If you’re a beginner trying to figure out how to put together a proper eating plan, you might have a difficult time commiting yourself to a diet that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, some common mistakes people make on a diet can hinder their progress or discourage them, making it more likely they’ll give up. However, knowing is half the battle, so let us show you some of the mistakes so you can identify them before they happen to you.
Assuming All Calories Are Equal
Counting calories is a common and beneficial practice for diets to ensure you don’t surpass your daily calorie intake, but the mistake that occurs here is when people think it doesn’t matter what they eat so long as they don’t exceed their calorie intake. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t work out so well. For example, eating a significant amount of vegetables is more beneficial for weight loss than eating the same number of calories in junk food because the nutrients vegetables contain will help your body use those calories more effectively and efficiently.
Cutting Back Too Much
Rather than just staying within their recommended daily calorie amount, some people make the logical jump that by drastically reducing how many calories they consume, they’ll see faster results. It’s not a crazy theory, but unfortunately, our bodies react differently. When you drastically cut back on how much you eat, your body begins producing an excess of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol. This excess cortisol signals your body to store fat and slows your metabolism—making you less energetic and more likely to binge.
Not Taking Advantage of Cheat Days
One of the lesser-known but common mistakes people make on a diet is neglecting or over-indulging their cheat days. Many people try to avoid taking cheat days altogether, either because they’re afraid they’ll slip back into their old habits or because they think they’ll make quicker progress if they always commit strictly to their diet. However, cheat days help you suppress cravings by allowing you to eat foods you enjoy now and again, thereby reducing the temptation to break your diet. You don’t want to go too wild, though, as the other mistake people make is stuffing themselves as much as possible within that allotted day. Overindulging will leave you feeling sick and guilty at the end of the day.
Eliminating Entire Food Groups
Many fad diets make use of extreme changes like cutting out an entire food group from your diet, such as dairy or meat. This move makes an already difficult commitment even harder, as it’s easy for the diet to become boring and kill a person’s motivation—or be so restrictive that they eventually give in to cravings. A well-rounded diet will always be better than such extreme measures.
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