irritability. When not combined with the right diet it is almost impossible to fast two days out of the week.
Signs Of Disaster
Fad diets can be worse for some people than others. Unfortunately, many people will end up with some of these disaster symptoms when entering a fad diet. The symptoms shouldn’t be taken lightly as they may indicate electrolyte deficiencies, calorie deficient, dehydration, or other medical issues. If you experience any of the following while on a fad diet you should immediately stop and consult your physician.
- Muscle Cramps
- Mood Changes
- Severe Constipation or Diarrhea
- Constant Hunger
Everyday Health recommends that all diet-related questions be addressed by a physician or nutritionist. It is important to understand the health risks involved when attempting a fad diet.
Your health and life are far more important than eating cookies to lose weight. Fad diets should be taken lightly and any diet change should be consulted with your doctor.
Dangers And Pitfalls Of Diet Pills
Nowadays, people trying to lose weight are bombarded with several types of weight loss products — pills, drinks, supplements, and meal replacements.
Some of these products make grand claims that in many cases are not backed up by science — absorb the fat in the food so that your body doesn’t, or clean your body of toxins, or reduce your appetite are some of the claims made. However, they may have dangerous effects on your health. For starters, weight loss supplements and medications are different.
Weight loss medication is prescribed by doctors in very specific cases to patients who need to lose weight for medical reasons. They are also used together with a comprehensive weight loss and workout plan. These meds are regulated and often only sold under prescription.
Weight Loss Drug Classification
FDA-approved weight loss pills can be classified as:
Anorexiants, or appetite suppressants. They act in the part of the brain that controls how full you feel after eating. Some common of the side effects of anorexiants include higher blood pressure, headaches, blurred vision, and insomnia. Moreover, since some of these medications are amphetamine-related, they may cause dependence.
Lipase inhibitors. Instead of working on your brain to control appetite, these drugs help prevent the absorption of fat. Common side effects include gas, soft stools, fecal urgency
or incontinence, and oily spotting. More serious side effects such as liver damage may also occur.
The Mayo Clinic reports these drugs may help obese patients who have tried to lose weight by diet and exercise alone, without much success.
Weight Loss Supplements
Contrarily, supplements are not regulated. According to a 2005 publication by the University of Colorado Hospital, the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act allows companies to market and sell their diet pills without government regulations.
In other words, you cannot know if the product does what it says it does or what ingredients it has. For example, the University of Colorado Hospital publication cites studies that show up to 30% of weight loss supplement bottles are labeled incorrectly.
This lack of transparency in weight loss supplements makes it hard for you to assess what it may do to your body and what results in you may get. This, in turn, increases the danger to your health.
For example, some supplements may contain banned ingredients such as fenfluramine or sibutramine. Both drugs were banned in the United States for their dangerous side effects, which include serious heart valve damage, heart attack, and strokes.
The other issue you may encounter with weight loss drugs is unrealistic promises. Marketing for some of these drugs tries to sell their products as miracle weight loss pills. For instance, they may claim to make you lose several pounds per week eating whatever you want and without physical activity.
However, these claims only put you and your health in danger. Even if you’re considering taking weight-loss drugs, choose a safe diet plan based on a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
If you’re considering a diet that requires you to take a supplement, talk to your doctor first, and ask yourself:
Is this product regulated?
Are the labels clear? What ingredients does it have and how may they affect you?
What are the side effects of this drug? Are there any potential interactions with any drugs you’re already taking?
Are the pills the main focus of the diet? Or does it promote healthy habits and safe, long-term weight loss?
Regulated weight loss medication may help obese patients who are not losing weight as fast as expected. However, using these drugs should always be monitored by a doctor due to the side effects and complications they may have.
Unregulated supplements maybe even more dangerous, and it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking any of these drugs.
Yo-Yo Dieting Pitfalls
According to Livestrong, while at least 45 million people are on some diet, 68% of adults age twenty and older are still overweight or obese – one contributing factor to this discrepancy is rebound dieting, where weight is regained once whatever current diet is being used is over.
Think back, how many diets have you tried? Too many to count?
Yo-yo dieting is a pattern by which an individual goes on a diet, regains the weight they lost, and then goes on another diet. This pattern causes your weight to go up and down like a yo-yo. Hence, the name yo-yo dieting.
