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Moderation May Not Promote Weight Loss
Let's be very clear on one thing: if you can cut back on your calorie intake and balance your macros (fats, carbs, and protein), you have a very good chance of losing weight. Weight loss is made possible through a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and a clean lifestyle. But when it comes to your eating choices, having "everything in moderation" could actually cause you to GAIN weight rather than lose it.
The "Everything in Moderation" Diet
There are a lot of studies that agree that depriving yourself of delicious foods can feel restrictive and lead to weight loss. Thus, new diets are cropping up that allow you to have "a little bit" of unhealthy food options, provided you eat mostly healthy foods the rest of the time. A small serving of dessert is okay after a meal of salad or soup, or you can have a little bit of bread with your veggie and meat-rich meal.
Does It Work?
For many people, the "everything in moderation" diet can be effective. Because they are able to have a small amount of their favorite foods, their healthy diet doesn't feel as restrictive the rest of the time. They're not eliminating everything they love, simply cutting back on the less healthy options. This will help you to stick with your diet, as you won't miss out on the foods you love. You're allowed to "cheat", and thus you're less prone to actually cheating and overdoing it on the unhealthy foods.
The Sad Truth
Unfortunately, not everyone has the discipline to actually have "just a little" of the less healthy foods. It's human nature to start out with very restrictive portions for the first days/weeks of the diet, but eventually start eating more and more. One bite of something unhealthy turns into two, then three, then more. Over time, you stop being as strict on yourself and the diet plan eventually disappears as you add all those delicious foods back onto your menu.
More Variety Isn't Always Good
They say that variety is the spice of life, but sometimes it can be BAD for you—especially for your weight loss! One study found that people who eat the widest variety of foods are more prone to weight gain and waist size increase than those who limit themselves to fewer food options. Here's the kicker: even if the foods weren't as healthy, the ones who ate fewer foods still ended up losing more weight. The more variety you have in your diet, the higher the chance of weight gain.
Just Adding Healthy Food Isn't Enough
The study found that people wouldn't replace their unhealthy foods with healthier options. Instead, they would just add the healthy foods on top of their unhealthy choices. The foundation of the diet was unhealthy, and thus the results they obtained were less than favorable. In fact, many of these people actually GAINED weight, despite their efforts to eat healthy.
It's All About Discipline!
When it comes to weight loss and dieting, you need to have discipline. Whether it's to limit carbs, eat on a restricted timeframe, or avoid overdoing it on calories, discipline is the key to your success. You have to stop yourself from eating when and what you know you shouldn't. It's definitely no easy task—if it were, everyone would lose weight—but it's vital for seeing the weight loss results you want. Moderation isn't enough to promote weight loss. In the end, it's all about making the healthy choices and embracing a clean diet!