If you're thinking about "starting a diet," you may be thinking that you want quick results, where you'll drop 5, 10, or more pounds -- quickly. However, there's more to it than that. Instead, what you need to think about is to satisfy both your body's needs and your own, healthfully, for the rest of your life.
"Quick fix" diets are nothing new, and have been around for a long time, such as for those times when you want to get into a bikini and look good on the beach. However, that's where the "diet industry" can suck us in.
Every New Year, many of us resolve again and again that we're going to lose weight after our holiday binges. So, suddenly, we are bombarded with diets and exercise DVDs, all of which promise that yes, we can have that svelte figure. A few weeks go by, and the diet, too, goes on the shelf; until spring comes around, at least, at which time we want to look good for the beach or to get into our evening gown for the next party.
Instead of going through that merry-go-round again and again, though, why not start a "diet" that's going to produce not only the results you want, but a way of life that can become permanent, so that you can maintain your weight ideally and never have to look at another "diet" again? In fact, our metabolism is one of the most important factors in our diets, but many of us have the wrong idea of just what that means. Here are four major areas dieters make mistakes:
1. Trying to "spot reduce." In fact, you can't lose fat from just one area. Even though so-called infomercial "experts" may tell you otherwise, the only way to lose weight is to do a workout that utilizes and affects your entire body.
2. Using diet pills to lose weight. Diet pills are not only potentially dangerous, but they can also damage your metabolism by cutting your appetite. Therefore, while you might get short-term weight loss, you're probably going to sabotage your long-term weight loss efforts -- and might hurt your health, too.
3. Cutting calories excessively. When you cut calories excessively, you reduce your metabolism as well, which actually sabotages weight loss over the long term. Initially, you may lose a lot of weight, but you are actually losing muscle mass and water, not fat. Because you've lost muscle, you're going to drop your metabolism even further, which means you're going to have less ability to burn calories than you did before. That means when you go back to normal eating habits (as you must, since no severely restricted calorie diet works for long), you're going to regain the weight you lost, and more -- even if you don't eat more.
4. Thinking of metabolism as a "one factor only" element. Metabolism isn't just affected by one area of your lifestyle; in fact, your sleeping habits, your gender, the amount of muscle mass you have, and your age, among other characteristics, affect it.
For truly successful weight loss, you have to consider all of the above areas and put them into proper perspective. Your first consideration when you diet should be your overall personal health. Don't go for "quick weight loss" fad diets, and instead construct a healthy eating plan that's going to support you in health and life, for the long haul.
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