6 Reasons Yo-Yo Dieting Is Bad News
Can Increase Body Fat Percentage
Some studies show that yo-yo dieting can lead to an increase in body fat percentage. When your body weight fluctuates at such an inconsistent pace, your body starts to hold on to fat in an effort to keep you safe.
A review published in the US National Library of Medicine showed that out of 19 studies, 11 featured individuals with a history of yo-yo dieting who were more likely to have higher belly fat measures and body fat percentages.
Your Appetite Increases and You Gain More Weight
When you’re dieting leptin levels, start to decrease due to fat loss. Generally speaking, this is what will help you feel full. When conditions in your body are normal, and you are not dieting, leptin will be released into your bloodstream via fat stores. This will tell your body there are energy stores available which will in turn signal to your brain to eat less.
As you continue to lose fat, leptin levels will continue to decrease. This will result in an increase in your appetite. When you are constantly going on and off short-term diets, your leptin levels will be out of whack and you will end up gaining more weight over time.
Can Lead To a Fatty Liver
Anytime your body stores excess fat in your liver cells it results in a fatty liver. If you are obese, you are at risk of developing a fatty liver.
One of the biggest contributors to a fatty liver is constant changes to the way fats and sugars are metabolized in the liver. This usually happens when an individual is a serial yo-yo dieter.
Increases Your Risk Of Diabetes
Those who yo-yo diet have a greater chance of developing diabetes. More specifically, they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
This is in large part due to how weight is regained. Yo-yo dieters tend to regain their weight in the stomach area. Excess belly fat is one of the leading causes of diabetes. Diabetes is more likely in those who yo-yo diet and end up weighing more than when they first started.
Muscle Loss Is Highly Likely
Anytime you go on a diet, you will lose both muscle and fat. The problem is when you yo-yo diet you are constantly in a state of gaining and losing weight. In addition, because it is easier to gain fat than muscle, you end up losing even more muscle over time.
What’s worse is the fact that you will also lose physical strength as a result of muscle loss. To prevent muscle loss it is best to stop yo-yo dieting and start incorporating strength training in your workout regimen.
Increases Your Risk of Heart Disease Many studies link yo-yo dieting with coronary artery disease. When you have coronary artery disease, it means the arteries that supply your heart have become narrow. A study done on over 9500 adults showed that dramatic weight loss and weight gain puts you at greater risk for developing heart disease. Another review showed that large variations in weight gain and weight loss can double one’s chances of dying due to heart disease. Yo-yo dieters tend to have constant fluctuations in weight, which is why they are at greater risk of heart disease.
The Dangers Of Eating Disorders
According to HealthResearchFunding.org, Australian research finds that young girls who use extreme diets are 18x more likely to suffer from an eating disorder within 6 months.
When it comes to weight loss, each person needs to tailor their strategy to accommodate their lifestyle, health, and preferences. But unfortunately, many people rely on unhealthy weight loss methods that may seriously harm their health. In addition, on the very extreme end of these unhealthy weight loss methods are eating disorders.
The Mayo Clinic defines eating disorders as “serious conditions related to persistent eating behaviors that negatively impact your health, your emotions, and your ability to function in important areas of life.”
While teenage girls and young women are at higher risk of developing an eating disorder, men of all ages are not exempt from suffering from these conditions.
Purging might not necessarily involve only vomiting but could include the abuse of laxatives, and extreme exercising.
Connie Diekman, a director of nutrition at the St Louis campus of the University of Washington, told WebMD, ”These unhealthy and unsafe problems are not uncommon on college campuses, poses serious health risks, and are the first steps in the development of eating disorders.”
Binging and purging is not restricted to college-age women. Neither is it limited to women. According to helpguide.org, an online guide to mental health, it can affect men and women of all ages.
Binging and purging is the hallmark of most (85% to 90%) cases of bulimia, according to WebMD. Bulimia is one of three classified eating disorders along with anorexia nervosa and binge eating.
It is characterized by eating copious amounts of food very quickly, which is then compensated through throwing up, using laxatives, or extreme exercise. Sufferers say they feel out of control and they keep it secret out of shame.
Most Common Eating Disorders
The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating
Anorexia nervosa, or simply anorexia, is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight paired with similarly extreme efforts to control their weight. People with anorexia drastically reduce their food intake, adopt extreme diets, or never eat at all.
