I am a woman, and trust me,I have made every single one of the following dieting mistakes. Please learn from my mistakes and avoid the following 5 errors.
Juicing is hot right now. Juice shops are popping up as well as new brands arriving on mainstream store shelves Nationwide. Unfortunately juicing has been glamorized and advertised as a weight loss vehicle. I am not sure how it got placed into the weight loss category, but sure, if you want to simply drink your calories and avoid all solid foods for a period of time you likely will lose some weight. What I can guarantee you is that it will be temporary and it will come at the cost of being cranky and very low on energy. When you juice your fruits and veggies you lose all of the tummy-filling fiber and pulp that help keep you full and satisfied. Additionally, taking in only juice creates a severe lack of protein,which can lead to the loss of muscle mass. Muscle at rest burns more calories than fat so there is longer-term damage happening when you do extreme diets like juicing. They undermine your longer term ability to burn calories, meaning that in the future you will have to eat less to even maintain weight. Scarier still is the amount of calories some of these juices can carry. If they are fruit based calculate them about the same as a glass in that size of apple juice or orange juice. Some of these boutique stores are selling 12-20 ounce bottles of the stuff. Would you guzzle a 20-ounce bottle of orange juice at approximately 300 calories?
Juices can be delicious and can be a great way to get some of the vitamins and minerals you need if you have not been eating enough solid fruits and veggies. Enjoy them as a wonderful addition to a healthy eating plan, but not as your sole source of energy.
Looking Ahead at Weight Loss Rate
Weight loss happens on it’s own timeline. I see many women have a good first week and begin to “calculate” just how quickly they will lose weight and get to their goals. Weight loss is a delicate dance of many different factors, most importantly, behavior change. There is often greater weight loss in the initial weeks due to fluid loss and a strict adherence to a plan out of high motivation. As time goes on, adherence begins to slip and real, true change must begin. Anyone can restrict themselves or follow an unrealistic eating plan for a short period f time, but can you go in and change the core behaviors that are standing in the way of your longer term success? By looking ahead and projecting numbers I see disappointment and deeper sabotage set in. The thinking begins to be “well, since I haven’t reached my goals I’ll just have this cookie because it isn’t working anyway.” Instead, make a commitment not to project and instead to be living in the moment, creating awareness of the behaviors you have already changed and those that need further tweaking.
Simply put, one of the greatest non-food or exercise things you can do for your weight loss is to go to bed.Many of the hormones that govern appetite and hunger are ruled by sleep. Lack of sleep sets your brain up for bad decisions much like being just a little tipsy. Defenses are down, energy is low and your instinct is that food will make you feel better. Also, the more hours you are awake, the more hours you can eat. It’s hard to eat when you are asleep. If falling asleep is difficult think about natural sleep aids like melatonin or magnesium. These subtle, natural compounds can help take you over the edge to dreamland. Also, take time to turn off electronics and dim lights an hour or two before bed. Try a week of 7-8 hours of sleep a night and see how it effects your scale.
The BLT’s are the unaccounted for Bites, Licks and Tastes that happen during the day. I know it seems harmless to take a bite of your child’s ice cream cone or a sip of your boyfriend’s beer but they can really add up! I have done an exercise with my clients for years to illuminate just how many extra calories they are taking in through BLT’s. I ask them to carry a small plastic ziplock bag around with them for the week with small pieces of paper inside. Each time they are tempted to take a BLT of something I ask them instead to write it down and asses a calorie number associated with that bite. For most they have several hundred calories listed in that baggie by the end of the week. The exercise helps them to create the awareness of just how many times they are performing the behavior and reaching for extra food, but additionally to see how many extra calories they are taking in because of the behavior. Those can be the very calories keeping you from achieving your next weight loss goal. Changing the behavior can save you countless unwanted calories over time.
Ignoring Weight Training
Ladies, many of us are really guilty of only doing cardio. We fear getting “bulky” from weight training. Women who weight train don’t have the hormones necessary to increase their muscle size much, just their muscle's density and strength. We finish building essential muscle after the end of puberty. As we age we lose muscle. For those of us who have had babies, pregnancy further accelerated muscle loss. Dieting and aerobic exercise without strength training causes muscle loss. I can assure you building it back and maintaining it is the very most important thing you can do for your long-term success in the weight loss arena. Weight training re-builds lost muscle and muscle burns fat. It is an active tissue that is constantly renewing itself therefore requiring energy (calories). Start slowly performing exercises that simply use your body weight as resistance and move on from there.