We all have dating deal-breakers. You know the date is done when the otherwise charming guy flexes his biceps in the mirror for the eighth time, or when that cute girl shares yet another picture of her crazy cat Louis.
The same goes with your diet. Just like a dating deal-breaker, red flags in your diet plan may be a sign that it's time to kick that bum diet to the curb.
If any one of the following problems is present in your current diet, consider having "the talk" with your fridge and begin looking for a more fulfilling relationship.
Diet Deal Breakers
You're Just Not
That Into It
Most of us stay away from food we can't stomach, but you'd be surprised by the number of people who stick with food they can barely stand. If you strongly dislike the vast majority of the foods in your diet plan, it's unlikely you'll be able to stick to your diet for more than a few days.
You aren't going to be able to feast on pizza, chicken wings and loaves of bread; there's no getting around that. Yet, there's no reason you can't find pleasure in the foods you are supposed to eat on a diet.
With the vast amount of diet plans making the rounds, you should be able to find at least one you're likely to enjoy. So, go speed-dating for a diet. Remember, there's more than one fish in the, err … grocery store.
In any relationship, you need to mix it up. Without changing the routine, your bond with another person might break-up.
The same goes with your diet. If you consistently eat the same number of calories every day, eventually, your metabolism will adjust. And when it does, you're likely to become stranded on a weight-loss mesa in the middle of a desert of denatured yogurt. In order to keep your metabolic rate humming, stagger your caloric intake so on some days you take in more calories than others.
Fluctuate your caloric intake; trick your body so it never knows what is coming. This helps your body keep up its metabolic rate. Even better, spreading out those high-calorie days helps you stick to your diet.
You Aren't Satisfied
In The Kitchen
Although your girlfriend begs you to quit playing Skyrim, or your boyfriend pleads for you to stop shopping, you might find yourself unwilling to quit cold turkey. When it comes to dieting, that's not always a bad thing.
Some diets ask you to cut out major nutrients, usually carbohydrates. Many people think that in order to see fat loss they have to cut carbs completely out of their diets. Sometimes this works. For people who have severe carb addictions or others with glucose intolerance or full-on type 2 diabetes, giving up carbs - or at least sharply reducing them - is often the best way to go.
However, if you're not one of those people, don't remove carbs from your diet entirely. Instead, choose sources of complex carbs over simple sugars. The former are more blood sugar friendly.
It's Not Helping
When settling on a diet, make sure it accounts for pre- and post-workout nutrition. Before and after you train are the two times during the day when your body is ready to absorb any nutrition you feed it.
If you don't fuel your body at these points, you'll severely curtail the results of the workout. Moreover, you won't recover quickly from the workout session. And you may have to take a longer resting period than you would if you ate before and after.
You look to your significant other for growth and support; your diet needs to work the same way. If you're an active individual who plans regularly workouts, you must use a diet approach that's going to give pre- and post-workout nutritional guidelines.
It Takes Too
We've all heard horror stories of the "high-maintenance" mate - the one who makes Kim Kardashian and her sisters seem like frugal frumpsters. As it turns out, a diet can also be "high-maintenance." Such diets can require hours and hours of prep (calculating nutrition, shopping, cooking) before they're finally ready to go.
If you train for a fitness or bodybuilding contest, time-consuming meal-preparation is part of the gig. But for those just looking to shape-up and improve their health, 2-hour-per-day cooking sessions aren't going to fly.
It's important to take time to prepare most of the meals and snacks you eat throughout the day. Yet if you feel you spend too much time planning and cooking your meals, you probably won't stick to the diet. Make sure you look for a diet that fits your time budget. You want a long-term fulfilling relationship with your diet, not a New-Year's fling.
Keep these deal breakers in mind as you date diets. They will help you choose one that fits your fitness goals, lifestyle and personal taste.