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Dieting Mistakes - Part 2

Dieting is a staple part for maintaining fitness as well as encouraging weight loss. Following on from part 1, I would like to help you take away these points:  
  • Going off track on weekends can set you back massively.
  • Low carbohydrate diets may work for some, and it is important to know there is no right or wrong diet, but countless amounts of people have tried to sustain it and failed.
  • Eat a substantial calorie controlled diet that creates no cravings, including all the foods you enjoy, including junkin moderation.
  Overeating At The Weekend I often see individuals going off track on weekends, whether that is intentionally due to a cheat day/meal or unintentionally due to over restricting during the week, but this can set you back massively. 1000s of extra calories being consumed on the weekend can easily add up. For example, someone that is eating a diet Mon-Fri putting them into a calorie deficiency of 2000 calories, 400 per day. Could then splurge out on the weekend, eating into a surplus of 1000 calories. This would mean they are only achieving a 1000 calorie deficiency per week, rather than the 2800 kcal goal. This could be even worse if the weekend actually put them into a net surplus for the week. Throwing shed load of calories, especially fats and carbs, into your body on the weekend is a shock to the system when you have been creating a deficiency during the week. Youll find your metabolism is a fragile thing, especially when dieting, and eating stupid amounts on the weekend will end in these calories being sent to your fat cells. Solution Eat a substantial calorie controlled diet that creates no cravings, including all the foods you enjoy, including junkin moderation. Yes, dieting does get hard and there will be times that you want to give in, but the process will be made a lot easier with a diet you enjoy and can stick to. So when ever you start a new diet and eating routine ask yourself "Can I see myself eating similar to this 6-12 months down the line?" If the answer is no’ then that dieting approach is not for you.  Note - I am not banishing the use of a calorie controlled refeeds (a planned increase in calorie intake.) When used properly, refeeds can be extremely useful both mentally and physically during long periods of dieting, but are not essential for everyone.   Far Too Many Rules And Food Labelling If you are bound by pre-determined diet rules they will tend to dictate your life. They also dictate whether you are successful or unsuccessful, good or bad. The rules are often too inflexible to sustain for any length of time, which then can become a binge eating trigger. Rigid dieting and applying strict rules to what and how you eat is setting yourself up for failure. If your eating plan isnt working for you, its tempting to make it more restrictive. But the more restriction that is applied during a diet the more cravings you will have which can only lead to you chucking in the towel and going off track. Resulting in you binging on the foods you restricted and creating guilt, you apply further restriction causing the binge-guilt cycle starts. This has been shown in research. (3)   Most rigid dieters will avoid certain foods that they have labelled as uncleanand only eat cleanfoods. This results in them feeling as if they have failed their diet if they end up having a bite of an uncleanfood. The more rigid about your diet you are, the harder it is to maintain. (3)   How is a diet like this social or enjoyable? Of course restriction is needed on calories during dieting but adopting a diet that does not label foods as clean/unclean’ or ‘good/badis what is needed. Enjoying the food you enjoy in your diet is needed for success. Individuals that adopt a diet which restrict foods dont suffer from cravings as much as rigid dieters do. They also find it a lot easier to control calorie intake, developing no adverse relationships with food or eating. (4-6) My advice is look to consume a wide variety of foods with the majority of my calories (approx 80%) from whole nutrient dense minimally processed foods as part of a calorie controlled diet. Getting sufficient micronutrients, fibre and water each day, but every now and then enjoying some processed foods, in moderation, within you calories. What sounds more appealing; completely banning cake OR adjusting your daily caloric intake so that you can account for the slice of cake? Be a flexible dieter and understand that moderation is the key.   Going Too Low With The Carbs There's no doubt that most sedentary individuals would benefit from lowering their carb intake but lowering them to the point of below 150g a day is hard to sustain. We are bombarded with carbs every day in advertising and all types of meals, so it can be hard to sustain a diet that has next to zero carbs. Low carbohydrate diets may work for some, and it is important to know there is no right or wrong diet, but countless amount of people have tried to sustain it and failed. Most of us require some level of carbohydrates to function at our best over the long term. Carbs not only taste good, but are essential for energy and workout performance. Along with maintaining thyroid and leptin output (7,8,) brain function, (9) controlling cortisol (10) and testosterone (11,) affect mood, and being protein sparing. Simply put they control your metabolism, satiety and stress hormones. So while carbs may need to be lowered to create a deficiency, do not go cutting them to extreme lengths for no reason. Eat as many as possible while achieving your fat loss goals. I hope the mistakes I have listed here have helped you to identify any mistakes you may be making with your diet. For the most benefit whilst dieting I would extremely advising getting a good nutritionist or coach, you can trust, to help guide you through the process. After that, you can find a diet that incorporates preferences, enjoyment, tolerances, sustainability and goals.   For more of my work follow my Blog, Facebook, Twitter.     References   1. Bosselaers I1, Buemann B, Victor OJ, Astrup A. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and substrate utilization in body builders. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Jan;59(1):10-2. 2. Helms E, Aragon A, Fitschen P. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2014; 11 (20). 3. Stewart TM, Williamson DA, White MA. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite. 2002;38(1):3944. 4. Meule A, Westenhofer J, Kubler A. Food cravings mediate the relationship between rigid, but not flexible control of eating behavior and dieting success. Appetite. 2011;57(3):582584. 5. Essi Sairanen, Raimo Lappalainen, Anja Lapveteläinen, Asko Tolvanen, Leila Karhunen. Flexibility in weight management. Volume 15, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages 218224 6. Smith CF, Williamson DA, Bray GA, Ryan DH. Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes. Appetite. 1999 Jun;32(3):295-305. 7. Serog P, Apfelbaum M, Autissier N, Baigts F, Brigant L, Ktorza A. Effects of slimming and composition of diets on VO2 and thyroid hormones in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1982 Jan;35(1):24-35. 8. E Danforth, Jr, E S Horton, M O'Connell, E A Sims, A G Burger, S H Ingbar, L Braverman, and A G Vagenakis Dietary-induced alterations in thyroid hormone metabolism during over nutrition. J Clin Invest. 1979 Nov; 64(5): 13361347. 9. Grant D. Brinkworth, PhD; Jonathan D. Buckley, PhD; Manny Noakes, PhD; Peter M. Clifton, PhD; Carlene J. Wilson, PhD. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive Function. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(20):1873-1880. 10. MichaelGleeson and Nicolette CBishop1 Modification of immune responses to exercise by carbohydrate, glutamine and anti-oxidant supplements. Special Feature for the Olympics: Effects of Excercise on the Immune System. Immunology and Cell Biology (2000) 78, 554561. 11. Anderson KE, Rosner W, Khan MS, New MI, Pang SY, Wissel PS, Kappas A. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci. 1987 May 4;40(18):1761-8.  
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