Bulimia nervosa, commonly called bulimia, presents episodes of binging and purging. People suffering from this disorder often feel a lack of control over their eating, which leads them to overeat, followed by attempts to get rid of the extra calories. They may purge, over-exercise, or use other methods like laxatives.
Binge eating. Unlike bulimia, binge eating disorder does present episodes of excessive eating, but they are not followed by purging or excessive exercise.
In the United States, at least 30% of people of all genders and ages suffer from an eating disorder, and these conditions have the highest mortality rates among mental illnesses. For example, 20% of all people who receive treatment for an eating disorder never recover.
The Serious Consequences Of Eating Disorders
Starvation has very serious consequences for health, including possible death
WebMD reports that throwing up after binging on food is likely to fuel unhealthy cravings, damages your teeth, esophagus, and stomach, and can cause serious dehydration and even death from related health complications. Purging, says WebMD,
can seriously damage your body. “The contents of your stomach, it says, are meant to stay in your stomach, where it is prepared for digestion and absorption by stomach acid, which is very strong and is not meant to be regurgitated. Vomit that is extremely acidic can erode the esophagus and mouth as well as the enamel on your teeth.
Regular vomiting or laxative abuse can also lead to fluid loss and dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, like a shortage of potassium.
They may severely reduce calorie intake. Fasting and purging, combined with vigorous exercise, may deprive the body of the necessary calories it needs to function. As a result, metabolism lowers, and the patient may show low mood, fatigue, and heart problems.
May worsen medical conditions. For example, inconsistent food intake may worsen conditions like type 2 diabetes by creating blood sugar spikes.
Eating disorders may continue after the ideal weight has been attained. Instead of aiming for a healthy weight and following a plan to maintain that weight after it has been reached, a person with an eating disorder will continue trying to lose more and more weight past healthy ranges.
Eating disorders are linked to mental health issues. The precise causes for eating disorders are not known, but they coexist with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and distorted body image, and substance abuse. These, combined with the medical problems created by eating disorders, impair the person’s life at all levels.
For eating disorder patients, trying to lose weight after recovery can be challenging. Otherwise, normal activities in a weight loss program, such as weighting and counting calories, may be triggering for recovering eating disorder patients.
Ideally, they need to be aware of how losing weight in a healthy way looks like, for example:
Promotes a varied diet with many types of foods
Does not encourage patients to starve themselves to lose weight
Incorporates moderate amounts of exercise
Helps patients maintain a healthy weight
So, together with healthy weight loss programs that promote lifestyle changes instead of dangerous eating habits, people who are in recovery could benefit from having an honest discussion with their doctor. With the help of a medical professional, these patients can focus on goals other than a number on a scale.
Drastic Weight Loss Plans Will Not Yield Sustainable Results
According to HealthResearchFunding.org,
65% of those who finish a fad diet regain all the weight AND more than 95% dieters relapse from a diet in 5 years or less.
The Centers For Disease Control report,
2/3 of all American adults are dieting at any given time with the goals of losing weight or preventing weight gain but only 5% of these dieters will keep off any of the weight they lose.
When it comes to weight loss, experts recommend steady, long-term plans. Moreover, they recommend people to stay away from fad diets and programs that make unrealistic promises like dramatic weight loss in a short time with very little effort.
There’s a very good reason for this — rapid weight loss may have negative effects on your health.
For starters, crash diets slow down your metabolism. Which, in turn, makes it hard for you to lose more weight and maintain your weight loss over time. The Obesity Action Coalition explains that a drastic reduction of calorie intake makes your body think it’s being starved. To protect itself from losing any more weight, your body slows down your metabolism.
But since crash diets tend to be too restrictive and hard to follow, it’s common for people to inevitably break their diets, at which point they go back to eating “as usual,” and so no lasting effect can be gained. This combined with a slowed-down metabolism makes people not only regain any weight they might have lost. It also causes more weight gain.
However, there are other, more concerning the effects of rapid weight loss. According to WebMD, “rapid weight loss creates physical demands on the body,” which may create an array of health issues such as:
Gallstones. They occur in 12% to 25% of patients who lose large amounts of weight over several months. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Issues notes that the risk of gallstones increases when people lose more than 3 pounds per week.
Dehydration. With extreme diets, many people reduce their water intake as well as their calorie intake. This may cause dehydration.
