One medical study showed that more than 40 million people go on a diet every year and billions of dollars are spent annually in the effort to lose weight. But despite those efforts, well over half of the people on a diet will fail.
That failure is caused by not recognizing and implementing the diet reward and penalty system. Knowing that there are penalties in place works to change the behavior of a dieter, which in turn motivates people.
You can put a diet reward and penalty system in place in your own life and find the weight loss success that may have eluded you.
Setting Goals and Action Steps
You have to start by setting goals. This is the biggest area that throws most dieters off track. They either don’t set concrete goals or they start out with goals that aren’t realistic.
If you want to have weight loss success, you can’t get off on the right foot by unknowingly sabotaging yourself. The psychology of dieting in the brain makes people focus on the complete goal, such as wanting to lose fifty pounds.
Instead of breaking down that fifty pound weight loss into steps that are easily achievable, what most people who fail to reach diet goals do is they don’t break the goal down far enough.
Having an overall goal is important – but not nearly as important as the steps you have to take to reach each small one. Weight loss goals should have an end target.
That would be losing the fifty pounds. Next, you need an action plan and this is what derails the majority of dieters. Their action plan isn’t realistic enough. They might write down a goal as being that they want to lose that fifty pounds in a month.
Not only is that a recipe for failure, but trying to achieve that loss that fast could lead to health problems. It can also lead to disappointment and feelings of depression when you don’t make that goal.
Your action plan should include simple, achievable steps known as short term goals that all point toward your long term goal – losing the fifty pounds. By setting short term goals, as you achieve them, it will motivate you to keep going toward the long term goal.
Your action steps should include things you can do that point toward weight loss. You might do things like cutting back on the amount of calories you eat or limiting your carbs.
You might create an action plan that includes eliminating foods that are your trigger foods and replacing them with ones that help you stay on track. You should include room in your action plan for splurges.
This helps keep the brain motivated because it’s part of the reward system. This treat doesn’t have to be food related – and in fact, shouldn’t be because it feeds into the cycle of using food as a reward, which is what can lead to self-sabotage and weight gain.
Track your goal accomplishments. Keep records of what you eat, the amount of calories or carbs and keep a weekly total of the pounds or inches lost. Also make sure that you note how active you are.
The reason you want to keep track of what you do that feeds into your goals is because during the times when you feel less motivated, looking back at what you accomplished can help motivate you again.
So start your weight loss journey with three things in mind – your overall goal, your action steps or smaller, short term goals and the effort of tracking your successes.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when dieting is rewarding weight loss by allowing yourself to have a food treat – especially one that’s not all that good for you.
The reason that it’s a mistake is because it encourages eating to feed emotions such as feeling happy that you lost some weight or stuck with an exercise program for a few weeks.
Creating an emotional connection to food as a reward system is something that will foster a return to unhealthy eating habits. The rewards that you choose should be a scale of items or events.
You can create a point system based on what you accomplish. For example, if you eat healthy an entire day, give yourself a point. If you eat healthy for an entire week, that would be seven points.
Save up your points to get something for yourself or do something that you really want. This type of delayed diet reward helps keep you motivated so that you continue forward.
When you reach a certain point level, say twenty-five points, then you can cash them in for your reward. Use diet rewards to do things like purchase a book you’ve really been wanting to read.
Or spend the points on music or a trip to the movies. You can buy yourself a pair of new earrings or a watch. You can buy tickets to a sports game or invest your points by purchasing a new gadget for your home or vehicle.
You can take a fishing trip or go on a hike. Go to the museum or visit a place you’ve always wanted to see. Saving up your points to take a trip out of town or for a cruise is a great way to motivate you to keep on track.
You can buy yourself new shoes or an item of clothing you want. If you hold on to the points until you reach certain milestones, then you can use your points to buy a complete outfit.
You can treat yourself to a live music concert or a night out dancing with friends. You can take a vacation day. Spend the points by paying for a class that you’ve always wanted to take or spend the points by buying tools for a new hobby.
You can bank points until you have enough saved to buy something nice for your home. When you use a healthy reward system, that encourages healthy habits. The power of a reward is a great way to release dopamine which makes you feel good.
And when you associate feeling good with rewarding yourself and losing weight, you’ll be sure to hit your goal.
Why You Should Use a Penalty System When Dieting
Studies have shown that most dieters like getting something as a reward for losing weight but more than that, they hate the idea of losing something they want or something they have if they don’t stay the course.
Negative consequences can actually do more to cause changes in behavior than positive consequences can. No one likes to be penalized and people will work harder to keep that from happening than they will if there was no punishment in place.
