How to Avoid Common Weightloss Diet Traps

Don’t let these traps throw you off your diet

You’re eating right, even doing some exercise and still the scale won’t budge. You may have fallen into a weight loss trap. See if you can identify which of these sneaky deceptive practices may be sabotaging your weight loss success:

  • Failure to Consider Counting Calories

Even though a low carb diet is more concerned about carbs than calories, you still cannot consume mass quantities of food and expect to lose weight. So calculate both your carbs and calories when journaling your diet, and realize that just eliminating 500 calories a day ( which is easy if you cut out 250 as calories and add 250 calories of exercise a day) can result in a consistent 1-2 pound weight loss per week.

  • Failing to Understand Deceitful Food Labeling

This one is REALLY sneaky, as manufacturers do NOT make a product ONE SERVING size, but rather sneak several servings into their package. Just look at a candy bar. It says a king size bar has only 170 calories, but it’s for ONE THIRD of that bar, not the entire thing. So…read the servings per package amount FIRST. It could save you a world of calories/carb hurt!

  • Eating in Front of the TV

Doing anything that distracts you from focusing on the food you are eating has been shown to result in at least 300 MORE calories per meal than if you ate in silence. This goes for talking on the phone or reading a magazine. So dedicate your meal time to just that – your food and watch your calories/carb consumption stabilize.

  • Eating Only Three Meals a Day

I know this may sound counterintuitive, but people who eat smaller meals more frequently during the day, keep their metabolism stoked and burn more calories. It also prevents you from overating to compensate for feeling “starved”, so consider adding 2 snacks a day of high fiber or high protein foods and watch your weight start to disappear.

  • Denying Food Cravings

Debbie Reynolds once said that “sex is like air…you don’t miss it until you’re not getting any!” Well, the same can be said about denying food cravings. If you’ve been dreaming of foods such as cake, pasta, bread etc but force yourself to eat salads, you could simply end up filling the unmet need with too many calories from other foods. So eat a SMALL portion of whatever you feel you are being deprived of on your new diet plan, and watch how easily the craving disappears.

  • Cooking and Cleaning Alone

I know this may sound strange, but studies show that when you cook or clean up alone, you sample food and are tempted to nibble on leftovers, which can add “ghost” calories/carbs to any meal. So let your family participate in the process so you don’t overeat.

  • Ordering an Entree at a Restaurant

Entrees have been supersized and can add a whopping load of calories/carbs to your diet plan, so always order appetizer dishes instead when eating out.

  • New Diets are Exciting

Let’s face it. When you start a new diet, the change is exciting, but after a week or so, it’s easy to tire of the routine, so you have to change your mindset and look at this as a lifestyle change and not expect every day to offer a glamorous change in your body. It WILL happen, but only over time and with consistency in your goals.

  • Rapid Weightloss is All Fat

Yeah right. Well, that is what many diet plans would like you to think when they offer an induction plan. In reality, all that is lost is a lot of water and even some muscle, so skip the induction phases and just start on the slower, controlled weight change that comes with moderate changes in your diet. Remember, exercise is important to keep your muscles toned and to serve as the furnace for burning more sugar as you work.


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Eating Low Carb Burns More Calories

Eating a diet rich in protein and lean on carbs may burn more calories according to a  study published in the Nutrition Journal. It’s all about the laws of thermodynamics, you know, those silly little equations that claim energy is never lost, except when it comes to exchanging heat. Researchers Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine claim that “a calorie is a calorie” actually violates the second law of thermodynamics, which predicts that various sources of energy will lose more heat when burned. So what does this mean when it comes to dieting?

Plenty. Protein and carbohydrates are processed differently in the body. Protein has the thermodynamic edge, because more energy is released as heat than is converted into chemical energy or glucose. So although a chunk of steak and a bowl of noodles carry equal calories, the amount of energy the body scours from them to fuel movement or store as fat is quite different.

This would explain, according to Feinman, why two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine found that those on a low carb, high protein diet shed three times as much weight as those on a low fat diet after six months. Further evidence for this argument can be found in a study done by Dr. Astrup in Denmark, Copenhagen. He studied 12 men in a room and measured scientifically how much energy each man burned when fed a diet high in protein or carbs. Men who ate lean protein, such as pork, put out 4% more heat than those on a high carbohydrate diet, not to mention they lost more weight.

All this is good news for people enjoying a low carb lifestyle, but don=t expect the diet world to embrace Feinman=s opinion with open arms. Experts still claim the main reason people lose weight on a low-carb diet is because they eat fewer calories. But could there be another reason?

Unlike high carbohydrate diets, protein triggers a response in the stomach that affects motility and stimulates the release of glucagon, a hormone that helps us to burn previously stored fat. In normal people, within thirty minutes of eating a small amount of protein, glucagon starts to rise, peaking at two hours. In fact, glucagon can stay elevated in blood for several hours after a protein rich meal. This gives your body plenty of time to use the fat stored around your waist and hips for fuel. Combine this with Feinman’s argument regarding the second law of thermodynamics and high protein/low-carb eating should have the metabolic advantage over low fat and calorically restricted diets when it comes to losing weight.

Diet choices are like hats – not all fit or look good on everyone. But if you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, choosing a lifestyle that emphasizes a diet rich in lean protein, moderate amounts of fats and low glycemic carbohydrates can go a long way towards cheating the Grim Reaper.


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