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Beware of These Five Diet Booby Traps!
Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
As a weight-loss transformation expert, I know all of the tricks for taking weight off successfully—and I also know all of the pitfalls that can trip you up. Today, as part of Dr. Kellyann’s Weight Loss Month, I’m going to talk about the five biggest weight-loss booby traps and share tips on how you can easily avoid them.
1. Bailing Out
There are two primary reasons why people give up early on a diet. Here’s a look at each of them.
First, many people start a diet without preparing for it. By day three, they’re out of healthy food and they don’t have time to shop or cook, so they say “the heck with it” and reach for that burrito in the freezer.
To avoid this pitfall, do some up-front planning and prep work. Know exactly which foods you should eat, and stock your kitchen with them. Also, get rid of foods on the “no” list (like that burrito). And finally, cook up some big batches of healthy soup, chili, or stew. It’s a good idea to have a week’s worth of meals in the fridge and freezer before Day One of your diet.
The second big reason that people quit is that they don’t understand the “carb flu.” Early on in a low-carb diet, most people experience several days of feeling “tired, cranky, wired, and weird.” At this point, many of them throw in the towel and grab a burger and fries.
But here’s the thing: The carb flu is very temporary, and it’s a good sign! It means that your body is switching from burning sugar to burning fat (which is challenging for your cells at first), and that’s what turns you into a fat-burning machine.
So if you experience the carb flu, don’t give up. Instead, ride it out, because it only lasts three to seven days—and when it’s done, you’re going to feel fantastic (and drop pounds like crazy). To ease your carb flu symptoms, nibble on a little avocado, some unsweetened coconut chips, or a handful of olives with the salt rinsed off.
2. Freaking Out
Many dieters are terrified of fat. That’s because “experts” have demonized healthy fats like avocados, coconut, clarified butter, and beef tallow.
If you’ve fallen for the fat scare, it’s time to get over it. Healthy fats actually help you lose weight faster, in addition to giving you beautiful skin (because they strengthen the walls of your skin cells). They also satisfy your hunger, keeping you from binging on the foods that truly are fattening. So eat healthy fats at every meal!
3. Pigging Out
You don’t need to count points or calories, but you do need to learn how to build a proper plate. Here’s a quick guide to creating a healthy low-carb meal:
· PROTEIN. A serving of meat, fish, or poultry should be about the size and thickness of your palm. A serving of eggs is as many as you can hold in your hand (that’s about two or three for women and three or four for men). A serving of egg whites alone is double the serving for whole eggs. Each meal should include a serving of protein.
· NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES. A serving of these vegetables should be at least the size of a softball. You can’t eat too many of them, so fill your plate with at least two or three softballs’ worth.
· STARCHY VEGETABLES. A serving of starchy vegetables (such as sweet potato, jicama, kohlrabi, or winter squash) should be about the size of a baseball for women and the size of a softball for men. Note:Eat starchy vegetables only if you’re recovering from a workout or you’re feeling weak and tired and you know it’s not due to the carb flu.
· FRUIT. A serving of fruit is half an individual piece (half an apple, half an orange) or a tennis-ball-size serving of berries, grapes, or tropical fruits (about 1⁄2 cup). That’s a closed fistful, or about 1⁄2 cup if they’re diced. Eat no more than two servings of fruit per day, and break them up across meals and snacks to distribute your sugar intake.
· FATS. A serving of liquid fat should be about the size of a ping-pong ball, a typical bouncy ball, or one to two thumb-size portions (that’s about one tablespoon). A serving of nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, or olives is about one closed handful. A serving of avocado is one-quarter to one-half an avocado. A serving of coconut milk is one-third to one-half the can. Each meal should include one or two servings of fat.
4. Dining Out
I love going out to a restaurant with my buds. However, I learned early on that restaurant dining needs to be the exception, not the rule.
While you can eat wisely at restaurants, it’s too easy to over-indulge… especially when the wine starts flowing! So even if cooking is a chore for you, try to make most of your meals at home. Again, batch cooking will make it faster and easier.
5. Stressing Out
Stress hormones make you crave sugar and fats. Worse yet, the stress hormone cortisol causes you to deposit fat around your belly. (That’s one reason why even skinny people sometimes have a “cortisol tire.”)
Reduce your stress with simple breathing exercises like this one and mindful meditation (here’s my recent post about how to meditate). Also, burn off that cortisol by exercising every day.
Follow these simple tips, and you’ll have a much easier time sticking to your diet, taking off your extra pounds, and getting the beautiful body you deserve. And speaking of taking off those extra pounds… have you started your Bone Broth Diet yet? If not, it’s time… because another big diet booby trap is procrastination!
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