Malnutrition. Extreme diets often restrict the types of foods or macronutrients you’re allowed to consume. Reducing the variety of foods as well as your calorie intake puts you at risk of not getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes are substances your cells use to carry electrical impulses within themselves and to other cells. Sodium, potassium, and calcium are some of the electrolytes your body needs to function correctly. Extreme diets may reduce your electrolyte levels, putting you at risk of symptoms like muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
According to an article by CNN, crash diets may also cause heart problems. For example, it describes the case of a 55-year-old man who began experiencing heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and a sensation similar to a heart attack after engaging in a very low-calorie diet and vigorous exercise.
Another important aspect to consider is preexisting conditions. Crash diets may be particularly harmful to diabetics because changes in diet and low food intake will affect your blood sugar.
In this case, you’d need to monitor your blood sugar levels more often and adjust your medication, which you may need to do under your doctor’s supervision. Other effects of fad
diets, like an increase in cholesterol and blood pressure, may have additional negative effects on someone with diabetes.
While some dramatic programs like very-low-calorie diets may benefit some people. With proper monitoring from a medical professional, very low-calorie, diets can bring short-term benefits to obese patients who need to lose weight for health reasons. In all other cases, however, what doctors recommend is progressive weight loss through lifestyle changes, such as improving diet and exercising.
Experts define a successful weight loss plan by a loss of at least 10% of your body fat sustained for at least one year. To achieve this safely, you need to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week.
Any weight loss program that promises fast results without dieting or exercise, that promotes the use of pills, cleanses and extreme diets are not effective long term because they slow down your metabolism and make it hard to lose more weight.
More importantly, they may cause an array of health problems that may be easily prevented by adopting sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes to promote safe weight loss.
Characteristics Of Safe and Smart Diet Plans
With so many diets around, it’s important to choose a weight loss plan that will help you reach your goals safely and be sustainable for the long-term, but you might be wondering – what does a healthy weight loss plan look like, anyway? But what does a safe diet look like? Luckily, it’s easy to find a safe diet plan that will suit your goals, lifestyle, and health.
Let’s see what the experts say about it.
First, the Mayo Clinic suggests four characteristics of a balanced weight loss plan:
Flexibility – The foods in your diet plan should
be varied and easy to find.
Balance – The diet should include different food groups instead of relying heavily on a few foods.
Likeability – Make sure the meal plans consist of foods you’d like to eat long-term.
Activity – Physical exercise should be included in every weight-loss plan. It keeps you healthy, prevents heart disease and diabetes, and boosts your weight loss efforts.
WebMD adds other useful suggestions to what makes a weight-loss plan safe.
It should be created by accredited professionals. Do some research about who created the program. Are they medical professionals? What are their credentials and experience?
It should promote a steady weight loss. As we mentioned before, avoid diets that promise fast results with little effort.
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It should include portion control and snacks between meals. A healthy diet plan should not leave you hungry all the time.
It should include your favorite foods in small portions. Banishing your favorite foods forever will make it harder for you to stick to your diet. Instead, make sure your diet has room for the foods you like, albeit in small amounts (moderation!).
It should be based on science. Dedicate part of your research to finding studies that support the diets’ claims. Make sure you find these studies from reputable sources.
It should include a maintenance plan. It’s important to choose a weight-loss plan that is made for long-term results.
It should recommend drinking plenty of water. Drinking enough water is actually beneficial not just to your health, but also to your weight loss plans. A 2010 study cited by WebMD (Brenda Davy) shows that people who drank two cups of water before every meal lost 4 more pounds over 12 weeks than the group who didn’t drink water.
The Michigan Health and Wellness website proposes that any diet should be either supervised or created by a certified professional–a doctor or a dietitian with experience in weight loss and behavioral modification. In fact, your very first step should be to talk to your doctor if you’re planning to lose weight. Talking to your doctor is also important because you need to take into account any health issues you may have, like type 2 diabetes, allergies, high cholesterol, Celiac disease, or any other condition.
Fad diets promise amazing results in very little time with little effort. However, the truth is, losing weight requires the commitment to acquire new, healthier habits like a more nutritious, balanced diet, and regular physical activity.
A safe weight loss plan should be based on three key aspects — healthy eating, physical activity, and behavior changes. In other words, a safe weight loss plan should help you replace unhealthy habits with better choices for your health.
