Losing excess weight is a great way to thank your body for keeping you alive. What isn’t a great way to thank your body is losing weight in unhealthy ways. Read this article to learn how you can lose weight in a way your body will thank you for. Remember, these are just general guidelines. Be sure to talk to you doctor about your specific health concerns before beginning this or any other diet or exercise routine. 

1. Cheat Days

Although it sounds like a treat, cheat days often lead to over indulgence and can be more counterproductive than you think.

In fact, one day of binge eating can have serious, potentially lasting, repercussions on your body.  Eating excessive amounts of highly fatty foods may reduce your body’s insulin sensitivity. This means your body may also have a harder time absorbing blood sugar and converting it to energy.

If the anticipation of a cheat day keeps you motivated throughout the week, consider having a cheat meal instead of an entire cheat day. Allowing yourself a smaller indulgence, and keeping the portion size down, will help ensure you don’t overindulge and counteract your week’s-worth of gains.

2. Calorie Counting

While weight loss is the result of expending more calories than you take in, it’s not that cut and dry. The FDA generally allows for a 20% margin of error on nutrition labels. This means that if you pick up a 200-calorie snack, it may really have as low as 160 calories, or could be as high as 240. Therefore, when you count calories you may be wrong more often than not.

Counting calories also takes your focus off of the food’s nutritional benefits, or lack thereof, and puts your focus on the numbers. For example, 12 gummi bears, 4 large marshmallows, 100 radishes, and 1/3 of an avocado may all have approximately 100 calories (give or take 20%, right?). If you’re just focusing on calorie count, all of these foods are equal in value. However, they are not equal in nutritional value. While you’re probably not going to grab 100 radishes next time you’re hungry for a snack, marshmallows probably aren’t the healthiest option either.

3. Scale Obsession

It’s understandable to be curious about your weight, especially if you are interested in improving your health. While weight is a good point of reference for setting goals appropriate for your body’s individual composition, it can also be a huge distraction and discourager.

Diets are often accompanied with exercise plans, which often lead to muscle building. One pound of fat takes up more room on your body than one pound of muscle. So, while you could be replacing fat with muscle and trimming down, your scale doesn’t know the difference and seeing the static number could lead you to feeling like you aren’t making progress. This could lead to a downward spiral of giving up, or taking unhealthy measures to see the number drop.

4. Fear of Fats

Fats are the common enemy of weight loss, but their “bad guy” image is not as justified as you may think. We need fats to survive. The type of fat is what you need to be looking at.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be your friends. They’ve been linked to aiding in lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, decreasing bad LDL cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. These healthy fats may be found in avocados, olives, nuts, and peanut oils.

Generally speaking, trans fats and saturated fats are what you need to be weary of. They’re found in fried foods, packaged snack foods, pastries, red meat and dairy products. 

5. Not Recovering

It’s good to be motivated to lose weight, and combining diet with exercise is a great way to create a healthier lifestyle. Be cautious of overtraining, though. Your body needs time in between workouts to rest, repair, and strengthen. Talk to your doctor or educate yourself on understanding how taking a day off can actually help you reach your goals. 

6. Unreal Expectations

Much like allowing your body to recover, you need to allow your body time to adjust to the changes you’re making. If you’ve lowered your caloric intake or adopted a new exercise routine, allow your body some time to get used to it, and always talk to your doctor about any health and diet related concerns you may have. Weight loss spikes and plateaus are common while dieting, so don’t get discouraged and remember to be nice to your body

7. Not Listening to Your Body

Dieting can be a beneficial thing, but just remember, every body is unique. You need to listen to what your body is telling you and use that as your main guidance while dieting. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, and instead focus on always giving your body the voice it deserves.

Your body works for you 24/7 from the day you’re born, with no days off. Avoid Dieting’s 7 Deadliest Sins to make sure you’re doing your part to help your body help you.


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