We're sorry to say and it's unfortunate, but most dieters fall off the wagon within the first couple of weeks.
To help you navigate the top danger zones for the five most common diet plans, the low carb, low calorie, low fat, meal replacements, and prepared meals, we asked weight loss experts for their escape strategies.
Here's their best advice to beat the odds.
Let's start with the low carb diets.
Red Flag Zone - the Starter's Slump.
Although it has captured the hearts, minds, and stomachs of at least 10 million Americans, this diet of the week has an ugly side, that being carb withdrawal.
Chief among the complaints of low carb dieters are headaches, nausea, dizziness, and super low energy.
The Strategy - Refuel Often.
When you're pushing through those first few days, experts say you've got to eat little snacks every 2 to 3 hours, even if you're not hungry.
This will prevent your blood sugar from dropping and reduce the side effects of low carb diet-traps.
If you're on a low carb diet and the symptoms persist beyond 6 or 7 days, proceed on to the next phase of the diet, which generally allows for fruits and whole grains.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - the Breakfast Blues.
Food burnout is a big problem for low carb dieters, especially at breakfast.
The Strategy - Get Creative.
Try spicing up omelets with asparagus and goat cheese, scramble tofu with some veggies, or spread almond butter on a low carb tortilla.
Or choose from lunch, dinner, or snack options, such as chicken salad, quiche, grilled steak or pork chops, and yogurt cucumber dips.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Fatty Food Overload.
If you lose a significant amount of poundage in the early stages of this diet, a recent study of 132 obese adults done at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center showed that after about 6 months of low carb dieting, the weight loss tended to plateau.
The culprits, most nutritionists say, are high-calorie foods such as bacon, salami, cheese, nuts, and peanut butter.
The Strategy: Choose Juicy Foods.
Even though the diets themselves suggest that you don't have to worry about portion size, the reality is, calories count.
Avoid foods that have low water content, such as butter, bacon, crackers, and nutrition bars, which tend to be very high in calories.
Instead, choose lower-calorie, higher-water-content foods: shrimp (25 calories per ounce to bacon's 200), a skinless chicken breast (45 calories per ounce), or vegetables (fewer than 6 calories per ounce).
Low Calorie Diets;
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone – Over cutting Calories.
Limiting your calorie intake is the surest, most basic weight loss method around that is unless you go too far.
The Strategy - Playing by the Rules.
The unfortunate reality is that crash diets don't lead to long-term solutions.
Your body just isn't going to play along if you try to get by on only 600 calories a day.
In fact, it's going to revolt and make weight loss more difficult by burning fewer calories.
The old rule about losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week still holds and that generally means eating about 500 fewer calories a day but not cutting calories any lower than 1,200 a day.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Skipping Meals.
Not eating at regular intervals leaves you just as vulnerable to hunger pains as eating too few calories and feeling hungry is the surest way to lose your motivation.
Most people who skip meals end up eating more calories, not fewer.
The Strategy - Eat Super filling Mini-meals.
Eating less doesn't mean not eating at all; we encourage people who are cutting calories to have five or six small meals a day.
Research has shown that snackers tend to have a lower risk of obesity than non-snackers.
You should choose foods that make you feel full while providing the least number of calories.
Fill up on the foods that weigh a lot but have fewer calories, such as gazpacho, baked potatoes (without the toppings), fruits, vegetables and salads.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - The Dastardly Plateau.
When the needle on the scale won't budge, the most common response is to cut more calories.
That's actually a smart move because the less you weigh, the fewer calories your body requires.
For instance, a 300 pound woman most likely needs to consume about 3,000 calories a day to maintain her weight.
So even if she eats 2,500 calories a day, she'll lose weight.
After she loses more than 50 pounds, though, she'll have to further lower her calorie intake.
But you can only go so low before your body hits starvation mode and refuses to shed more pounds.
The Diet-Traps Strategy - Burn Off the Calories.
Exercise is a key factor in breaking through the plateau (and in keeping the pounds off, for that matter).
Your body just isn't going to play along if you try to get by on only 600 calories a day.
Low Fat Diets;
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Constant Hunger.
The fact is that the less fat you eat, the less satisfied you'll be.
