Your diet is not your enemy; this is your guide that tells you how to be on good terms with your diet. Following a diet plan is like being in a relationship. The more you invest in it the happier you will be. It takes two to tango remember!
You can enjoy sustainable results without having a strong feeling of deprivation. If you’re having a pretty bad relationship with your diet; you’re probably doing one or more of these mistakes. Learn more about them and how to avoid doing them in order to have a balanced and effective diet.
YOUR CALORIES ARE TOO LOW FOR TOO LONG
We all know that eating fewer calories will help you lose body fat, but too much of anything is good for nothing. Using a very low-calorie meal plan for months on end can actually do more harm than good. When you’re dieting your body is always stressed, add in intense exercise and your cortisol levels could stay high for an extended period. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and one of its functions is to increase blood sugar. Cortisol release is good for fat metabolism early in your day, but chronic cortisol release can lead to adverse health effects along with visceral fat stores in your belly. Researchers suggest that chronically elevated cortisol levels may lead to overeating, which is clearly unhelpful if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake.
Long-term extreme diets, although good for your body composition, don’t necessarily have positive effects on your overall health.
What to do?
Though every situation and body is unique, it’s important to take a break from your diet to allow your body to recover from stress. A 1-2 week break after 6 weeks of maintaining an intense calorie deficit is recommended. Even short breaks in your diet can help your metabolism and improve your performance in the gym.
UNDERESTIMATING YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE
Protein is essential for building and maintaining lean mass. If you’re not getting enough protein, it will be very difficult for you to put on muscle, or even keep the muscle you have.
You should eat more protein, more often than not.
What to do?
Each body is different. Your exercise program, genetics, and fitness level will all influence how much protein your body needs and can use. A good rule is to take in about one gram of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. Knowing that protein increases satiety levels then you should feel full for longer periods of time; so if you feel hungry after an hour or two of eating, there’s a really good chance that you’re not taking the needed amounts of protein for your body.