Americans spend more than 20 billion dollars each year on dieting books, dieting pills and other weight loss products (we are unsure if this includes fitness equipment, as the study did not state it directly). All we can say is, if that kind of money is being spent on the desire to lose weight, why do we still have 220 million dieters attempting to lose weight annually?
We have some ideas. Our modern lifestyle is busy. But not only is it busy, it teaches us to accept instant gratification and reject long term goals. Most Americans are looking for the quickest way to lose weight with minimal energy exerted. C’mon people! Exerting energy is part of our genetic code. We were built to move; we were built to work hard. But life can be hard, we get it.
If you find yourself struggling to meet your fitness goals or lose weight, then your lifestyle choice may be impacting your results. And if none of these applies to you, our nutritionist suggests a quick visit to the doctor to talk about hormone and vitamin issues, two issues that constantly hinder weight loss.
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1. Diet pills
Anything that requires popping a pill and proclaims instant results is usually unsafe and wrong. Most diet pills are loaded with astronomical amounts of caffeine or some other heart rate accelerating drug.
Even drugs like Alli that are FDA approved can cause intestinal problems, plus they are always outrageously priced. Instead of popping a diet pill with your morning doughnut, it is wiser to consult a doctor and plan a healthy eating and exercise plan.
2. One Food Diets
Cabbage soup. Grapefruit. Juice. Lemonade. All of these have one giant factor in common: none of them will help you lose weight and keep the weight off for good by eating just that for weeks.
One food diets put the body at risk for malnutrition, diabetes, goiter, scurvy, and many other diseases. Taking away integral parts of the daily diet is harmful to the brain too. Eating one hundred grapefruits in a week won't melt the pounds away, but it will give you a toxic amount of vitamin C and really snazzy smelling breath!
3. Lifting Too Much Weight Too Fast
A big mistake with many people looking to shed a couple of pounds and tone up. Designing a strength routine that is suitable for a seasoned body builder can cause back pain and torn ligaments. Instead of pumping as much iron as once, focus on a comfortable weight level and augment the weight on the third workout or every two weeks. Gradual increments are key to success
4. Eliminating a Macronutrient
Really? You decided that cutting out all carbohydrates (you do know that includes vegetables, right?) will help you lose weight? Yes, cutting out carbohydrates or eating an incredibly low-fat diet will cause weight loss, but it will not be permanent. Nor is it healthy; in fact, it’s downright dangerous. If you eliminate fat or carbohydrates, you will dehydrate your body and it will begin to eat your muscles. You have seen “Into the Wild” haven’t you? If not, you should watch it.
Cutting out any of the macro-nutrients: fat, protein, or carbohydrates is a very scary way to attempt to lose weight. The body will find a way to keep you alive...even if that means eating your muscles.
5. Fad Diets
Face it, fad diets are exactly that...fads. A fad will hit the stores running and take many people along with it, but it doesn't work. Just like pills, it is a quick fix that never creates healthy habits.
6. Exercising Alone
If you have a hard time losing weight or sticking to a plan, then exercising alone is probably not for you. Not only do you only have YOU to motivate YOU, but you have nobody to show your progress to. Studies show that accountability motivates us to keep going. And hey, promising your friend to exercise with them thrice a week forces you to do it.
Don’t have any friends? Or don’t have any friends with compatible schedules? Do what our personal trainer does: she goes to the gym. She goes to the gym at the same time every time where she sees the same stranger lifting weights…he smiles at her, she smiles at him, and both of them feel as if somebody saw them at the gym. She says she’s feels guilty if she doesn’t make it during that time because they count on each other for that confirmation of success.
7. Not Being Well Rounded
You heard me. Okay, okay. Not in a personal manner. Choosing to just exercise or just go on a diet is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure and minimize results. Write it down. Make it real. Creating an optimal eating plan and workout routine that is compatible for your lifestyle will maximize your results.
Exercising too much can actually have a negative impact on the body. The body may not be taking in enough calories to make up for the energy deficit and it will begin to hold water weight and slow down the metabolism. Remember that the body needs energy to produce energy. If you find yourself running 5 miles every day plus lifting weights, plus doing yoga, plus taking a long evening walk, but you are only eating 1200 calories.... you will not lose weight.
9. Not Making a Plan
Maybe you think that you don't need to plan out your workout or you don't need to write down what you ate today, but I kid you not, it will greatly improve your chance of getting in shape when you want to be in shape. Buy a cheap notebook and on one side log in your workouts and on the other side log in your calorie intake. For example, I have my workout routines penned into my daily planner months in advanced...that away I can never say that I do not know what I am supposed to be doing today. Plus, writing down a calorie and goal and meeting it is extremely important....it will help you avoid eating too much or not eating enough for that day.
Putting off that workout until later can be the most damaging thought throughout the day. The next thing you know it is 9pm and you are too tired to workout. Find a time that is best for you and stick to it.... think of it as a business meeting.
Sites We Love
The Baker Chick
The Candida Diet
Super Healthy Kids
Wake Up World
No Meat Athlete
American Nutrition Assoc.
Lean it Up
Muscle and Fitness