A Balanced Eating Plan
Diets that require you to drastically cut your calories are the types of diets you should stay away from. A good diet, meaning one that will promote healthy, long-term weight loss, should be centered on a well-balanced eating plan.
Always remember that a safe diet will never require you to eliminate an entire food group or eat large quantities of one particular food. Instead, it will include proper amounts of nutrients from the various food groups.
Following a diet long-term is key to keeping the weight off. To avoid being one of the 80% of people who quit their diet within three months, choose a diet that does not exclude entire food groups and has room for your favorite foods in moderation. The longer you stick to your new, healthier habits, the better results you’ll see over time.
A healthy diet is not a restrictive diet. When a diet forbids you to eat certain foods that is a diet that will almost always end in failure.
Losing weight is not about eating chicken and broccoli all day. You can eat really delicious food and still lose weight
A successful diet gives you a great deal of flexibility with your diet. Yes, it is important for you to eat healthy foods, but it is also okay to indulge in your favorite junk food every now and then.
As with all things, the key is moderation. As long as you don’t go overboard you have nothing to worry about.
Every successful weight loss program should include some form of physical activity. When you combine healthy eating with exercise, that’s when you start to see amazing results in a relatively short period of time.
The good news is you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get great results. An intense, 30-minute workout 4 times a week is all you need to start seeing your body change.
In addition, the great thing about physical activity is it does much more than just changes your physical appearance. When you exercise, you strengthen your cardiovascular system and reduce your risk for health issues such as heart attacks, heart disease, and diabetes.
Those who exercise on a regular basis are also more likely to maintain their weight loss.
A safe weight loss program should also include a maintenance plan to keep the weight off. The maintenance plan may include meal plans and appointments with your doctor or dietitian.
A healthy, safe diet will set achievable goals. For example, a reasonable goal is to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) per week with a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise.
Choosing a weight loss program you like is more important than you realize. If you hate going to the gym and you choose a program that requires you to lift weights 7 days a week, the chances of you sticking with that program are slim to none.
Any diet you choose should be flexible enough to fit your lifestyle and preferences. For example, if you’re thinking about following the Keto diet (very low in carbohydrates and high in fat) but you enjoy eating fruits and vegetables more than meat and fatty foods, you will have a hard time sticking with it.
Choosing a program you like will increase your chances of sticking to it, which means you, are more likely to lose weight. Following a diet, long-term is key to keeping the weight off. To avoid being in the 80% of people who quit their diet within three months, choose a diet that does not exclude entire food groups, and has room for your favorite foods in moderation. The longer you stick to your new, healthier habits, the better results you’ll see over time.
In addition, you need to be honest with yourself about your limits. A diet may require you to buy more expensive foods, spend even more time at the gym, or go to regular appointments with a dietitian. Do you have the time or resources to follow that diet? Choosing a weight loss plan that adapts to your particular circumstances will make it easier for you to follow it.
Your budget is another aspect to consider and he upfront and hidden costs of different diet plans.
How often does a program require you to visit a weight loss center or clinic?
Is the diet asking you to switch to different, more expensive foods, or to particular brands?
Does it require you to buy vitamins or supplements?
Your Lifestyle Is Key
The key to sustained weight loss is to choose a plan that combines healthy eating habits and physical activity. However, there’s a catch – regardless of what diet plan you choose, the most important thing is to stick with it over time, after all, the greatest measure of weight loss success is sustainability.
This might be the trickiest part of choosing your weight-loss plan. On the one hand, you’ll have to change some not-so-healthy habits, like cutting down on fast food or sugary drinks and working out more.
On the other hand, you don’t want to adopt a diet that’s too different from your current lifestyle. If you try to make too many changes in your diet and workout routines too fast, you might feel overwhelmed and not follow up on your diet for too long.
A study by The Journal of the American Medical Association cited by Harvard Health Publishing found that people who stuck with their weight-loss plan lost the same amount of weight, regardless of the diet they chose. It also found that those with more restrictive and extreme diets were more likely to stop following their plans.
So, do consider your lifestyle and habits before starting a new diet. For instance:
How much time do you have to exercise every day?
Are the meal plans compatible with your food preferences?
Does the plan require you to buy special foods?
Are the meal plans too strict or too flexible for your taste?
Is the diet asking you to make drastic changes to your routine?
