Saturday, February 5, 2011

Avoiding the Diet Pitfalls

The weigh-in time is coming soon and I'll get to know the diet result of yet another long break and celebrations.  It's the time to 'balik kampung' and enjoy the home cooking of our beloved parents.  I see updates every now and then FB on how my friends were enjoying their time having holiday with their family members.   And I was there to spoil the mood of a few of them by reminding them not be such a glutton.  Or else, they'd have to have self-imposed penance of crash diet for one week. 

Crash diet is one of the common pitfalls of dieting as it will not have lasting result.  In fact it's detrimental to the whole idea of dieting.  I came across a list of habits that will wreck any dieting plan.  Here they are:  
Relying on Crash Diets
Decided to lose 10kgs fast, you turn to crash diets for no meal except fruits and vegetable or the famous 'liquid diet'.  You take less than 1,000 calories a day.  True enough, the extra weight goes away.  However, when you eat less calories, you train your metabolism to slowdown.  When the diet is over, your body is used to slow metabolism and you gain weight more than ever before
Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast sounds like an easy way to cut calorie but you end up having the hunger pang for the rest of the day.  Breakfasts that are high in protein and fiber can reduce hunger throughout the day.

Losing Track of Your Snacks
There is a difference between having more frequency of meals yet in small portion than having snacks in between meals.  The culprit has always been the free snacks being offered by colleagues at the office, cake from birthday party, goreng pisang by a colleague who just comes in from visiting clients, etc. All these snacks could sabotage a well planned diet

Not Snacking at All
Unplanned snacks can increase your waistline but thoughtful and planned snacks may do the opposite.  People who eat several small meals and snacks a day are more likely to control hunger and lose weight. Snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich. Nuts are a good, high-protein choice, and research suggests people who snack on nuts tend to be slimmer than those who don't.

Loading Up on Low-Fat
Low-fat products can play an important role in your diet. Just remember that low-fat isn't the same as low-calorie and it's not a license to take second and third helpings. If you pile your plate with low-fat cake, you may end up eating more calories than if you had a smaller slice of regular cake.

Sipping Too Many Calories
Personally, this is the biggest diet wrecker.  Some fancy coffees and alcoholic beverages have more than 500 calories. What's worse is that liquid calories don't curb hunger. You're not going to eat any less after a high-calorie drink.

Drinking Too Little Water
I am guilty of drinking less water in the office.  The cold air-cond in the office doesn't make me thirsty that fast. However, this is one of the simplest diet blunders to fix. Water is essential for burning calories. If you let yourself get dehydrated, your metabolism drags -- and that means slower weight loss

Weighing Yourself Every Day
Weighing yourself daily is not advisable and doesn't yield useful information. It's more important to look for a long-term trend with weekly weigh-ins. If your goal is to lose 1kg a week, you'll be satisfied to see those full-pound drops when you step on the scale. The result is more motivating that the confusing swings that may accompany daily weigh-ins.

Avoiding Exercise
When you don't exercise, you place the entire burden of weight loss on your diet. If you become more active, you can eat more of the things you like -- and still lose weight. The key is finding an exercise you enjoy. If the treadmill seems tedious, try hiking or cross training!   Spend time at different activities until you find one you want to do regularly 

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