The science of the reward and penalty system works to effectively lead to weight loss and changing bad habits as well. What some people do is they set a goal to lose weight and have short term goals in place.
When they reach that short term goal, they then reward themselves by paying a certain amount of money into their diet fund. For example, you can give yourself a dollar, five dollars or whatever for each pound you lose.
That money then goes toward something you want to buy. But if you fail to lose or you gain, then you must pay that money to something or to someone else. This punishment system is effective because no one enjoys giving his or her money away.
You can find some apps for use with a smartphone that are based on a monetary reward or penalty system to help keep you moving toward your weight loss goals. The punishment that you choose should be one that really matters to you.
If you couldn’t care less if you have to pay out some money, then that punishment isn’t substantial enough. So instead of that, you could set your penalty to be having to give up something you really enjoy doing such as watching the newest episode of your favorite show.
Your penalty system should never be based entirely on punishment. For it to be effective, you have to make sure you have something positive built in to the punishment.
An example of that would be making sure whatever exercise you choose to do is one that you really like versus one that you don’t. Having exercises that you enjoy makes it easier to stick with it.
So if you don’t exercise, then your punishment could be losing the night out with friends that you were looking forward to. Or having to skip the movie you were planning to go see.
Never use food to penalize yourself for failing to stick with your goal. If you do that, you can start to associate negative feelings and feedback to dieting or exercising.
Whatever penalty you use should never be associated with shame. All that does is fill your head with negative self talk and you don’t need that. When you’re setting up your penalty system be sure that it’s something that works to help you so that it’s not shameful.
An idea of a shameful penalty would be forcing yourself to go without something you need. Eating disorders are often rooted in shame. Instead, you need to simply get back up when you fall.
Getting Back on Track
You’re doing so well on your diet and you have several smaller goals already under your belt. You’re feeling on top of the world like nothing can stop you from losing the weight you want to shed when it happens.
There was a birthday celebration at work and the treats just looked and smelled too good to give up. So you indulged more than you should have. Or you went out to eat and decided you wanted to have that thick slice of pizza loaded with fat, calories and dripping with cheese just like everyone else was eating.
First, you need to realize that every single person in the world who has ever dieted will at some point get off track. It doesn’t make you a failure or a loser. What it makes you is human.
However, you don’t want to stay off track long because if you do that, it’s harder to head back in the right direction toward weight loss. What most people do when they get off track is they end up filled with regret and sometimes self-loathing.
They tell themselves they can’t believe they blew it. From this point, it can go one of two ways. One way is when people feel so disgusted that they blew it that they allow feelings of discouragement to take hold.
Then they think of how they’ve worked so hard and it’s all for nothing. They subconsciously decide that they might as well blow it big since they blew it at all. So they blow off eating right for a few more meals – maybe even a week or two.
They skip the gym and before you know it, all of those unhealthy habits show right back up. Then they get into the mindset of berating themselves, internalizing negative self-talk and calling themselves all kinds of names.
At this point, you need to learn to stop beating yourself up. You didn’t do something that can’t be undone. It might take you a little longer to reach your goals, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late.
The second way that it can go if you get off track is to refuse to play the shame game. So you didn’t stick with it like you’d hoped. It’s not the end of the world. Realize that you made a mistake and then make a fresh commitment to begin again.
That’s the key to getting back on track every time you get off track. Realize it was a mistake and begin again. This allows you to give yourself a fresh start.
The Key to Success Using a Diet and Penalty System
With any diet plan, you have to realize that one that’s so rigid there’s no room for any bending at all is one that is bound to fail. No diet should be so set in stone that it doesn’t allow room for you to make changes to improve the diet and the penalty system.
You might find that portions of your diet plan that work for some people just don’t work for you. By forcing yourself to keep plodding along, you can bet that you’re going to give up at some point.
Your diet system has to work for you. It has to work for your lifestyle, for your personality and for your budget. If it doesn’t work for all three of those, then you have a weak link in your diet and at some point, it will fall apart.
You need to be able to adjust whatever diet plan you’re using as you go along. People get too rigid and you don’t need to do that. It doesn’t matter if you have to make tweaks to your diet plan to get it to work for you.
If it works for you, then that’s all that you need. But if it doesn’t, then you have to find something that does. And it’s the same thing with your exercise. If you’re doing something that you hate to the point you’d rather have a root canal, then the odds of you reaching your weight loss goals are pretty slim.
Exercise doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence if you make it something that you really like doing. It’s the same way with the penalty system. You can’t be too rigid.
