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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

5 COMMON DIET MISTAKES THAT CAN HINDER FAT LOSS AND CREATE A HORMONE IMBALANCE

By: Alex Liska
1) LOW CARB DIETING FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME: 
This is one of the biggest mistakes I have come across that people make in an attempt to lose weight quickly! Carbs bind to water molecules so when they are eliminated from your diet, the initial drop in weight is mostly water! It is too hard to enter ketosis (the stage where the body burns body fat as a result of carb restriction) when you are combining intense exercise with a low carb diet! The reason for this is that our muscles require carbohydrates in order to perform optimally! For women especially; since most of our bodily functions are controlled by hormones, cutting carbs can be dangerous because we tend to increase dietary fats! Fats and estrogen (female hormones) in excess can cause a toxic internal environment and lead to major cravings which completely kills progress as far as fat loss goes. Another commonly overlooked fact about increasing protein intake to replace carbohydrates is the fact that our livers require glycogen (carbs) to function as does our skeletal muscle! Our bodies are built for survival and our liver will convert excess protein (amino acids) into sugar! (The term for this conversion is "gluconeogenesis")


2) DRASTICALLY REDUCING CALORIC INTAKE WHILE INCREASING EXERCISE: 
Think about your body as a vehicle that requires premium fuel to function optimally. By attempting to drive this car faster and longer (adding in weight training and cardio) and restricting fuel intake suddenly, we disrupt hormone functions and cause our body to break down muscles/joints/connective tissue in an attempt to support our new activity level. Eventually our body will slow down its metabolism as a survival mechanism. It is best to start by replacing unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives and slowly cutting back on calories (energy balance) over time or simply providing quality nutrients to replace empty calories. You are better off eating 2-3 clean meals and planning them ahead of time than setting the bar too high and trying to cut calories too low and just grazing on low nutrient foods for 5-6 meals a day because "they say so" in a fitness magazine sponsored by protein bars or other weight loss products.

3) MICRO MANAGING FOOD INTAKE/DIET AND STRESSING OVER SMALL MISHAPS:
Stress can cause  more weight gain than consuming extra calories in many cases! Stress causes an elevation in the hormone "cortisol" which is responsible for stubborn fat deposits around the midsection and hips/thighs (typically in women) as well as an increase in sugar cravings and many other complications. It is pretty common for folks that rely on food tracking mechanisms to have an all or nothing mentality when implementing nutrition changes to a new routine which can lead to little or no forgiveness when a mistake happens, such as an unplanned cheat meal or a higher number of calories consumed than what the initial daily goal was. Sometimes it is better to focus on small changes and shift gears slowly; one by one to ensure a smooth transition in to clean eating. Our bodies aim to achieve homeostasis (a balanced internal environment) so it is always best to ease into nutrition changes slowly and take it one step at a time: work with your body, not against it! Less stress this way!!

4) CONSUMING TOO MANY DIET PRODUCTS AND/OR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: 
Most supplement companies prey on the folks that are looking for quick changes and rapid fat loss and eager to start a fitness routine and diet!! This is why most of these products list "facts" on their labels such as: low calorie, no added sugars, meal replacement etc... to appeal to those looking for low calorie, low carb, and "easy on the go" options!!! The fact is that if the product is low calorie it is usually high in chemicals and preservatives. If it is low carb then it is full of artificial sweeteners which wreak havoc on the endocrine system a/k/a can wreck your thyroid and adrenal glands by disrupting hormone balance (for women especially!!!)  "Easy on the go" options all have a long shelf life so they are full of hidden ingredients that can extend their expiry date but also extend the time your organs require to eliminate the nasty preservatives and toxins! Imagine what all these chemicals are doing to your digestive system and your insides, overall?

5) FORCING A BREAKFAST WHEN YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY EARLY IN THE MORNING BECAUSE "THEY SAY YOU NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST": 
If you take the word breakfast and break it up into two words "break" and "fast" then basically, "break-fast" is to be consumed when YOUCHOOSE to BREAK your FAST! If you break that fast too early in the morning before you're actually hungry then you are simply interrupting the body's natural digestive process and slowing down digestion. My biggest word of advice to my clients is "listen to your body". If you wake up hungry then by all means, EAT!! but if you wake up and don't have an appetite please refrain from forcing down food just because some fitness magazine or cereal commercial said it's the most important thing to do. Marketing gimmicks are everywhere and mislead people into thinking they need to eat "Special K" or "yogurt and granola" as soon as they wake up in order to lose weight! This information has no scientific evidence to prove it's true so you are better off listening to your body as far as breakfast or skipping breakfast are concerned. By skipping breakfast when you are not hungry, you are simply using up stored energy form the day before to fuel your activity whether that means a morning workout or simply reading or doing work on the computer! Wait until your body advises you it is the right time to BREAK your FAST: this is personal for each individual, and not a decision the cereal companies or fitness magazines can make for you! :)

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