Ugh, I hate that word… “dieting.” It literally has the word “die” in it! By no means do you need to “die-t” to lose weight. And, sorry to spill the beans, most of those d-word strategies end in the exact opposite – either stalling progress all together or setting you up for weight gain rebound.
There are a couple other (more helpful) reasons I don’t like the idea of a “diet.”
- It assumes that the changes you’re making will be temporary.
- It usually sets you up on a meal plan that SHOULD only be temporary.
- It asks you to includes absurd amounts of cardio or exercise in general.
- It sometimes includes some sort of “meal replacement,” supplement, or magic pill.
- Too much exercise, not enough food (or the right kind of food) = starving, hangry girl who is most likely going to feel bad about herself because she doesn’t have the “will power” to not eat more than recommended on the so-called “diet.”
- It usually leaves you more confused and frustrated than before you started, leading to low self-esteem and poor body image. And, isn’t the reason we want to change our habits to feel more confident??
So how do we fight back with vengeance on this “d-word?” We find healthy, sustainable ways to find our healthy, happy weights that actually make us feel better, not worse! So where do you even start? I’m laying out 5 mistakes that will lead you down an unsuccessful path to your fitness goals.
1. Not eating enough.
If you didn’t already hear the news, eating too little will put you into a nasty thing called starvation mode. This tricky place happens when your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs. When in starvation mode, your body will hold onto every morsel of food you eat and stores it as fat. Eating too little looks different on everyone depending on your genetics, hormones, and activity level. Signs of starvation mode include irritability, inflammation (can also be caused by overtraining), fatigue, depression/anxiety, weight-loss plateau or even weight gain, lack of period, diarrhea or constipation, and anemia.
2. Eating too much.
“There’s never too much of a good thing” is not true in the case of your food intake. Unfortunately, eating healthy, whole foods isn’t going to help you lose weight if you’re eating too much of them. Perfectly healthy foods like avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, fruits, potatoes, whole grains, and eggs are still calorically dense. It’s important to consume the correct portions of these foods to put your body in enough of a caloric deficit for weight loss (without going into starvation mode – see #1). There’s one food group that this rule does not apply – veggies (especially the green ones)! Any Life in Spandex Lady knows the more greens the better. This is one of the basic principles in the Life in Spandex Eat Guide.
3. Sitting on your bum.
To be your healthiest, most confident self, you must move. In fact, leading a sedentary live can actually be just as harmful for your body as smoking cigarettes! If you aren’t exercising, you’re also missing out on a ton of #bossbabe benefits like increased metabolism, toned muscles, strong bones, balanced hormones, better self-esteem, and stress-relief. It’s important to get all of these in check to effortlessly maintain a healthy weight for the long haul.
4. Too much cardio.
I see so many women start out on a workout plan with vigor and within weeks they’re off the wagon. Most of the time it’s because they believed that spending hours on the elliptical was going to be the secret path to weight loss success. (BIG RED ERROR BUTTON). Even I’ve been there! Steady state cardio has its time and place, but it’s much less time than you think. Our bodies are smart. When we start on a new 30-minute per day cardio regimen, we may initially burn 300 calories if we work really hard. But our bodies want to be efficient (it’s how we survived during famine). So those 300 calories will quickly turn into 250 which will dwindle down to 200 and so on. This means you’ll continually have to increase the amount of cardio you’re doing to even maintain the weight you’ve lost. Sounds like a nightmare, right?! That’s why it’s so important to have a balanced cardio plan with both interval and steady state cardio balanced with strength training.
5. Nutritional imbalances.
Whoever said “a calorie is a calorie” was very misguided. Sure, there’s a possibility you could lose weight on a 1,500 calorie candy diet, but it’ll be at at the expense of your health and sanity. And isn’t the reason you want to change your habits is to be healthier and happier? The secret to sticking with a healthy eating plan and actually enjoying it is eating the right kind of foods at the right times during the day in the right proportions. This is why I never ask any of the Life in Spandex Ladies to count calories. Rather it is about filling up your plate with the right macronutrient rations of micronutrient-dense foods that will please your tastebuds and keep you feeling satisfied.
Still feeling confused on exactly how to lose weight in a healthy and fun way? Think you don’t have the time or the money to spare? This is exactly why I created the Life in Spandex Sweat and Eat Guides. These downloadable ebooks are created for busy #bossbabes who want to be healthy but have been given the wrong information. I will show you step-by-step how you can be fit, energized, and confident with do-anywhere workouts that take 30-minutes or less and simple, quick, and affordable meal planning techniques.
Health and happiness,