Because as time goes on, you might get a little bit apathetic toward weight loss. When your penalty system is too harsh, then it will be easier to quit. You should adjust your penalty system as you go along.
In the beginning of deciding a penalty, most people are actually too harsh on themselves. You want it to be something that matters to you, but not something that you’d rather quit dieting than face the loss of whatever you picked.
When you use a diet reward and penalty system together, it can work for successful weight loss where many other plans have failed you in the past. Many people focus only on rewards or penalties.
Some people don’t feel any penalty should be delivered to someone who is dieting. But for others, it will help motivate them to reach their goals. Only you will know what’s right for you, and feel free to tweak the system to where it most benefits your personality and style.
Everyone fails and if you don’t fail, then you’re probably not human. Diet failures happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s your fault, but other times, it could be the fault of the diet you chose.
Failures can be as short as messing up your eating plan for an hour or two. The failure might last for a day or a week or a month. Or maybe you’re someone who failed and you’ve been stuck on that path for years.
The good news is that none of that means your diet wishes are permanently gone. You can start again the very second you make the decision to change your life.
What’s Behind the Failure?
Whenever you fail at anything, including a diet, there is always an underlying reason. Once you figure out the reason, that’s when you can change it and find success.
There are some pretty common reasons why people experience diet failure. It usually starts because there’s no planning. Other than a desire to lose weight and you can picture your end goal, you don’t really have a map or plan on how you’re going to get from point A to B.
Another reason is because your short term goals aren’t reasonable. You’ve set the bar too high and can’t reach them – so when you fail in the beginning, it can cause discouragement.
This can make you more reluctant to get back on the diet. The first week is when most diets ultimately fail and nine times out of ten it’s because the short term goals are the culprit.
If you have an “everything and the kitchen sink” mentality toward dieting, then that can also set the stage for failure. This is what happens when you try to make too many changes all at one time, like thinking you’ll completely clean out the pantry and toss everything that you deem unhealthy for you.
Completely overhauling the way you eat all at once makes a diet unappealing. Maybe you’ve started your diet out with an eating plan that’s so strict, you haven’t budgeted anything in there that’s familiar.
So you’ve tossed all of the regular food and replaced it with an eating plan that’s too limited. Then, you decide that the only beverage you’ll consume is water. That you’ll workout every single day. For at least half an hour. No, wait. An hour.
Longer is better, right? When enthusiasm for your body to change overrides your ability to stick to it, your motivation goes down the drain. You can’t count on sheer force of will to keep you fired up enough to carry on with your diet when you’ve overwhelmed yourself with too many changes at the same time.
Signs You’re Headed Toward Diet Failure
There are warning signs with every diet that can tell you if it’s going to be successful or not. Instead of finding that you feel much better eating this new way, you discover that you feel a lot worse.
Your diet is too over the top with its limitations. You’ve cut your food choices down to items that are foreign to you as well as unappetizing. This level of strictness will cause you to quit pretty fast because no one wants to eat things they don’t like regardless of how well motivated you might be.
From the beginning of your diet and on, you’ve battled constant hunger. Diets are supposed to let you feel that hunger. It means it’s working right? Wrong. It’s a myth that far too many believe that any diet you undertake should leave you feeling hungry even right after you finish a meal.
The truth might shock you. A diet that’s healthy and based on your calorie needs should actually keep you feeling full throughout the day. Even a diet that’s portion controlled shouldn’t leave you feeling hungry.
If it does, then you’re eating the wrong things. Cravings that just don’t stop can be a sign that you’re heading toward diet failure. Most cravings for foods that aren’t healthy will end once your body adjusts to eating better.
But the biggest mistake that you can make is to try to keep plugging along with the cravings nipping at your heels. The desire for that particular food will only grow stronger on some diets because the body goes into a sense of deprivation.
Your mind thinks that the body will always be deprived of that food because the word diet is symbolic with doing without. Your diet needs to have a craving allowance built in.
You let yourself eat a controlled portion of the food that you like and you don’t assign any one food to never-again land. Have it and enjoy it, just be wise about it.
Another sign that you’re heading toward diet failure is if you’re someone who practices emotional eating. Dieting is not going to make those emotions feel better.
In fact, if you’re an emotional eater and you suddenly limit all the foods you used to self-comfort, you’re going to feel worse. For those who use food to deal with emotions, you must find a way to handle your feelings as you’re dieting.
This way, you’re not essentially starving the emotional component of yourself. When you treat the need behind emotional eating, you’ll find that your dieting motivation is stronger.
