No matter what nutrition plan or diet you follow, chances are that you might be making some costly mistakes that could be hindering your progress. We’ve identified five unexpected mistakes that even experienced dieters make. Learn to maximize your results!
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We’re all for regimented nutrition plans; for serious results a strict nutrition plan is necessary. However, if you are too strict with your diet for too long, you almost inevitably either burn out, go on significant binge eating sprees, or your body stops responding to the overly restrictive diet. Not to mention studies show that stressing too much about eating right or exercising can raise cortisol levels – making it even harder to lose the body fat you are fighting to remove!
A better approach is to follow a nutrition plan that isn’t overly restrictive – it will be better for your body and your mind in the long-term. Even if you are prepping for a bikini competition or a photo shoot, don’t sacrifice long-term gains by being too extreme!
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Not Cooking Enough
If you’re following a nutrition plan like “if it fits your macros (IIFYM)” aka flexible dieting, chances are you track all of your food intake. You know how many calories you’re putting down each day and the breakdown of the macros (fats, proteins and carbs) you eat daily. And you’re also counting the macro breakdown of your most common meals…when you cook at home.
The challenge for healthy dieters arises when they eat out at restaurants. Even when you are trying to eat healthy, you can drastically underestimate the number of calories you eat at restaurants since most prepare foods with more fat, salt, and sugar than you’d expect.
The more you cook, the more you’re in control of what goes in your body, and the more easily you can track it. Sometimes you have to eat out, whether it’s due to convenience, work, or you just need a tasty meal without the work. Try to cook 70-80 percent of the time and enjoy yourself!
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Not Eating Enough Carbs And Fats
Many diets and nutrition plans call for calorie deficits, which is necessary for real weight loss. The problem arises when you start reducing too much too quickly. For the uneducated dieter, the first move is to cut out most fats and carbs.
However, not all fats are bad, and carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs both fats and carbs for important body functions — including building muscle and burning fat.
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Even experienced dieters can sometimes have unrealistic expectations about how long it will take to see real changes from their new nutrition plan. This is even more pronounced in those who have been health conscious for a while since the body doesn’t respond as quickly/drastically as a beginner.
It’s common for someone to start on a new diet, not see the results they want after a few weeks and jump ship. This is not an efficient way to see real results.
Your body needs at least six to eight weeks to see significant and sustainable changes. Of course you’ll start to see some changes after just a couple weeks, but if you want lasting changes, stick to the program.
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Relying Too Much On Supplements
There’s more than one piece to the puzzle when it comes to weight and fat loss. Supplements are just one small piece of that puzzle.
When you start relying too heavily on powders and bars to hit your protein requirements, you might be neglecting important vitamins and minerals. Real food protein sources like red meats, poultry, and fish contain important micronutrients like B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and more.
Taking protein shakes to supplement your diet is totally fine. Just don’t let them become your sole source of protein throughout the day.
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Keep It Balanced
You may have noticed that most of these mistakes are from being too extreme in your diet. So no matter what nutrition plan/diet you follow, keep it balanced and avoid the mistakes above for optimal results.
This article is courtesy of our friends at PrettyFit. Check out their blog for more health and fitness tips, and learn about their products.