Think of your habits, your schedule, and your preferences, and adopt a health plan that suits your needs without turning your life upside down. Changing your eating habits is the best place to start, and solidifying these habits will ensure that you can not only take the weight off but also keep it off for the rest of your life.
You can lose weight without harming your health, your budget, or your lifestyle. A safe weight-loss plan adapts to your preferences and helps you improve your eating and exercise habits.
Now that you know what a safe diet looks like, it’ll be easier for you to make smart decisions about your weight loss journey.
Start by talking to your doctor, and keep in mind that the safest diets are the ones created to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular physical activity.
5 Key Tips For Safe And Smart Weight Loss
In order to deal with the weight loss problem effectively and successfully, we must divide it conveniently into two segments: the state of mind and the state of the body.
Most common reasons weight loss fails
While the mind does control the body, people who have weight issues soon discover that the body also has power over the mind. It is a symbiotic relationship, and thus should be treated as a whole. However, for the sake of understanding and developing a tactical approach, each should be dealt with with a specific method or method.
1. Lose weight for the right reasons
When we talk about reasons weight loss fails in terms of having the wrong state of mind, one obvious presumption that people have all the wrong reasons, to begin with.
These reasons are usually the desire to be liked by others (looks), not to be embarrassed in public, to attract romantic relationships, and so on. While these reasons in and of themselves are not wrong, they are not the right ones to focus on when starting a weight loss regime.
The reason they soon fail is that even if our desire to be liked is strong, it is hardly stronger than our hunger or desire for enjoying a good meal. People who starve themselves for the sake of being liked by other people, soon remember that they like enjoying food much more than they depend on other people’s opinions. At least until the hunger is sated.
Therefore, being liked by other people should be completely neglected when starting a weight loss regime, and viewed as only a bonus on successful completion of the goal. True and permanent weight loss success typically happens when we do it for ourselves.
2. Know yourself and your body
The decisions to lose weight often come suddenly and out of desperation, and they are directed as a harsh punishment to oneself. What people who do this soon discover is that you cannot be your own punisher because as the punishment came lightly so shall the denial of the same come soon after because they are both given by the same person – yourself.
In order to do anything successfully, one must work together with him or herself, rather than against himself or herself. The same goes for when we try to punish our body and deny it the satisfaction of indulging its cravings. It only leads to an almost sadistic relation towards our bodies, and inevitably fails in the same way the previous attempt did.
3. Stop seeking A Magic Pill
The obvious mistake that one can make in this respect is to seek a quick and easy way, a sort of a ‘magic pill’ solution to the overweight problem. This is what the fad diet market feeds on and is the hallmark of the yo-yo dieting phenomenon and what keeps most people from true success, which is not only taking the weight off but also keeping it off long-term.
The truth is that lasting and permanent weight loss can only be achieved through effort and time. Lasting habit changes that are instilled and solidified bring lasting results. Just as it took a lifetime of habits to put the weight on, it will take time to take it off and keep it off for life.
4. Find healthy substitutes
We all have our favorite foods, but there are hundreds of modifications that make recipes and foods that are not so healthy, healthier, and lower in calories. For example, lettuce-wrapped burgers, save major carbs and calories. Baking with apple sauce instead of butter works too. Almond flour replaces white flour. Pizza is much healthier when using a Portobello mushroom instead of a traditional crust. Do your research and start to make these substitutions in your meal plans.
5. Stop dieting and start living!
This is so simple but so profound. Diets only keep you from your ultimate goal, this cannot be said often or strongly enough. Think of permanent diet habits and lifestyle changes, period.
5 Smart Weight-Loss Decisions For Long-Term Success
1. Don’t call it a diet
Losing weight is as much about what you put in your head as you do in your mouth. The first thing to do is to ditch the idea you’re going on a diet. WebMD explains that diets have a beginning and an end. Successful weight-loss strategies must take a longer-term view; you should commit to a lifelong healthier lifestyle. As the Mayo Clinic says, your diet needs to focus not just on losing weight but becoming healthier overall.
The Mayo Clinic’s own diet, it says, focuses on “reshaping your body as well as your lifestyle by adopting healthy habits and breaking unhealthy ones.” Think of your diet as healthy eating; and making healthy food choices, not as dieting.
2. Calories count
According to the American Heart Association, weight loss is a matter of changing the balance of calories. To lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat. 1 pound is equal to about 3,500 calories, so to lose 1pound per week, you consume 500 fewer calories a day.