Having a lot of peer pressure is another sign you might be headed toward diet failure. These come at you from well meaning (though sometimes not) people who tell you go ahead and splurge – that you deserve it.
They tell you things like you look good just as you are, that you’re really fine overweight and as you to come celebrate by overeating with them. If you are someone who knows you give in to peer pressure in other ways, it could be easier for you to give in to diet peer pressure.
The Role of Shame in Dieting
You might be aware of this or you might not be. But the odds are high that you engage in diet shaming. And shaming isn’t something that can be successfully used to lose weight or keep it off.
Some common diet shaming things that you might have said to yourself include internal comments about your meals. “Oh, I was a total pig. I ate all the wrong stuff today.”
It might be about your physical appearance. “I hate to walk past others in a restaurant. Everyone is thinking about how fat I am.” Or maybe you’ve internalized shame about how your body looks to the point that you’re too uncomfortable to eat a meal in a restaurant.
Maybe you order the food to go and eat in your car. Saying unkind things when you eat and hiding out when you eat is shaming yourself. Some people get stuck in this rut, not realizing the damage that it does.
They don’t know that shaming keeps them stuck in diet failure. Shaming yourself isn’t self acceptance. It’s not loving who you are, failures and all. At its core, diet shaming is a sense of self-hatred for how you eat, what your body looks like and what you perceive as an inability to change anything.
This keeps you feeling powerless when the truth is that you do have the power to change. You’ve always had it, but maybe you just haven’t understood how to use that power.
When a failure happens, don’t blame yourself. You’re a human being. That means that you have flaws, you’ll make mistakes and that it is perfectly natural to do that.
You have to stop blaming and shaming yourself when a diet doesn’t work out. So you failed. Big deal. It doesn’t mean the world is going to end because this diet didn’t work out.
And it doesn’t matter if it was your first diet or your hundred and first diet. The shame is not yours to take on. When you allow shame to have a hold on your diet process, it will kick your butt every time you look in the mirror.
You’ll despise your image. You won’t want to do anything to make a change. You won’t love and accept yourself. Worst of all, when you give shame room within your diet failure, it always spreads.
It will transfer to other areas of your life.
Begin Again Without Shame
Whether you’ve failed once or hundreds of time, the blame is still not yours to carry. When you experience shame after a failed diet, check out what’s going on in your thought process and in your feelings.
If you do that, you’ll see that shame means that you feel unworthy or inferior. But that feeling doesn’t make it the truth. You feel the shame or the unworthiness or inferiority because you’ve been taught that there should be shame when you fail.
Failure should always be seen as an opportunity inviting you to try something different rather than the final say in any situation. The feelings of shame when it comes to diet failures are caused because you feel inferior to the standards that were placed on you by others such as people or businesses.
You’re taught that you’re inferior if you’re overweight and if you fail in your quest for the “perfect body” it means you’re unworthy and you’re flawed. It might surprise you to learn the reason that shame doesn’t belong to you is because you’re not the problem.
The diet is. Less than 10% of all diets work. Yet, they’re so popular. They’re popular because the sheer amount of people seeking to lose weight and the constant bombardment from the media about the perfect body has given rise to a dieting industry that makes billions of dollars every year.
Shaming is a tool that many of the diet businesses will use to try and get you to purchase what they’re selling. So you do. Then you feel shame when you don’t achieve the results you wanted.
Stop focusing on diet and instead focus your attention on healthy eating. Focus on giving your body the food that it deserves for a long and healthy life. Prepare meals that nurture your body.
Eat in a way that works for your body regardless of what others are doing. So how can you start again without shame? Don’t do the same things you’ve always done.
You’ll end up with the same result – feeling shamed when it doesn’t work out. Instead, choose a different method than what you’ve always done. If you tried hard with a strict diet and you exercised until you loathed that word, then don’t do that anymore.
Choose a diet that’s not strict. Pick actions that move your body to burn calories in a way that’s fun – in a way you look forward to. Put falling off the wagon into perspective.
It was a sign that something wasn’t working with your diet plan. Adjust whatever led to the fall. Fix it, change it, do something new. But if you can’t because it was just that you got sick of dieting that led to your failure, then mentally and emotionally wipe the slate clean.
Don’t allow yourself any internal name calling, no bringing up past mistakes. This is a brand new journey with no baggage.
Moving Forward Without Fear of Failure
When people fail at dieting, they tend to be wary. They struggle with the thought of getting back on the wagon – the very thing that they fell off of. The psychology behind the wariness is easily understood.
Risk is uncomfortable and often, it’s far more uncomfortable than the familiar feelings of shame. And people don’t like to be uncomfortable. Risk means leaving the comfort zone.
