Dieting is hard work, but when you look into the mirror and see those rock-hard abs and toned arms, it's all worth it. Why not keep doing the diet, right?
When we think of dieting, taking careful notice of every tasty morsel we eat, planning our meals, and eating frequently throughout the day comes to mind. Diet means denying food cravings and ignoring your grumbling stomach every step of the way, and only eating when you're allowed to.
It's easy to get excited about the rigid and strict nature of dieting. After all, your better body is just around the corner, but is there such a thing as being on a diet too long?
Yes, there is, and there are important indicators that will let you know when you should dump the diet to keep your sanity.
Getting Lost In The Numbers
Most of us know that if you're going to do a diet, you have to be arithmetic-ulous. You need to know what you're consuming every day in terms of calories, carbs, and protein if you have any hope of staying on track. If you're doing all that, you might start feeling like a bona fide mathematician, with adding and subtracting skills that far exceed the days of mad-minute math tests.
But while dieting by the numbers is important, don't let yourself become too obsessed. Those who get too wrapped up in the small details often end up missing the big picture, which is just as bad as not paying attention to them at all. Accidentally having 180 carbs instead of your target 200 for the day isn't going to make or break your diet.
When it comes to a good diet, you need to hit your macronutrient ranges, but you don't have to balance the books to a "T" - relax!
Trading Your Purse For A Lunch Box
You know someone is on a diet when they're constantly carrying a lunch box, Tupperware, or bag full of food all day, every day.
There's nothing wrong with preparing and bringing your meals along with you wherever you go, but remember that some flexibility every once in awhile will promote long-term diet loyalty.
Excluding professional figure models and bodybuilders that get paid to keep their body on the straight and narrow continuously throughout the year, most people will quit the diet or go insane with no periodic diet flexibility. This doesn't mean binging on junk food every other day, but it does mean that if you're running out to meet some friends for a bite to eat, you can order something without completely destroying your diet.
The Ritualistic Morning Weigh-In
Do you talk to your scale? Do you light incense and say a little prayer in an effort to please the weight gods? If you do, chances are it's time to take a step back when it comes to your diet. Yes, tracking your weight is a good thing, but the scale doesn't tell all, so you shouldn't use it as your sole indicator of success and failure.
Most new dieters see rapid results in the first few weeks of training and expect to drop half a pound every morning until they're fit, but that just isn't the case. Sometimes, your metabolism slows down, you have a little more water weight than usual, or maybe you've built some muscle. There are a variety of factors that influence what pops up on the scale, so don't beat yourself up if the weight doesn't seem to be coming down or up as fast as it should.
Daily weight fluctuations are completely normal and natural, and since long-term results are what you're aiming for, then try reducing your weigh-ins to once a week for some peace of mind.
When Diet Invades Your Dreams
If you woke up from a dream in which food was a major theme, looks like even your subconscious is hungry.
Sure, it's perfectly normal to think about cheat foods during the day, but when you're sleeping? You've got way better things to have on your mind when you sleep, so if your diet is cutting in on your slumber time, then perhaps you should listen to your body and have a cheat day.
Incorporate some cheat meals here and there in your plan, and let your mind stop worrying!
Gum - The OTHER Diet Food
Gum is a popular and useful way to beat the munchies when you have to fight the urge to nibble on something. But if gum has become a part of your diet to the extent that you consume more of it than real food, you may need to wrap up your chewing habit.
Hunger on a diet plan is unavoidable, and you'll have to deal with it at some point. However, if you're faced with an ongoing hunger that won't let up, it might just be starvation - spit out the gum and get some food for crying out loud!
It is true that low-calorie diets are great for fat loss, but extremely low -calorie diets will only cause your metabolic rate to come to a crawl, and gum can't replace all those important and healthy nutrients. Even one week on an extreme low-calorie diet can bring your fat-burn to a standstill.
So remember to eat up, even when you're trying to lose fat!