10 Things That Kill Your Diet

5.16.2016

If you are trying to diet and it seems like nothing you do is enough to shed those last few pounds, read on to see if you are guilty of the 10 common diet killers.
   

Drinking Sports Drinks. While many people believe that sports drinks are a gift from heaven, they’re not as good for you as they would seem. Unless you are doing intense workouts, the amount of sugar, potassium, and sodium in many of these drinks is too much for a sedentary, or even slightly active lifestyle. 

Drinking “Diet”. If you are trying to lose weight, chances are you turn to diet sodas to get your “fix” without the calories. However, “diet” drinks are actually worse for you than traditional soda. “Diet” sodas have been proven to contribute to weight gain rather than weight loss due to the artificial sweeteners and empty calories.


Eating “Low-Fat” or “Sugar-Free” Foods. While not all “low-fat” foods are bad for you, not eating enough good fat (saturated fat) and good cholesterol (HDL) is. Also, many “low-fat” foods contain a lot of sugar and vegetable oil. “Sugar-free” food contains artificial sweeteners that can be worse for you than sugar, leading to weight gain, blood sugar issues, and increased risk of some cancers.

Dousing Your Salad. If you choose to be healthier by eating a salad rather than a burger, you may not be choosing the healthy option after all. Salad dressing is normally full of fat, iceberg lettuce is devoid of nutrition, and croutons add a lot of calories to your salad. Eating a salad is a good option, just make sure that you keep it healthy.

Not Exercising. Dieting is not enough to lose weight. You need to couple diet and exercise in order to effectively shed those extra pounds. A good rule of thumb is to engage in moderate exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, or one hour of light exercise a day, six days a week.

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Mindless Eating. If you tend to eat as you watch TV or snack throughout the day at your desk, it will be very difficult to lose weight. In order to combat mindless eating, don’t bring snacks to your desk or entertainment area, eat using a smaller plate, don’t allow yourself to snack when watching TV, or eat healthy snacks like fruit, vegetables, and nuts.

Drugs and Alcohol. Drugs and alcohol have a profound effect on how our bodies react to hunger and food. For example, marijuana use can cause “the munchies” (to learn more about the effects of marijuana on the body, check out this blog), and alcohol can slow your metabolism up to 70 percent!
Emotional Eating. Nothing can ruin a diet faster than emotional eating. Many people eat when they are stressed, depressed, worried, or upset. However, most people turn to unhealthy food such as ice cream or pizza during these times, and tend to consume a lot of calories to distract themselves from what they are experiencing. 
Eating Like It’s a Race. If you eat in the car or scarf down your lunch like you are in a race, you can be causing harm to your body. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, so you may eat more calories that you would if you were to slow down and take your time when eating. It may be wise to sit down and eat your meals at a table with friends or family, and have meaningful conversations during mealtime to help you slow down.  
Cheat Days. Cheat days are both good and bad for your diet. If done correctly, your cheat days can help you lose weight and reward you for being healthy. However, if you cheat too often or if your cheat days turn into stuff-your-face days, they can have the opposite effect on your diet. It is OK to eat out with your friends every once in awhile or eat whatever is served at a wedding, but it is not OK to eat donuts and ice cream every night. If you do slip up, don’t give up! Just try again the next day. 

Eating Right Before Bedtime. Eating right before you go to bed, or getting up in the middle of the night to eat a snack can ruin your diet. Not only does it cause heartburn and insomnia (possibly causing you to get up to eat some more due to boredom), but it can also lead to overeating and weight gain. The food people tend to eat late at night are normally unhealthy and full of calories, as they tend to eat food that they crave rather than a healthy snack. 

By: Darci Maxwell
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