There are hundreds of diet fads and ways to slim down “fast” nowadays, and for someone who is genuinely trying to lose weight and better their health – these pitfalls can cause more problems than they solve. Losing weight isn’t about a brief fad to knock down the pounds. It’s about being committed to a lifestyle change. If you’re trying to slim up for the summer, here is what NOT to do.
Try to lose weight fast.
When losing weight, slower is better. When the weight comes off too fast, you may get discouraged when it does eventually slow down. The first couple of weeks, you’re going to lose some excess water weight, but beyond that you should only be losing a pound or two a week. Losing it faster can actually be bad for your health in the long run, as it means you are most likely depriving yourself of far too many calories. When you lose weight faster, you’re also more likely to gain it back.
Eating less is not necessarily better for you
Reducing the amount of calories you eat is a surefire way to lose weight, but you can’t reduce your calories by too much or your body will go into starvation mode. Instead of burning fat, your body will begin to conserve every bit of energy it can. The general consensus is that 1200 calories is the absolute minimum you can consume and not be starving yourself.
Weight fluctuates from day to day and even week to week. Since weight loss is a slow process, the best way to gauge it is a general downward trend over the course of a couple of months. There will be days where you eat too many calories, and that’s ok. Studies show that having an occasional cheat day can actually be beneficial for your diet! The sudden influx of extra calories will jumpstart your metabolism – which is especially helpful if you’ve settled into a routine (just make sure you don’t overdo it). If you are exercising, you will also be building muscle while you lose weight. So even though the scale may not move, your clothes will fit looser.
As long as you are consistent, set achievable goals for yourself, and take it one day at a time, you can lose weight. By doing so, you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, and a multitude of other health problems.