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How to Totally Mess Up Weight LossWeight loss can be pretty darned difficult! There really isn't a 3-step formula for weight loss that's 100% effective for everyone. In fact, what works for one person may often lead to weight gain for someone else. It can be tough to know the right ways to lose weight, and you may have tried everything from intermittent fasting to low calorie diets to crazy fad diets. But did you know that there are a few simple mistakes that can totally mess up weight loss? Here are some things you DON'T want to do:
Be Too StrictYour body needs calories in order to survive and thrive. If you don't give it enough energy, it won't be able to function properly. That means your very low calorie diet is actually doing more harm than good. Starving your body will cause you to GAIN weight rather than lose it. Cleanses, detoxes, and crash diets will often set you back more than you'd expect, because your body takes a while to recover from the metabolism-reducing effects of the diet. Plus, without enough calories, you don't have the energy to go to the gym, train hard, or do anything that will speed up healthy weight loss.
Fasting Too OftenA bit of fasting can be wonderful for your health—not just for fat burning, but also for insulin control, digestion, and your metabolism. But fasting too often for too long can decrease your body's production of leptin, the hormone that tells you you've have enough to eat. If you're going to fast, make sure that you stick with healthy periods of fasting (14 to 18 hours per day, or 1 or 2 days per week).
Yes, a low-carb diet can be a great way to lose weight and purge your body of its sugar cravings. However, over the long term, you'll end up doing more harm than good. Your body needs carbs in order to produce energy, so you MUST consume at least some carbs. Even just a few grams per day can deliver a hefty dose of energy, not to mention all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you get from whole grains. Never cut food groups from your diet completely—simply reduce and minimize to healthy quantities.
Diet PillsThere is ONE diet pill that is scientifically proven to work, and that is Alli/Orlistat, an FDA-approved diet pill. If you're taking any other pill, you're running the risk of negative side effects. Plus, there's a very real chance you're spending your money on something that just doesn't work. Diet pills are the "easy" way out, but they never deliver the long-term results you want. They may speed up weight loss in the short term, but what happens when you stop taking them? Will you regain all the weight you've lost? In many cases, the answer is "yes". Better to avoid diet pills completely!
Training Away the FatTo be healthy, you HAVE to spend time exercising. The truth is that you will only lose serious weight if you put in the time at the gym. Exercise burns fat and calories, improves muscle tone, and raises your metabolism. But it's not the only thing you can do to lose weight—in fact, it's only the second most important thing. Your diet takes #1 priority in terms of weight loss. Eating right (clean, healthy foods and a balanced diet) is the only way that your exercise efforts will pay off. No matter how much you exercise, you can't train away a bad diet!