By January 22, 2012

What You Should Never Do When You’re Trying to Diet

Dieting can be hard work. A lot of people resort to extremes in order to see quick results, thinking that this will allow them to get the diet over with faster. In truth, overzealous diets are typically doomed to fail from the beginning.

Depriving yourself of all the foods you love is the worst diet mistake you can make. This is setting yourself up for defeat. This doesn’t mean you have to go nuts and spend the day with a gallon of ice cream and a baked ham. Don’t go crazy with it, and the term “crazy” can go either way when it comes to diets. Don’t eat too much, using the excuse of “but this is my favorite food!” and don’t try to convince yourself that you can give it up entirely, either; when it’s something you love. Find a good middle ground for your diet. An extreme in either direction will shut your diet down. Try to find a balance between deprivation and pigging out.

You have to give yourself some elbow room when trying to diet, just like any other difficult and long term project. Maybe give yourself one day a week in which you don’t diet. Again, don’t overdo it and ruin everything you worked on the last six days. But giving yourself one day a week in which you can have a little freedom will make the other six so much easier.

Always remember not to starve yourself. Find out what kinds of food you can eat that will fill you up without filling you out. Lots of diets allow for all you can eat salad; assuming you don’t drown it in ranch, cheese and bacon bits. Just don’t let your stomach growl all the time, and think that the sound of starving yourself is helping.

Not only is depriving yourself of food entirely an extremely dangerous tactic in its own right, but a lot of people don’t realize that this extreme method doesn’t even help with your diet. Your body knows when it’s being starved, and it has natural reactions that will occur to prevent total starvation. Your body will grind your metabolism to a screeching halt. If you body is made to think that it’s being starved to death, it will start clinging to every little piece of food you give it and turn it into pure fat to sustain itself.

It’s for this same reason that purging doesn’t work, either. When you induce vomiting, your body sends itself a message that there is never enough food in the stomach. So as an adaptation to sustain life, it will slow down all fat-burning and gather up as much fat as possible as fast as possible.

Extreme diet tactics never work. And some of them can be very dangerous. Getting yourself healthy and looking good should be an uplifting experience, not a miserable one.

The secret to long term weight loss is a healthy diet; not a diet that deprives you of every food you enjoy.