However, if you consume too few calories, your weight-loss plan is doomed to fail since deprivation is unsustainable. You should become familiar with how many calories your favorite foods contain and start checking nutrition labels in stores.
Dietitians from WebMD and the Mayo Clinic advise you to eat a variety of foods to benefit from a wide range of nutrients. You can’t eat just cake and expect to lose weight, even if your calorie count is correct. They also advise that portion control is important. You don’t have to eat everything put in front of you. Remember it is always advisable to consult a dietitian or doctor before beginning on a calorie-restricted diet.
Sorry, you can’t get away from it. To burn calories, you must exercise. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you think of it as physical activity, not as exercise. It can mean anything from taking a brisk walk around the block during your lunch hour to gardening or mowing the lawn ─ with a push mower, not a tractor mower.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average healthy adult needs at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each day. A good plan, the association suggests, is thirty to sixty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every day. However, don’t go full throttle in the beginning. Start gently and slowly build up fitness.
If you start out at full speed, you’re likely to run out of fuel very quickly. It’s all about making small, incremental changes and incorporating them into your lifestyle. One useful tip from the AHA is to break up your physical activity in 10-minute chunks. It must also be about having fun. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to give up.
4. Get friendly with your scale
According to the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks successful weight-loss maintenance among thousands of members across the US, the clear majority (75%) weigh themselves once a week.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics agrees, saying that stepping on a scale is important for staying on track. WebMD advises you to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten anything and after you have emptied your bladder.
Almost every nutritional expert advises people who are beginning a weight-loss program to keep a food diary or journal. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says journaling encourages positive reinforcement and keeping a food and activity log promotes mindfulness, provides accountability, and motivates making better food choices.
WebMD adds that journaling will help you detect your emotional triggers for eating. Moreover, according to the AHA, a food diary will help you understand when you overeat and why.
10 Biggest Weight Loss Myths Busted
Everyone is trying to eat healthier. When trying to get healthy there can be a lot of misleading information. These are the top 10 biggest weight loss and nutrition myths.
1. The Right Diet Will Help You Lose Weight
Diets don’t work! Think lifestyle plan! The most effective way to lose weight is through regular exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet. There is nothing on this planet that will help you lose weight and most important keep it off for the rest of your life as making profound habit changes in diet, so don’t be tempted by drastic measures, hacks, or cheats that can compromise your overall health and wellbeing.
2. Discipline And Willpower Is Key To Weight Loss
Actually, it is more important to improve your relationship with food and change unhealthy habits. White knuckling is suffering, and this is hardly sustainable for the long-term.
3. You Have To Give Up Your Favorite Foods to Lose Weight
This is one that almost everyone buys into. However, this is a myth. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease notes that eating in moderation is a much better plan. If you feel deprived, you are less likely to stick with healthy eating. Deprivation is never the answer, moderation is!
4. All Dietary Fat Is Bad For You
Healthy fats are necessary for energy, to rebuild cells and produce hormones, and no, healthy fats do not make you fat.
5. You Should Always Eat Breakfast
New research in clinical nutrition is showing that people who skip breakfast don’t have stalled weight loss. In fact, weight loss is not statistically different from those who eat breakfast every day. According to the Huffington Post when people skipped breakfast, they didn’t have any negative effects on their resting metabolism. So, if you’re not a breakfast person, don’t eat it.
6. You Can Eat All Fat-Free Food Without Gaining Weight
Fat-free is not calorie-free. You cannot forget about controlling your portion size, says WebMD. It all boils down to the simple equation: if you eat more calories than you burn, you will put on weight.
7. Eating Fat Makes You Fat
This seems to follow a logical line of reasoning, but with nutritional science, we are learning the body’s metabolism isn’t logical, what makes you fat is eating more calories than you burn. Fats can actually ensure heart health, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Sure, fat is high in calories, but dietitians agree that some (good) fat is necessary for any well-balanced diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, fat is essential for some vitamins to dissolve. WebMD says eating good fat also gives you energy; helps rebuild cells and produce hormones. Of course, if you eat too much fat you will put on weight. The trick is in eating the right sort of dietary fat in moderation. These include Omega 3s found in fresh oily fish, and polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds avocados, canola oil, and olive oil. Avoid bad fats like trans fats and saturated fats, including butter and animal fats. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole tells the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that fat “adds to the satisfaction and pleasure of eating.” Moreover, if you were not satisfied, you’re likely to keep eating until you are. However, just because they’re good for you, doesn’t mean you can eat an unlimited amount of healthy fats. Eat them instead of bad fats not in addition to them.