But you can move forward without fear of failure. Motivate yourself with plenty of successes right from the start. You can do that by creating a list with small, easily achieved steps on it.
Every day, write down five things that you can do that promote success. This might be something like eating a piece of fruit for a snack rather than the gooey cake you’d rather take instead.
As you check off each thing that you accomplish this way, you’ll feel more empowered. Realize that if you’ve experienced shame or body limitations because of your weight or health problems, then where you were can be a worse place than failure.
You deserve to love and accept yourself. You’re worthy of moving forward. Acknowledge each victory, regardless of how small you might think it is. A victory can be something like you took the stairs instead of the elevator.
You went for a walk at lunch time instead of hanging out in the break room. Give yourself grace. Being tempted isn’t a failure. Having to start over again isn’t a failure.
This means that negative self-talk is forbidden. You won’t speak to yourself unless it’s with love and kindness. You will say and think the things that edify you.
Give yourself patience. If you lose the weight more slowly than you like, that’s okay. There is no diet race. There is only healthy living and loving yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else can lose weight faster.
They’re not you. They don’t have your circumstances. They don’t have your ups or downs. Recognize that failure is about perspective. It only means you experienced a temporary setback.
It’s a winding curve in the road that will loop you back to the beginning, but it’s not the end of the road. Keep your eyes on where you want to end up, not on the roadblocks that will sometimes slow you down. You will get around them. You will succeed.
The idea of starting a diet is daunting to many men and women. It signifies drastic deprivation and severe lifestyle changes that often make it feel more like punishment than a benefit.
So a better way to shed pounds for many people is to do away with traditional diet plans and instead focus on implementing small changes throughout the year. These changes will be so small that you won’t be focused on it 24/7.
You can make one change every week that helps you lose weight. For example, you might start out with the promise to drink a small, 8-ounce glass of water before each meal.
That means not declaring you’ll limit yourself to a certain number of calories, but just giving your stomach a padding of “fullness” before you begin to eat your meal. Eight ounces is tiny, too – so you won’t have to down a big, 24-ounce bottle.
Another change you might make is to take the stairs or park your car farther when you go somewhere. You’ll be getting more exercise and revving up your metabolism as you burn a few more calories here and there.
Sometimes, your changes won’t have anything to do with food or exercise. For instance, getting a proper amount of sleep can help you lose weight. So one change you might make for one week is to start going to bed at the same time every night (or getting up at the same time every morning).
Being on a set sleep schedule does wonders for your weight loss journey. But that means keeping to a schedule whenever possible – including weekends when you ight otherwise want to stay up late and sleep in late.
With food choices, you might begin to taper off the amount of food that you eat. If you usually get two scoops of mashed potatoes, try one. If you drink two sodas with dinner, drink one and a glass of water instead.
Weaning yourself off of the typical super sized portions we’ve become accustomed to in this world is easy when you do it bit by bit. Embrace the bottom “better than the day before” so that your only focus is improvement, not perfection right off the bat.
There are 52 weeks in a year. If you implement one small change each week, you’ll discover that you are seeing the scale move – and it won’t even feel like you’re trying to succeed!
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Dieting is a rollercoaster for many people. They’ve done it for years, losing and gaining the same amount of weight over and over again. Usually, the short term weight loss is due to the dieter embracing a short term diet plan.
These are commonly known as fad diets, or extreme diets. That might be something like eating nothing but cabbage soup for weeks on end, or having a concoction of hot water with lemon and chili powder in a detox solution.
These types of short term diets definitely work. There’s no way your body can hold onto anything (including muscle) when you’re starving it. There’s a better way to conduct a short term diet, and there are also long term diets that help keep the weight off for good.
If you really need to drop pounds fast, consider doing something like a Low Carb, High Protein diet. These can be done in a myriad of ways, but if you start off with a ketosis level of carb counting (under 20 grams a day), the weight will drop easily.
Then, you simply up the carbs a bit at a time so that you’re still considered low carb at under 100 grams per day, but not so extreme that you end up quitting after a few weeks and gaining the same weight back.
Or, if you really do love fasting and detoxing, try the intermittent kind. This way, you’re not starving your body for days on end, but you’re replenishing your energy while simultaneously helping your body burn calories.
If you’re not in a rush and you’d rather do it once, the right way rather than many times the wrong way, then try something simple like learning how to eat smaller portions. You can do this using a plan like Weight Watchers, where you gradually eat fewer points until you’re at a level you should be eating from that point on.
