7 Mistakes You've Probably Made In An Attempt To Lose Weight
There is no better-selling book in history than the Bible. When it comes to distribution, the people behind the Bible figured out exactly how to make it go viral. People who run websites would kill for that info.
The Bible is full of useful life lessons, most of which are pretty basic -- don’t be a jerk, love one another, don’t be mean, etc. However, there are seven specific rules the Bible clearly states everyone should avoid.
These rules, known as the seven deadly sins, have become well known in culture. This is just another example of the Bible being super hip and going viral enough to be ingrained in modern culture.
We’re all familiar with the seven deadly sins. They're the very things that are the source of so much fun for us in life. We all also know that too much of this fun could wind up in death. Hell, even eating is one of the deadly sins (see: gluttony).
There are also diet sins we all must hope to avoid during the course of a fat-loss diet, should we hope to be successful. Otherwise, we’ll surely fail, and fail miserably.
We’ll wind up in Dante’s version of diet hell. Instead of journeying into one of his circles, though, we’ll have a massive circle around our waistlines.
Here are the seven deadly diet sins you should avoid at all costs:
1. Having unrealistic expectations of your diet
Starting a diet can be an exciting, yet nerve racking experience. You start a diet because you have a new self-perception in your head.
You see a vision of yourself you hope to bring to fruition. You may hide this vision of yourself from all others, and keep it closely guarded. But, that super-hero version of yourself is there.
Attaining that superhero version of yourself, though, requires some work -- and time. A lot of time. Unless you’re already fairly lean, getting into ideal shape could easily mean a many-months-long process.
This is also one of the many reasons diets tend to fail. We all create a cause-and-effect narrative in our heads; it’s an evolutionary thing, and we can’t help it.
We start eating better and moving around a little bit more, calling it exercise, and we expect the pounds to fly off. Except, this cause and effect doesn’t always work as well as we’d like, which really pisses us off.
So, we quit; we throw our hands up in the air, say f*ck it and order a box of munchkins from Dunkin Donuts.
Realistic progress is an important thing to keep in mind if diet success is to happen. Realistic progress could be .5 pounds per week. It might not even be anything on the scale, but instead, the measuring tape cinching tighter around you.
It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss won’t happen overnight, in one week or one month. It’s a long-term process that requires a ton of work. It will fluctuate and continue to piss you off as you progress.
2. Trying a diet just because some celebrity did
Celebrities, for better or worse, have become visionaries of health in our world. We look to them for advice on vaccines, diets, exercise programs, etc. We see a ripped actor on the silver screen and immediately have to know the program he’s following.
If we see an actor make a drastic physical transformation for a role, we immediately have to try and replicate it.
Celebrities also tend to have teams of people behind them to help them out: nutritionists, trainers, doctors, anti-aging “specialists” (steroid dealers) and whomever else.
Last I checked, unless you have got so much money, people are pitching their business ideas to you on "Shark Tank," you probably can’t afford all of these things.
A celebrity diet isn’t for you. These people generally have to make drastic physical transformations and sacrifices for roles, shows, tours and other things. They also have the money to pay the team of people to make this transformation and insane diet work. You don’t.
You need a more sensible approach.
3. Eliminating one macronutrient completely
Next time someone tells you they don’t eat carbs, slap the broccoli right off his or her fork. VEGETABLES ARE CARBS, YOU IDIOTS.
Carbs aren’t the f*cking ass juice of Satan himself — I don’t care what Dr. Oz told you.
Luckily, people seem to be coming around to the whole idea that fat isn’t the devil, thanks to fat evangelists who have a large following. Most people have discovered fat is necessary in order for life to happen. Without it, your hormone production would be sh*t.
With sh*tty hormone production, you'll have a sh*tty body. Fats = not a sh*tty body.
There’s no need to go off and eliminate some macronutrient that includes plenty of delicious components just to lose weight. That’s asinine. Why not just lower all the macronutrients a bit and still lose weight? Because that’s sensible, and sensible doesn’t sell diet books.
4. Making any food off limits
You are no longer allowed to eat bread.
What are you thinking about now? Probably bread, and how in the world you’ll live without it. Making a food off limits like this makes you think about this food all the damn time. It’s miserable.
This is the danger of making one food off limits. It’s suddenly at the forefront of your mind at all times. You can only go so long trying to resist the temptation before you cave, and cave spectacularly.
Before you know it, you’ll eat a dozen donuts — and you don’t even like donuts. You just crave bread, and donuts are bread.
Unless you have a specific food allergy, there isn’t any reason any kind of food should be off limits. Food doesn’t work that way.
Foods are a delicious joy in life — a joy that should be experienced, in moderation. Making a food off limits doesn’t increase your chance of succeeding with your diet; it increases your chances of bingeing hard on that food at some point in the near future.
5. Diet hopping
The American strategy in the Pacific Theater of World War Two was what we called island hopping. The current American strategy to weight loss seems to be taking a page straight from a 1940s wartime playbook: diet hopping.
The best diet you could ever hope to have is one you can stick to. It doesn’t matter what the diet is because if you can’t stick to it for the long term (think: life), the diet isn’t worth even trying.
It’s fine to try different diets and experiment to see what works for you. Everyone needs to do a little bit of that. It’s dangerous to do that every month, though, because that’s not diet hopping so much as a lack of commitment.
Your spouse would love to know about your commitment issues, I’m sure.
Dieting is a long-term endeavor. Research, read and find the diet you think best suits your long-term goals and needs. Then, stick it. Come hell or high water, stick to the damn diet for at least 12-16 weeks and see what happens.
6. Relying on detoxes, cleanses or supplements to do your diet work for you
You don’t need to clean out your pipes, rid your body of evil toxins, or take some fat-burner that is just caffeine in a pill. You really don’t. Save your money. Your body is perfectly capable of all of these things through good diet and exercise.
Supplements are meant to supplement a program. By definition, supplements play a very small role in the grand scheme of things. Far too many people view supplements as something that should be turned to first in a diet program, instead of last.
Fat burners, detoxes, cleanses and other products are all terrible choices to turn to. The benefit they give a dieter is virtually nil, and most of the effect can be attributed to a placebo effect above anything else.
In reality, a dieter would be better off saving the money and spending it on a trip to the local farmer's market for fresh veggies.
7. Not giving your diet enough time
Dieting is a long process -- a really long process. Most of us are in utter denial of the fact that it could take a year or longer to see our diet truly give us the results we want. We’re conditioned to want things as rapidly as possible, despite the potential cost to our wallet or our health.
Losing as much weight as possible, in whatever manner possible, is a recipe for disaster. Far too few people possess the psychological ability to handle a drastic weight loss and the ramifications that come as a part of it.
Not only is a drastic weight loss damaging for most people's psychological health, it also makes it nearly impossible to keep the weight off in the long term. This is due to the fact that this rapid weight loss hasn’t allowed the dieter to learn proper habits that will set him or her up for long-term success.
When the weight loss goal has been hit, there’s usually a subsequent feeling of “now what?” This is usually when old habits creep in, and the weight begins to creep back up.