Most people feel the need to diet at some point in their lives; some people even diet on a regular basis. The aim is obviously to get rid of the excess weight and keep it off, but unfortunately, even if the excess weight is lost, it often piles back on because the dieter returns to their old eating habits. Here are some ways that you can avoid common dieting mistakes.
Take your time
Many people make the mistake of going on a crash diet, thinking that the sooner they lose the weight, the sooner they can get back to eating what they want. However, although the weight may come off, as soon as you go back to your old habits, you will start gaining again. Be sensible and introduce some simple long-term changes to your diet. That way, you don’t need to cut out the treats completely. Self-deprivation is likely to lead to binge-eating.
Keep track of what you have eaten
It can be difficult to get into the habit of keeping a food diary, but you will find it much easier to stick to your diet if you keep track of everything that you eat and drink. That way, if weight loss is hard to come by you can look back on your week’s diet and pinpoint where you may have gone wrong. Don’t forget to factor in drinks as well. Fizzy drinks, fruit juice and anything with milk in it could have more calories than you realise and may have a detrimental impact on your diet.
People looking to lose weight are often tempted to not eat. Breakfast is a meal that is frequently skipped. However, if you skip a meal, you will be tempted to snack, or to eat a bigger than usual portion at the next meal. Instead, eat regularly and keep your blood sugar at a regular level. This is particularly important if you are accompanying your diet with exercise – a combination of low blood sugar and exercise could make you feel dizzy and faint.
Learn about portion control
Read up about portion control. Many dieters make the mistake of misunderstanding what a portion of food should look like. Netdoctor.co.uk suggests that, rather than weighing your food, you can use your hands as a guide to portion size: “Proteins, such as meat or fish, should be the size of your palm. A single serving of carbohydrates should be a handful and vegetables and salads should fit into two closely cupped hands.” Accompany that by eating slowly to give yourself time to digest the food.
Vary your diet
If you limit yourself to the same foods all the time, you will quickly become bored. On top of that, you will probably lack some nutrients and overdose on others. Eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you get all the nutrition you need. The NHS provides a good guide to the types of food you should be including in your diet. Don’t, for example, be tempted to cut out all fats and dairy products. Eaten in moderation and in the right format, they are good for you.
Find some support
You will find it hard to stick to a diet if you do it alone, whereas having support could just keep you on the straight and narrow. You can decide what sort of support would suit you best. It could be a family member or friend who is dieting at the same time, you could attend weight loss sessions at your doctor’s, or you could join a slimming group. If necessary, try out all options until you find something that works for you.
Dieters are often tempted to be strict during the week, but then relax a little over the weekend. However, if you have cut out all treats for a few days, you are more likely to gorge when you get the chance. Even worse, you may find it hard to get back to your diet when Monday rolls around. Get into the habit of eating sensibly all the time and allow yourself a few treats every now and again, then you won’t be tempted to beat yourself up every time you lapse.
Common dieting mistakes are well-documented, so don’t reinvent the wheel. Read as much about dieting as you can and make sure you consider the tips above in particular. That way, you will reach your goal and then be able to maintain the weight loss too.