Or, learn how to use mindful eating to whittle your weight. This starts with the idea that no foods are considered bad or off limits. However, you have to learn to actually listen to your hunger cues.
That means eating only when hungry and stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore – not after you’ve gotten to the point of “stuffed.” This helps a lot of people lose weight because they aren’t in deprivation mode.
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Much has been said over the years about the ketogenic diet and with celebrities like Megan Fox, Mick Jagger, and Adriana Lima being fond proponents of the diet, it remains very popular.
What is the real difference between a ketogenic diet and a low fat diet plan? While many may swear about reducing fat intake, studies show low carb plans are actually more effective for both weight loss and reducing high cholesterol.
There are several low carbohydrate diets, but the ketogenic diet generally limits your carb intake to 20 to 50 grams a day. The ketogenic diet requires you to enter the stage of ketosis, and that generally does not occur unless you are consuming about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.
A sample menu plan when you’re on a ketogenic diet looks like this:
Breakfast: bacon or sausage, eggs, and coffee with cream and stevia
Snack: 1 ounce of cheese with cucumbers or celery
Lunch: Tuna salad or egg salad wrapped in lettuce or lettuce wrapped burger
Snack: ½ avocado or 10 olives or flaxseed crackers with salsa
Dinner: Cajun chicken with a side of vegetables cooked in butter or steak with vegetables in butter or salad with olive oil and vinegar or grilled salmon with a side of spiral cut zucchini pasta with sauce
Snacks between meals can also include string cheese, a cup of chicken broth, 6 almonds or peanuts, turkey lettuce wraps, hard-boiled eggs, smaller portions of leftover meals, 1 tablespoon of cream and much more.
Low Fat Versus Low Carb
Feeling Satisfied and Avoiding Hunger
The ketogenic diet typically is much more about choices instead of depravation because you are able to eat a wide variety of real, whole, and delicious food with lots of satisfying meats, chicken, seafood, cheese, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.
It is easier to follow than a low fat diet because low carb eating regulates the appetite, and naturally satisfies you so you eat less, without suffering and starvation. This is because eliminating carbs also eliminates erratic blood sugar spikes that cause out of control cravings and hunger.
Long Term Sustainability
One of the most important considerations in the actual success that any diet plan has or will have is its sustainability over the long term, and the overall success measure of any weight loss plan is the individual’s ability to keep the weight off for the long term.
In regards to the above, low carb wins over low fat because when individuals are satisfied and not white knuckling their way through the day, the probability of long-term success increases exponentially, this is one of the reasons that low carb is a lifestyle and not just a temporary diet.
What The Studies Show
A study by the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina set out to compare the effects of a low fat diet versus a ketogenic diet program.
What they discovered over their 24 week that not only did the low carbohydrate diet retain more of the participants than the low fat group did, but they also lost more weight, and had a bigger decrease in triglyceride levels.
A low fat diet is generally a temporary diet, one that you cannot sustain because there are too many temptations to give in to; the ketogenic diet does not restrict you to the same level so it is easier to maintain on a long-term basis.
That means the weight you lose stays lost, and is the reason that low carb is a lifestyle and not just another fad diet.
More Studies Support Low Carb Diets Over Low Fat
Since 2002, more than 20 randomized controlled trials have been published in respected, peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate the fact that low carb diets are more effective for weight loss and completely safe without a single adverse effect, this cannot be said about many of the fad diets.
Several studies, including Volek et al, Foster GD, et al, Keogh et al, Westman et al, and Gardner et al have shown low carb eating to lead to more weight loss, and especially visceral fat (belly fat), and to improve HDL cholesterol, insulin levels, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure as compared to low fat plans.
The above studies and others support the fact that low carb wins over low fat in weight loss and reducing risks for heart disease. Of course, you should always ask your doctor before starting any diet plan.
While a low calorie cake remains a fantasy, there are many low calorie foods that actually taste great. Therefore, if you craving to eat something delicious but you cannot afford to take any calories, check out below for a list of the top 10 low calorie foods that taste great.
Cabbage is loved for its ability to prevent heart disease and cancer and it is also ranked as the top foods that can aid in weight loss. This is because it has extremely low calorie count.
A great way to eat cabbage is to make cabbage soup which is filling and has lower calories than other soups.
Eggs are classified as complete protein foods because they contain all the essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. When digested, the amino acids activate the release of hormones in the gut that suppress one’s appetite. Also, eggs contain less calories.
You can add vegetables to spice them up and boost the fiber content.
Apples contain plenty of antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They are also part of the low calorie foods and they make a great snack preventing you from eating junk food.
