Why You Can't Break The Diet Cycle - 4 Habits You Need To Stop
Are you finding you can't break the diet cycle, no matter what you try? If so, it's important that you avoid doing the following four things. These are habits that many people have, but they are counterproductive if you're trying to lose weight and more importantly, keep it off.
But before that, make sure you download our free metabolism blueprint, which helps you to work with your metabolism, not against it to lose weight.
OK, so here are the four weight loss habits you should be steering clear of:
1. Don't diet too aggressively
A common mistake is to restrict calories too aggressively while trying to lose weight. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, these types of diets are unsustainable and can harm your metabolism in the long run.
This is why you must have realistic weight loss targets . Aim to lose weight slowly and steadily, rather than trying to achieve results too quickly. At Box, we recommend a weight loss of 0.5-1% of your body weight per week. If you start with a higher body fat percentage, you afford to start at the higher end as research shows that you're at less risk of losing muscle mass. Don't be alarmed if your weight loss is starts to stall, this is totally normal. This is the critical time when you must NOT drop calories further to achieve an arbitrary weight loss target like 2lbs. This just makes it harder to stick to, increases the chances of losing muscle mass, makes you more hungry and slows down your metabolic rate.
Take a look at this clients weight loss progress over 4 months. That's an 11% drop in bodyweight in 11 14 weeks. Well within our target and no sign of plateauing.
2. Stop guessing how much you're eating
Tracking your food CORRECTLY is one of the most powerful tools to understand how much you're eating. However, if you're going to do it, do it properly. Don't guess your portions or eyeball how much you're eating as studies show how we under report how much we eat by up to 1000 calories per day!! Are you considering that coffee, the squirt of ketchup, that one sweet that doesn't matter. Well these small things add up, then paired with that meal or drinks out can quickly override any progress.
The more precise you are, the easier it will be to understand what changes need to be made for weight loss success. Remember that tracking is NOT something you should be doing forever, simply a tool to help you understand food values, how much you're currently eating so you can ensure you stay within your calorie deficit.
3. Building your day around snacks instead of meals
One of the trickiest parts of dieting is adhering to it! Even if you're following a moderate calorie deficit it's still not easy. You will be going through times when you get hungry which is why you need to think about what you're going to eat as well as how much. A problem I often see with clients is that they build their day around snacks rather than meals.
What this means is that instead of having 3-4 balanced meals throughout the day, they end up snacking on high calorie foods like biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars every few hours which adds up quickly without them realising. The issue here is that these types of foods are not satiating and will not fill you up for long, making it easier to eat more, become hungrier quicker and ultimately crash your weight loss progress.
At Box, we believe in a balanced approach that includes the ability to enjoy your favourite foods, however trying to fit in too many 'treats' will only make weight loss harder and harder. Instead, focus on building your day around around high protein, high fibre main meals.
Balancing Your Meals
A ‘balanced’ meal provides you with nutrients for fuel, health and recovery. It is also an easy way to help you control how much you eat.
How to balance your meal
Lean protein + (Protein to build and repair muscle)
High fibre carbohydrates + (Carbohydrates to fuel and recover from your workouts)
Nutrients/vegetables + (Fruit and vegetables for health)
Small amounts of fats (Fat for long-term energy and hormone support)
Flavour! Use herbs and spices to help build meals that you enjoy
4. Move less
Metabolic adaptation is when your body responds to weight loss by burning less calories. This is why weight loss stalls or even reverses despite doing the same things week in and week out. As well as exercise becoming more difficult, this also leads to a drop in None Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) or unconscious movement like fidgeting decreasing your calorie burn for the day. To help combat this, you should activity increase and track your activity. This doesn't need to be trying to hit the arbitrary 10,000 steps, but just ensuring you maintain a certain level of activity and stay consistent with it. At Box, we like to start at a minimum of 4 x 20mins of walking per week.
Do you need more help breaking your diet cycle? Then start by downloading your free Metabolism Blueprint here. Or get in touch email@example.com to see how we can help.