When it comes to eating healthy for weight loss we each have little games we play to justify our bad diets. Whether it’s convincing ourselves that technically pizza satisfies several food groups or that ice cream is the same as drinking milk, these so-called healthy eating games we play can seriously setback our weight loss efforts.
These allegedly healthy eating games that we play with our weight loss not only can cause weight loss setbacks but also increase our risk of many weight related illnesses. Keep reading to find out if you play any of these healthy eating games and how to avoid them.
Skipping Breakfast To Cut Calories
This is one of the most pervasive healthy eating games that many of us play. We skip breakfast in an attempt to cut calories, using every excuse under the sun; I don’t have time for breakfast, I’m not a breakfast person, I don’t like any breakfast foods and so on. I’ve heard and said them all, and none of them were true then and they’re not true now that I regularly eat breakfast.
The truth is that this healthy eating game you think you’re playing is sabotaging your weight loss efforts because you skip breakfast and then you replace it with junk during the day. Then at night you consume hundreds of additional calories to make up for the breakfast you didn’t eat this morning.
Instead: Give yourself time each morning to have breakfast, whether it’s just toast & jam or an egg sandwich. The point is that you need to take the time to eat breakfast if you’re really serious about losing weight. The excuses are easy, but how will you feel six months from now when you should have reached your weight loss goal?
Eating Less To Burn More Calories
To have a successful fat burning workout you need to give your body the fuel it needs to complete a grueling workout. Without the right fuel your body will flounder and you’ll feel exhausted much earlier than you would if you had eaten properly. Once fatigue begins to set in you’ll either give up, or risk injury trying to speed through a workout that you don’t have the energy to finish.
This is actually a dangerous healthy eating game that can cause injury and weight loss setbacks. Don’t skimp on the meal you eat prior to your workout in hopes of burning more calories because it will have the opposite effect. You won’t have enough energy to complete the workout so you likely won’t even burn enough calories to create a calorie deficit for the day.
You need the right combination of foods to help you burn fat and build muscle so you can get rid of the fat and shape your new body, and eating less or no food prior to a workout is not going to help you accomplish these goals.
Instead: Give yourself a balanced meal that has carbohydrates (complex), lean protein and a little bit of fat. Make sure you don’t eat a heavy meal that leaves you sluggish before a workout because this is just as dangerous and not eating or eating very little before a workout.
Some eating games do more than mess with your weight loss efforts, as evidenced by this video!
Overeating After A Big Workout
If I had a dollar for each time someone tells me that they’re eating a huge meal because they “worked out hard,” I’d be quite a wealthy man today. This is a healthy eating game common with dieters just beginning to workout and eat healthy. They aren’t used to that feeling of burning calories and eating less, so after a workout they eat way more than they should because they feel hungry.
This is one of those healthy eating games that can cause you to just give up on your effort to lose weight because you work out regularly yet you haven’t dropped any pounds. The reason is that overeating after a workout generally replaces all the calories you burned and then some, so rather than create a calorie deficit you actually added more calories to your day than if you hadn’t worked out at all.
Instead: Eat a small meal that includes carbohydrates and protein within 2 hours after your workout. This will satisfy the hunger you feel and give your body what it needs to repair and build the muscles you worked so hard. Keep your meal simple and don’t use your workout as an excuse to over indulge in the things you miss.
Liquid Calories Don’t Count
This healthy eating game is common among those who have recently begun counting calories. They write down what they eat or keep an estimation of the number of calories they’ve eaten throughout the day. But in an effort to make themselves feel better about their new diets, they conveniently forget to count the liquid calories they consumed throughout the day.
We’ve all done it at least once, this so-called healthy eating game such as this will not lead to weight loss and you’ll be left wondering why the scale hasn’t moved in weeks.
Liquid calories count. All calories count. The only way to lose weight is to burn calories through exercise and reduce the number of calories you consume. This means that the calories in the sugar and cream in your coffee count, the honey in your tea counts, the sodas you drink throughout the day count, the glasses of wine with dinner count, the juice you had with breakfast counts and those cocktails you had after work, count. Anything that has calories that you put in your body, counts in your daily calorie totals.
Instead: Reduce the amount of liquid (read: empty) calories you consume each day. Add a few cups of tea with Stevia to your diet. The tea will curb cravings and fill your stomach without adding more calories to your day.
Stocking Up On Low Fat/Fat-Free Foods
Front loading your diet with low fat food products is a good first step to weight loss, but most dieters play this healthy eating game to get around eating the food they should be eating. Don’t try to find “healthy” ways to keep junk food in your diet because it won’t have the results you want.
There is one fact you should remember about low fat food products; low fat does not mean low calorie. Sure, you do need to eat less fat in your diet but the healthy eating game of eating plenty of low fat food products can be dangerous to weight loss because they don’t satisfy your hunger so you end up eating larger portions of these low fat foods, which ultimately increases your calorie count.
In fact many low fat or fat free food products have slightly fewer calories than the regular version, if they have any at all so make sure you compare nutrition labels before you stock up on low fat or fat free food products.
Instead: Work on controlling your portions with regular food products, instead of going overboard with these low fat products. If there are more than 3 grams of fat per 100 grams of food, then it is not a low fat food according to the Food & Drug Administration.
Don’t allow these healthy eating games that you play to continue to sabotage your weight loss efforts. Be honest (with yourself) about your motivations and find a way to overcome these games. Your weight loss success depends on it!