Winning at the weight loss game can be a challenge, but there are a number of things that you can do to improve your odds for long-term success. Avoid these common dieting pitfalls, and you’ll skip the biggest potholes on the road to health.
Don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast. In fact, eat a better breakfast. Study after study shows that people who eat breakfast, and a balanced, complete meal at that, eat fewer, and better quality, calories throughout the day. Not only can it provide a psychological boost to anyone trying to lose weight, because by starting the day off with the right foods, you’ll be less inclined to mess up your pound-shedding efforts later, but eating a given number of calories earlier in the day tends to be more satiating, than eating the same number later in the day. Clearly, breakfast eaters are better losers!
Don’t cut out the carbs. At least not the favorable carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. While cutting out highly refined, “white” foods is healthful, long-term losers tend to eat balanced meals, complete with wholesome carbohydrates in appropriate quantities. Sure, you can lose water weight quickly by cutting out all carbohydrates, but you have a much greater chance of gaining it back even more quickly. Slow and steady wins the weight loss wars, so cut back [to appropriate portion sizes], but not out. Favorable carbs provide a steady stream of energy, fueling your body efficiently so that you can exercise and do the heavy brainwork all day long.
Don’t lose perspective. Keep yourself focused by establishing short, medium and long-range goals. And write them down – before you forget how you plan to measure your weight loss successes. Otherwise, you may not recognize or remember how far you’ve come!
Don’t isolate yourself. Remember that old axiom “Birds of a feather flock together”, and reach out for social support. Numerous studies show people who reach out and talk to others not only lose weight faster, but also keep it off longer.
Don’t deprive yourself of everything you enjoy. Doing so will only make it more enticing, and you’ll be more likely to eat in excess when you give in to temptation. Make food your friend, by allowing yourself occasional treats and compensating for the calories through exercise or more scrupulous efforts the following day. Deprivation can be deadly to a diet.