So you have finally decided to go on a diet. It is an exciting step, a victory in itself. As you enter this milestone moment you need to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. There will be pain, there will be moments of failure and most importantly, beyond these obstacles, there will be triumph. We all hope for our diet plans to work as smoothly as possible. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when you are going on a diet.
Don’t Fall for Myths
You might not like this one but that big breakfast isn’t exactly going to save the day. In fact, the earlier the breakfast the more of an eating window you create for your body. Read that as higher fat storage. Do a favor to yourself and your diet plan by planning your meals well – if you are not a fan of heavy breakfasts it is completely okay. Our metabolisms work differently so you can always catch up with a more substantial lunch or dinner.
And this leads us to our second myth-busting observation. Do not fear dinner. Unless you overeat, a decent portion at night will not harm your weight-loss endeavors. Dinner is also an important meal as it is the one which you can have in the most relaxed state – so do not deprive yourself of the mental benefits of the third meal.
Find alternatives for hydration. We love our sodas and soft drinks but did you know that a lot of these beverages contain caffeine? Lay off the junk food for a stretch. This may seem like an obvious one but we tend to overuse the concept of cheat days. When you have reduced your calorie intake for six days, do not bring up the average with a single day binge. There are so many other cleaner and equally tasty options. These are good diet foods that will give you much more satisfaction than a burger or side of fries.
Should You Break Down Meals into Snacks
Has someone ever suggested to you that you can break your calorie target for the day into 5 or 6 smaller meals rather than the traditional breakfast – lunch – dinner routine? What may happen if you follow this advice is that you will end up feeling hungry and you will find no satisfaction from the mini-meals.
It is always better to have 3 significant meals than a higher number of unsatisfying snacking sessions. As long as there is no difference in the number of calories consumed, your diet goals will not be affected. And you can go to bed with a more satisfied state of mind.
All Carbs are not Evil
Americans have a love-hate relationship with carbohydrates. Either we are binging on them or we get on a diet that demonizes them to the extent that we leave them out completely. Therefore it is good to start distinguishing between the good and the bad carbs. Carbs which are highly processed are the enemy for those on a diet. Regular carbs are good because they are essential for your body to perform. Take a look at Asian diets – rice is an integral part of food habits for over 2 billion people, but they don’t have as much of an obesity problem as the USA. In fact, a low-carb diet can really throw your nutritional balance into a bad state and cause hormonal imbalance. This can affect the ability of your body to burn fat.
Is Organic Worth It?
This next point might get you into a bit of trouble with your fad-conscious friends. Is organic really going to make a difference? There is no doubt that organic food contains fewer toxins because there are no pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used. The big question in this context is – does it really make a difference in a weight-loss diet.
This question is very important because organic food is marketed at higher prices and you can end up shelling a lot more money every week just to keep up with the basic diet. There are no conclusive studies that dictate organic produce advantage over regular food in diets. After all, sugar remains sugar – an organic plate with 500 calories is no different from a non-organic one with the same amount of calories. If you can afford it – what you choose does not make a difference – but do not stretch your budget on this one.
Do It for Yourself
The biggest battle during a diet is the mental one. Make sure that you know what you are working for. Are you on a diet because someone mentioned that you needed one? Are you feeling fine but think you can tone down further? Unless you have spoken to a medical practitioner or expert dietician who is giving neutral feedback – remember that people’s views are subjective. Do not do it for others – do it for you.
Understanding Body Shape and Weight
There is no single template for an ideal body weight or shape. Yes, celebrities and models may all seem to conform to a similar look but that is driven by the demands of their industries, rather than a universal concept of fitness. Different ethnicities have different average weights and body shapes – a result of generations of evolution.
Those XXL genes might be in there – so do not worry about conforming to slim-fit norms. The better way to go about it is to make the best of your natural frame. Exercise – eat healthy and controlled amounts – get strong. If you can perform outdoor activities and carry your own weight comfortably, you are on the right track.
Remember that a diet should be a constructive experience. It tests your physical mettle and discipline but it should not consume your lifestyle. It is always better to steer clear from crash diets. Gradual, sustainable progress is the key for long-term weight loss. There are a lot of options when it comes to diets – make sure you choose the one that allows you to accomplish your daily routine while also giving you a satisfying challenge.