Being diet smart can make all the difference in the battle of the bulge. No matter which diet you are following, or are selecting from, there are some simple home truths that apply to any weight loss campaign. Ignore these weight loss truths and you may find you are inadvertently sabotaging your diet.
Not all calories are created equal.
Do you really think that a Dunkin Donut and a salad sandwich with the exact same calorie count are really both the same sorts of calories? Most of us should be able to realize that the donut is full of empty calories, sugars, fats, and chemicals that aren’t really going to keep you sustained for very long. The salad sandwich on the other hand contains real foods with actual nutrition and a lot less empty sugar. When selecting foods, snacks and meals, it can be easy to get caught up in carb counts, fat counts, and calories, and forget about the nutritional benefits of the actual food.
You have to exercise.
You may lose a few pounds initially by diet alone, but at some point, the weight loss will cease unless you are working out. 30 minutes minimum daily will provide steady results, but for significant and more rapid weight loss, 60 minutes each and every day is what the experts are now recommending. Brisk walking is a great place to start. If it’s been a while since you have laced up those trainers, start with smaller intervals and work up. 2 or 3 smaller sessions in a day is just as beneficial as one long session.
Overestimating calories burned. You have just spent an hour in the gym sweating it out. How many calories are you now going to consume in the post exercise snack? If you are unlucky, you might end up eating or drinking more than you actually burned off. Consult a calorie calculator and see just how many calories you are burning off on the exercise bike or treadmill. It might not be as many as you assume. Then have a look at the calories in that low fat blueberry muffin and the Starbucks mocha. Scary, isn’t it? (And you wondered why you weren’t losing weight as fast as you wanted.)
It is harder to lose weight than gain it.
Sad, but true. However, there is no need to become disheartened, just be a little bit realistic about your goals. (I’m with you, I’d love to be in smaller jeans by this weekend.) We have all been genetically programmed to hang on to our excess pounds for the impending famine, that in this day and age is unlikely to happen. This is where you can trick your body by increasing your metabolism.
Weight loss is a lifestyle.
Those most successful at weight loss, and then weight maintenance, are those who embrace a new lifestyle with their food choices and exercise routines. Treat the latest diet as a temporary fad and you will more than likely suffer from yo-yo weight loss and gain. No, your life doesn’t have to be a constant diet, but to keep the pounds in check does require some commitment and persistence on a regular basis.