Staying on Track to Lose Weight? Avoid These Blunders
The recent media reports of the results from a long-term study of contestants on The Biggest Loser might be somewhat deflating for anyone hoping to achieve and maintain a lower body weight. Even for those who have tried and failed many times to shed excess pounds, and keep them off, the dramatic weight loss results on The Biggest Loser offered hope that their goals are achievable.
But what the study underlines is what we’ve been telling people for a long time here on the Herbal One blog: healthy, permanent weight loss doesn’t come from any temporary plan. Instead, it is the adoption of healthy habits including a balanced diet and making sure you get the nutrition your body needs to support weight loss.
In that way, even though its weight loss programs are conducted under the supervision of doctors and nutritionists, The Biggest Loser is really no different than a crash diet. It sets up contestants and viewers alike for the expectation that they can do this one thing, as difficult as that might be, and live a healthier life forever after.
That “magic formula” attitude is the first of many blunders many people make in their efforts to lose weight. But it’s by far not the only one:
1. Focusing on What You Can’t Have
The stress surrounding weight loss starts even before you set off the journey. The thought of giving up sweet desserts, the “double, double” part of your morning coffee or the bag of chips you love to eat while watching TV can make you want to just skip the whole idea.
Instead, try to shift the focus to all the great new taste sensations you’ll enjoy, like the full, rich flavour of coffee that hasn’t been drowned in cream and sugar, or sweet strawberries in Greek yogurt for dessert. A balanced diet shouldn’t be a chore or sacrifice, but a journey of discovery.
2. Going from Zero to a “Hundred” All at Once
Let’s say you found the healthiest person on earth and decided that, to get where you want to be, you need to adopt her habits. If you try to make all the changes at once – new diet, no snacking, more exercise – you increase the chances of failing at some point. That one failure can topple the entire effort. Instead, look for one new direction that you feel you can take and focus on that. For example, if you enjoy pasta, try switching to whole-wheat varieties, swap out high-sugar and fat sauces for healthier versions and/or throw in more veggies.
3. Throwing Your Diet Out of Balance
Your health – and weight – depend on getting the nutrition you need form the right variety of macronutrients. That means getting your daily calories from the right combination of fats, carbs and proteins. If you opt for a “low- carb” or “low fat” diet, you risk putting your calorie intake out of balance and suffering the consequences that follow.
Your daily calorie intake should come from macronutrients in the following proportion:
– 25% – 35% from fats
– 40% to 50% from carbohydrates
– 25% to 35% from proteins
4. Making Weight Loss All About Numbers
Yes, if you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. But if The Biggest Loser proves anything, it can be a big mistake to make that simple equation your only focus. Severe calorie cutting and/or major increases in activity levels can trigger your body’s powerful defence mechanisms, which are programmed to keep everything is a state of homeostasis – or stability. When it thinks that stability is threatened, your body sets off a number of natural reactions that can begin to work against your efforts and defeat them.
5. Replacing Solid Foods with Liquids
Healthy juices and smoothies are all the rage. And they can part of a balanced diet. But it’s a mistake to use them as meal replacements. While juices and smoothies are made from healthy foods, they don’t deliver the whole food that you need. When you use them to replace entire meals, you risk getting too few calories and not enough fibre, which helps regulate the release of sugars and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
You Can Do It:
Yes, you can lose weight. Yes, you can keep it off. If there is one simple way to start doing so, it is to be more mindful of what you eat and Mke sure you get proper nutrition. It’s an ongoing pursuit, but you can make it easier than you think. The first step is to get the help and support that will increase your chances of success. Call or visit your local Herbal One Centre and talk to a nutritional consultant. Help and support for weight loss and nutrition is what they do.