This is not only a low calories food but also cancer fighting and it is packed with phytonutrients, fiber and proteins which are all key to maintaining proper weight.
Kale is packed with minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins, fiber and proteins and are a perfect snacking alternative that is low in calories. You can bake kale chips in different flavors which is a better alternative to potato chips.
No matter the type mushroom you choose, chances are it is low in calories so you do not have to worry no matter how you choose to cook them.
Besides being naturally sweet, watermelon is low in calories. It also contain antioxidants which are beneficial to the body in many ways and it has been proven to boost metabolism which in turn aids in weight loss.
Cauliflower is one of the lowest ranking in terms of calorie count. It also has many other health benefits including enhancing the function of the body’s digestive and cardiovascular system and being an anti-inflammatory food.
Cucumbers are loaded with water and they are low in calories which explains why they make a great adornment in salads. You can eat it to your satisfaction without worrying about exceeding the maximum calorie intake.
Besides being one of the healthiest foods, tomatoes are low in calories and they contain lycopene, a pigments that helps to prevent cancer and heart diseases. Due their low calorie count, tomatoes make a great weight loss food.
Click here to discover exactly what “whole wheat” bread, types of milk, sugar, and vegetable oils do to your body
How Calorie Counting Works
Calorie is the measure of the energy amount in food. Knowing the amount of calories in food helps you to balance the energy that gets to the body with the energy used when doing physical activity which is key in controlling weight.
The energy contained in food is measured in form of calories just like we measure weight of an item in kilograms.
Calories and energy balance
When you eat or drink, energy gets to the body in the form of calories and the body uses up that energy when doing physical activity. In order to maintain a stable weight the energy thet gets to the body should be equal to that used up
When we eat and drink, we’re putting energy (calories) into our bodies. The body then uses up that energy, and the more physical activity you do, the more energy (calories) are used.
Weight gain occurs when we take in more energy and use less. Over time the excess energy is stored in form of fat.
According to research, most adults drink and eat more that needed by the body and they are not physically active which leads to weight gain.
Checking calories in food
Knowing the amount of calories in food is useful when trying to lose weight or even when you need to maintain a healthy weight. Just ensure that you do not consume too much calories that you use up.
The calorie content in food is indicated on the back side of the packaging. The amount is written in kcals short form for kilocalories or kJ short form for kilojoules.
The label tells you how many calories are contained in 100 millilitres or 100 grams of the drink or food, therefore, you can compare the calorie content in different products. Some labels also state the amount of calories in a single portion of the food but the manufaturer’s idea of a proportion may not be the same as yours.
Yous should use the calorie information provided on a product to determine if a certain food fits your daily calorie requirement. Usually, a man needs 2500 calories to maintain a healthy weight while a woman needs 2000 calories. Therefore ensure that you take only enough or less if you want to shed some pounds.
In order to burn calories, you should engage in physical activity that will use up body energy, the more vigorous the activity is, the more calories you will use which eventually leads to weight loss.
A Fad diet is a conventional diet that promises people fast results through simple methods. These diets are very tempting given that losing weight is a challenge to many people with most of them having a misconception that they can lose weight overnight. The fact is fad diets are all hype and may cause you, even more, harm than good.Below Are 10 Reasons why Fad Diets Suck:
Unnecessary food restrictions — Fad diets that promise quick weight loss will usually instruct you to eat more of one food type and restrict yourself from eating another food type. This could lead to an unbalanced diet. To address that, fad diets will usually recommend many supplements, but then again, many supplements might cause nutritional deficiencies.
Against the fat level as recommended by the government — Fad diets does not follow government recommendations for fat concentrations in the diet. Most fad diets will recommend high fat and low carb diet, which is not good for your health when taken long term. You will indeed lose weight but taking so much fat could lead to heart disease.
Failure to address the root cause of weight gain — The reason that fad diets are considered bad is that these diets do not address the root cause of the weight gain. You regain back the weight you lost at the end of the day!
Expensive — Some fad diets require people to take pills and drink potions which can be costly.
Anti-exercises — Any diet that promises you weight loss without counting your calories or doing exercise is a fad diet. These diets do not encourage weight loss patients to incorporate exercises into their programs.
Elimination of healthy foods — Usually, fad diets ask people to eliminate certain food groups from their diet because they are bad. Some of the foods are carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential fatty acids.
Short term results — Fad diets are just a temporary solution and will not make any permanent change to your figure and eating habits. In a few weeks time, you will regain all the weight as you will fall back to your old eating habits.
