Things to Avoid

All of diets have advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is finding a diet that works with your lifestyle!

Too often people try to change their lives to fit the rules of the latest diet fad instead of practicing a diet that works with how they already live. Losing weight and eating right isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. It’s not about abstaining from your favorite foods, or never having fun again. All that matters is consistently making those small positive choices, like having water instead of juice or a salad instead of a sandwich.

Seeing results from those small positive choices takes time, though. In general, people overestimate what eating healthy can do for you in a month, but vastly underestimate what it can accomplish in a year. Remember: The best diet is the one you can maintain indefinitely.

If you can do the little things right and avoid any bullshit healthy diet “hacks” sold on the Internet, a year from now you will see significant improvement in your body composition.

Things to avoid

1. Any diet that sells products

Bars, shakes, and other supplements might not be unhealthy, but they are unnecessary. Protein bars are simply candy bars with added protein, but in an emergency they’re still better than the alternative. Shakes are a fine way to get some extra protein, but most other supplements (excluding vitamins and fish oil) are just a good way to throw away money.

2. Overeating

It’s easy to eat too much healthy food and gain weight. There is nothing wrong with a baked potato and a cup of cashews, but if you eat two of each, you’d have consumed around 1,800 calories. Try to operate under the one plate rule: have a reasonably sized plate and only fill it once per meal.

3. An unbalanced diet

Part of eating healthy is eating a balanced diet. Our diet plans have guidelines that facilitate balanced eating, but you should understand what those portions look like in a meal: a palm of protein, a cupped hand of carbs, and a thumb of fat. Remember to stick to the basics: half of what you eat throughout the day should be vegetables, and you should never feel like you are starving yourself. If you find yourself still hungry after you have your one plate, take a minute, drink some water, and then snack on veggies until you are full.

4. Condiments

What you eat is important, but so is what you flavor your food with. Coffee is a five-calorie drink, but every teaspoon of sugar adds around 20 calories. Consuming too much added sugar on a regular basis can increase your insulin levels, which can slow your weight loss progress.  It’s also a known cause of type two diabetes.

Be aware that condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce contain a lot of sugars and can hinder weight loss. Instead, try garlic and onion, seasoning blends, steak seasoning, or fresh herbs. Low-sodium/sugar tomato sauce and mustard are both good too.

Jake Dermer