Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tip: Bad Habits Make Dieting a Disaster

I've been browsing through other people's food diaries recently, and I'm astonished at what I've seen. Now, I know my daily diet isn't perfect. Every time I grab a protein bar, I know I'd be better off with a piece of fruit and cheese, or a yogurt, maybe a slice of deli meat or some vegetables. But sometimes we take shortcuts. Sometimes we have a craving that just needs to be satisfied. It's OK to take a shortcut every once in a while, and it's OK to satisfy a craving. But to do it every day? While trying to diet? It just don't work that way. Here are some examples of what I saw:

1. People starving themselves. If you only eat 400 calories a day, you'll quickly lose some weight, but your metabolism with slow down, and it takes a lot to speed it back up. Trust me on this one. I've made the same mistake. It sucks. Don't do it. I can't stress it enough. Your body goes into starvation mode. And it doesn't easily come out of starvation mode, particularly if you starve yourself for days, weeks or months on end. Ultimately, you'll probably end up fatter than when you began dieting.

2. Someone whose entire daily food intake consists of poor nutritional choices. I saw one woman whose breakfast was 8 saltines with margarine, and whose lunch was a cup of brown rice. At least it was brown rice, not white, but still! That's it. No other food. No protein. No fruits and vegetables. No dairy. Nothing except a bit of starchy carbs and an artificial fat! Your body needs food from all of the major food groups!

3. People who take a moderately healthy meal, then gorge themselves on it. I saw the diary of one person whose dinner included 3 cups of steamed vegetables, 9 ounces of skinless chicken breast, 1.5 cups of rice, 1.5 cups of fried chow mein noodles, plus some sauce. Let's count that up...it's at least 7 cups of food. Picture that. Seven cups. That's 1.5 quarts of food. Nearly half a gallon!

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