Extremely unhealthy — The short-term weight loss effects followed by weight gain is extremely unhealthy and may cause many diseases such as high blood pressure or coronary heart disease.
Not motivating — They will make you feel bad and guilty whenever you break the overly restrictive diet. After a few days of following the diet and restricting yourself of certain foods, you will start craving and start being bored and sad about your diet.
Unbalanced diet — Many fad diets do not give you a balanced intake of fruits and vegetables, which is important to keep yourself healthy.
Irrespective of how good the fad diet advertisement is, don’t fall for these diets, they will not help you in the long term. The only way to achieve weight loss is to eat moderately, eat a balanced diet, exercise, etc.
Losing excess weight not only makes you look and feel good, but also significantly reduces your risk of getting diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart attack and high blood pressure. There are numerous crash diets and over the top workout programs sold online that promise to help you loose weight fast, but most of them don’t work in the long term. If you’ve tried any of them and failed, don’t give up just yet. There are numerous steps you can take to develop a healthy relationship with food and attain lasting weight loss. Here are 3 tips for losing weight healthily:
Introduce Changes Gradually
Our bodies use the foods we eat for energy. When you eat more food than your body requires for daily activities, the excess energy is stored as fat. The more food you eat, the more fat your body stores and the more weight you’ll gain. To lose weight in a healthy way, it is very important that you gradually change your eating habits.
Making small changes here and there can make a big difference in the long run. So, if you are used to eating unhealthy foods, try cutting them out slowly and replacing them with healthier alternatives (vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meat). Swap snacks like biscuits, candy bars or potato chips for fruits such as an apple to ensure you remain fuller for longer.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake
Other than introducing healthier foods to your diet, you also need to limit the amount of food you eat to lose weight. A good starting point is cutting down on foods that have added sugar and refined carbohydrates like white bread, energy drinks and white rice among others. Aim to eat at least 300-500 calories less everyday, and you’ll be able to lose between 1-2 pounds per week. This may seem a bit slow, but it is more realistic and sustainable. Eat smaller portions of the foods you usually enjoy, and you’ll be able to lose weight for sure.
Increase Your Activity Level
Every time you exercise more than you usually do, but maintain your calorie intake, you’ll burn calories and fat. There are many physical activities you can do to increase your level of activity even if you don’t like going to the gym. This can be anything from using the stairs at work instead of the lift, watching your favorite TV programs while jogging on a tread mill or using a stationary bicycle, swimming, or taking longer walks than you usually do.
The key to long-term weight loss is to eat less calories than your body needs, do physical activities that you enjoy regularly and make lifestyle changes that contribute to your overall health. Always remember that every extra step you take in the right direction brings you closer to achieving your weight loss goal.
Are you obese? Have you attempted almost everything to lose weight with little success? Well, losing weight can prove to be a difficult task especially if you don’t know where to start from, or you lack an experienced hand to guide you through the process.
In this post, we’ll delve into 3 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight no matter how hard you try. To learn more, please read on.
– You don’t exercise regularly
If you intend to lose weight exercise is a must. Health experts recommend that you work out for at least thirty minutes daily. Regular exercise will help you burn extra calories and regulate the production of a hormone named cortisol produced when you are stressed. Cortisol is closely associated with obesity since when your body is recovering from stress it increases your appetite to compensate for the carbohydrates and fat that was used to prepare your body for fight or flight.
– You are not eating healthy
What you eat will determine your body weight. If you intend to lose weight, and you still eat processed foods that are rich in trans fats, salt, and sugars, you are doing more harm than good to your body. These substances tamper with your digestion as well as metabolism. Besides, processed foods lack nutrients and won’t satisfy you, meaning that you will have to eat more to deal with your cravings. Modify your diet by including more fruits, vegetables, and proteins that contain nutrients that promote weight loss. And that is not all, also ensure that you drink enough water to improve your digestion and catalyze reactions that result in burning off extra calories.
– You are not sleeping well
Lastly, to achieve your weight loss goals, you can’t overlook getting enough sleep. Sleep is crucial in promoting your overall health as well as weight loss. Studies have shown that those who don’t get enough sleep have a tendency of consuming high-calorie foods the next day. Yes, you heard me right! Besides, lack of enough sleep also affects your appetite hormones namely leptin and ghrelin increasing your appetite. So, if you are not sleeping well, start sleeping for about seven to eight hours to lose weight without much hassle.
There you have it-3 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight. Getting the body that you have always desired can be so hard sometimes. However if you exercise, eat healthily and sleep well, then you will be in a better position to lose weight fast within the shortest time possible.