A study at the University of California, Davis, found that dietary fat stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that is believed to enhance the sense of having eaten enough...being sated.
Fat satisfies your taste buds by increasing the palatability of food.
The Strategy - Pump Up Your Fiber.
First, allow some healthy fat, such as olive oil, into your diet.
Then incorporate lots of high fiber foods, such as legumes, brown rice, fruits and salads.
Eating a low fat, high fiber diet leads to three times greater weight loss than a low-fat diet alone, according to a recent review of published studies.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Falling for "Low Fat" Labels.
Reducing your fat intake may stimulate your cravings for sweets and many dieters reach for reduced fat cakes, cookies, and chocolate.
The problem is that a reduced fat Twinkie and a regular Twinkie have about the same calories."
The Strategy - Think Super Natural.
Choose foods that are naturally low in fat, not those that have been engineered to be low fat, we recommend yummy and satisfying options such as fresh fruit smoothies and fruits such as watermelon and mangoes.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Chewing Withdrawal.
Research has shown that people need to chew, not just drink, in order to feel full and satisfied, but liquid meal replacements offer few opportunities because we're just not built to only drink liquids.
The Strategy - Join the Raw Food Crew.
Raw food is trendy, and much of it, especially vegetables and fruits, are allowed on meal replacement plans.
Grazing down on raw vegetables, for example, carrots, celery, and red, orange and yellow peppers, really gives you a satisfying crunch.
Diet-Traps - Red Flag Zone - Family Mealtime.
After 2 or 3 weeks, watching everyone scarf down bowls of Captain Crunch, slices of five topping pizza, and platters of pasta while you drink a shake can be somewhat unbearable.
It's difficult to make changes if those around you are doing what you can't.
The Strategy - Make Social Meals, Real Food Meals
You're allowed one real food meal a day on Slim Fast, so make that the one where you’re with people.
Perhaps you'll have dinner with your family one day, lunch with friends another day, and brunch with your in-laws on the weekend.
Other times, you may want to leave the room (come check out our ever expanding web site) to avoid watching everyone eat while you sip.
Make up for missed family time afterward by taking walks, riding bikes or playing a game of golf together.
Diet-Trap - Red Flag Zone - Switching Back to Real Food.
Meal replacement plans are perhaps the simplest diet option because you don't have to think about what or how much to eat.
Unfortunately, that can also be their downfall.
Many dieters are tempted to rely on meal replacement shakes for every single meal, they don't learn how to make good food choices and how to size up portions.
People tend to lose weight very quickly on these plans, but they tend to regain the weight as soon as they switch back to normal food.
The Strategy - Don't Think of Real Foods as the Enemy.
Eating correctly turns out to be simpler than thought.
Know that a piece of fruit is about 100 calories.
Then take time to learn the calorie amounts for a few standard meals and you’re set.
Now, you can cook your regular meals on Sunday and portion out the snacks so that you'll have everything ready to go for the entire week and not be tempted to eat more than your body needs.
Diet-Trap - Red Flag Zone - An Overloaded Freezer.
The biggest help Jenny Craig and other plans provide is portion control, unfortunately, to save money, many dieters on this type of plan often stock up on too many of the pre-packaged, prepared meals at one time, making their refrigerator or freezer ripe for binges.
The Strategy - Don't Stock Up.
Limit the amount of food you order in advance.
It's a bit more expensive in the short run, but if your diet is successful, it's money well spent, right?
If sweets are a problem, forgo the plan's desserts entirely, at least for the time being.
Instead, share an occasional treat with a friend when you're out together.
That way you're keeping tempting goodies out of the house, making it less likely that you'll act on cravings.
Diet-Trap - Red Flag Zone - Dining Out.
Restaurants love to pile the breads, the fries and pastas onto your plate because it's a cheap way to fill you up.
That's one reason why portion control tends to go out the window when we dine out."
The Strategy – Micro-manage Your Outings.
Get in the habit of ordering lean meat with no starch and ask for double the veggies.
You could also meet friends or colleagues for breakfast or lunch instead of dinner, which tends to be more calorie dense.
We hope these hints, tips and wisdom's are of some value to you and we wish you the best in your endeavor!Tweet
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