Alright it’s the new year, and time for a new you. So you lace up those shoes, take up a diet, and get things moving. Only problem is, it’s been a couple weeks and you aren’t seeing much progress. Chances are you’ve fallen headlong into a bad habit and don’t even realize it. Well not to worry, here’s a list of the top 5 reasons your diet isn’t working!
You’re Drinking Too Many Calories
That Starbucks’ coffee in the morning may be the only thing keeping you going, but there is some real bad news lurking just inside that cup. Hundreds of calories from sugar and fat can be in each delicious beverage, and to make things worse, if your addicted (I love coffee too) then chances are you are drinking more than one every day. And that’s not even mentioning soda, which even a small can has 250 calories! You may not realize it, but your body sure does, all that extra energy gets stored as fat, and it can easily add up to a thousand calories a day. From here on out, make sure to limit the amount of calories you drink, and if you can, switch to black coffee.
You’re Rewarding Yourself With Food
There are plenty of people who make this innocent mistake. When we are children we are often motivated by our guiding figures to do well, in exchange for candy. Well I am not going to tell you that you can never have candy (come on we live in the real world here, and candy is delicious), but fact of the matter is, candy is loaded with sugar and calories. The point I’m getting at is that we have been trained from our youth to reward ourselves with food.
Let’s look at this from our adult perspective. You go for a run in the morning. Great! 30 minutes of running burns off on average about 200 calories. Then you go get yourself a snack, because hey, you worked out today. Well that’s the bad part, one treat can easily be in the neighborhood of 300 or more calories. What’s the point of all that jogging if you are just going to put on more weight because of it? The truth is we need to break this cycle and fast! Remember you are not a dog, you don’t need food as a reward.
You’re Eating “HEALTHIER” Food
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with trying to eat better, but there is a problem that I am seeing in the foods that we are eating nowadays. All too often people think that fat and carbs are the enemy! Although if you really take your time and look things up, it turns out that all of the three primary macronutrients are required for us to survive. Yes that includes fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The problem lies in the fact that the food industry realizes that certain buzzwords get people to buy products that they believe are healthier alternatives, when really, they’re not.
A typical bottle of ranch dressing is a prime example. They market this stuff as low fat. The bad part is, in order to fill in the gap (both flavorful and physical) they add tons of sugar. If you know anything about insulin (the hormone that causes you to store fat) then you would know that sugar makes it spike! This means that the low fat healthier dressing, is actually worse for your body than the regular one. Don’t fall for this trap.
Salad Does Nothing If You Load It Up
A salad seems like a staple of any diet routine. However a dark secret lurks in salad that not a lot of people pay enough attention to. And no, it’s not necromancy, it’s toppings and dressing (didn’t I just talk about that?)
See it’s true, lettuce is filling and has practically no calories, which is amazing for weightloss! But the bad news is that it tastes like… nothing in particular. So eating a bowl of lettuce is pretty boring. So what do we do? Load that bad boy up! Croutons, bacon, ranch, cheese, an egg, those fried onion things! (I love those fried onion things) But hold on a minute! Because each of those adds a lot of respective calories. So much so, that it can actually make salad worse than eating a cheese burger… Doesn’t sound right does it? Well let me break it down.
McDonald’s Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad sits at 480 calories. While their Bacon McDouble Cheeseburger comes it at… 440! And not only that, but it actually has 2 less grams of fat!
So keep that in mind next time you pick up a salad for lunch. A tip to make this still taste good, while eating much less dressing, dip the lettuce in the dressing, and only eat whatever sticks to it.
You’re Not Exercising As Much As You Should
Now I know it’s hard to take in, because we all want to believe that we are doing everything we can in the battle of the bulge. But yeah, it’s true, chances are you aren’t taking it seriously enough. Doctors will recommend 30 minutes of exercise three days a week. But that’s just not going to cut it. Remember the example of jogging earlier? 30 minutes is just about 200 calories. Well that’s only six hundred calories a week, which is not a big difference. It would take you nearly six weeks to lose one pound of fat at that pace! Yeah, that’s not going to cut it. If you really want to get the benefit from your exercise, then you are going to need to free up some more time, and put in some effort.
Now these aren’t the be all end all tips of weightloss, but chances are if you are just starting out, you are falling into one or more of these pitfalls. So take an honest look at both what is coming into your body, and what kind of effort it is putting out. And if you want more advice, be sure to read my book “I am so sick of dieting!”
Hope it helps!