With summer quickly approaching, it seems like everybody is suddenly on a diet. While the general population of your workplace may have spent the majority of winter snacking on donuts and potato chips, as soon as the sun starts to show up again it’s no surprise that your desk buddies suddenly start swearing that they live on carrot sticks alone.
So if you’re working out regularly and trying your best to eat well, why do you still look a lot more like a ‘before’ shot than an ‘after’? According to CrossFit competitor and author Christmas Abbott, those strict diet rules that you have been following could be causing you more harm than good.
“The biggest mistake people make when trying to lose weight is they restrict themselves too much,” Abbott told POPSUGAR. According to Abbott, when you deprive your body of food and start eating too little, it basically backfires as your system goes into ‘starvation mode’ and all food begins to be converted to fat.
Abbott also warns against eating a whole bunch of foods that you don’t enjoy as eventually, you will ditch your difficult diet entirely. As Abbott says, being too rigorous with your diet will mean that you “won’t stick with the programme, and the bigger picture of a lifestyle change is lost.”
If you are looking to slim down, your best bet is to find a healthy medium where you are eating enough calories to keep your body going, while also eating light enough options that your system is able to begin shedding those excess pounds.
Allowing yourself a treat every now and then is also generally a good thing as it will help to satisfy your cravings and help you to feel like you are not being ‘cheated’ out of your favourite foods. Cutting out entire food groups such as carbs is also not advisable as again, it’s probably not sustainable.
Remember – a good diet is all about making healthy and sustainable changes that fit your lifestyle. Sometimes loosening up on the rules is exactly what your body needs.