8. Eating A Very Low-Calorie Diet Is Needed For Weight Loss
Losing weight is all about creating an energy deficit, says the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics: using more calories than you consume. However, creating too large a deficit can backfire. By restricting your calories too severely, your body will go into “famine” mode and adapt, using fewer calories to perform.
9. Working Out Guarantees Weight Loss
Most dietitians advise a well-balanced diet combined with exercise as a weight-loss program. However, according to WebMD, it is easy to overcompensate and consume more calories than you’ve burned. And just because the treadmill at the gym indicates you’ve burned 200 calories, doesn’t give you license to down a donut afterward. The tendency is for people to overestimate the number of calories they’ve burned and consume additional calories.
10. Don’t Eat After 8 PM
People are under the assumption that your digestive tract stops once you go to sleep. Your body digests and uses calories the same way whether it’s morning or night. Real Simple notes that people who are avoiding late-night eating simply because they think it affects their metabolism can enjoy their late dinners. The only reason to avoid late-night eating is to get rid of unhealthy snacks.
Easy Ways To Improve Your Diet Today
Eating a well-balanced diet needs to be more than a passing thing. Proper nutrition should be a lifestyle. Obesity is becoming such a concern that medical experts are starting to regard it as a national risk.
However, there are many, simple, straightforward changes you can do to how and what you eat that will provide you with a great taste without packing on the pounds.
Here are 5 ways to improve your diet today for a healthier you for years to come:
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and restores the flexibility of the arteries, thus protecting against heart disease. Dark chocolate also prevents white blood cells from attaching to blood vessel walls, which is the main cause of artery-clogging. Moreover, it also contains way less sugar than milk chocolate, which means it doesn’t pack on the pounds. You can enjoy a square or two in the afternoon for a quick pick-me-up because our blood sugar level drops in the afternoon and that’s the time when you start craving foods high in sugar and carbs.
2. Eat out of the bowl
When you pop open a bag of chips, it’s so much easier to lose count when you eat right out of the bag. Instead, what you should do is, pour some in a bowl, so you’ll know your limit, and rather than have the entire bag at your disposal, now your brain is okay with the fact that you’re only eating what’s in the bowl. Want an even better idea? Have popcorn instead of potato chips. Air-popped popcorn that’s been popped at home contains only 1g of fat and around 90 calories.
3. Don’t get distracted
TVs, phones, tablets, and computers – they’re all distractions that don’t allow you to focus on your meal. When you don’t practice mindfulness and focus on what you’re eating, you tend to eat 40% more calories. This is because your brain doesn’t process the act of eating so it doesn’t track how much food you’ve ingested.
In addition, while it takes you an average of about 20 minutes to start feeling full when you’re focusing on something else as you eat, those 20 minutes tend to get longer and that feeling of being full comes too late after you’ve eaten more than you should have. The southern islands of Japan adhere to a principle that says, “eat until you’re 80% full” and you can’t do that if you’re not paying close attention to what you’re eating.
4. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
Instead of drinking orange juice, eat an orange instead. The fruit contains more fiber and less sugar. What’s more, fruits and veggies give your what body what it needs in terms of minerals and nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants and the good thing about them is that they can be included in most anything.
Instead of buying fruit-flavored or fruit at the bottom yogurt, get plain Greek yogurt and add some cut up fresh fruit instead.
When you’re going through that afternoon slump, rather than getting something processed or sugary, why not enjoy a banana, apple, or even a mango?
They all contain the minerals you need to get you out of that mindless drift that happens to us late in the day, but without harming your health. Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables.
Now that you know what a safe diet looks like, it’ll be easier for you to make smart decisions about your weight loss journey. The most effective way to lose weight is through regular exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet. There is nothing on this planet that will help you lose weight and most important keep it off for the rest of your life as making profound habit changes in diet, so don’t be tempted by drastic measures, hacks, or cheats that can compromise your overall health and wellbeing. Start by talking to your doctor, and keep in mind that the safest diets are the ones created to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular physical activity.