3 Reasons Why Diets Don't Work!
If you've ever started a diet and gone absolutely crazy because it just didn't work, you're not alone. Diets don't work for many people, and are rarely a permanent solution to weight loss. So if you're one of those people who lose a few pounds at the start, then stall, then find yourself starving most of the time... let's look at WHY this is happening to you.
Here are the three most common reasons that a diet may have stopped working:
HIDDEN CALORIES or TOXINS
A lot of us just don't realize that many common foods and drinks contain hidden calories, chemicals, and toxins that could be sabotaging weight loss. For example, what about a few "small" packages of raw sugar you put into in that "skinny" latte from the local espresso bar? Can't add up to a lot of calories, right? Well each packet of that sugar contains 20 calories... and those can quickly add up.
Do you use artificial sweetener instead? Watch out! More and more evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners are not harmless and could act as toxins in some people. And if you're opting for a salad for lunch, make sure you're not loading it up with a dressing high is sugars, fats, sodium and artificial ingredients.
Solution: Be aware, research everything you eat and drink, and watch for the "little" things that quickly add up to lots of calories.
NOT ENOUGH WATER
Most people should drink at least 8 glasses of pure, clean water every day, which means about 64 ounces. But if you have to lose more than 20 pounds, if you exercise a lot, or if you live in a hot climate, you could actually need much more water every day.
Why do you need so much water, especially when you're losing weight? The less you drink, the more likely you are to retain water! Yes, your body's instincts kick in and it goes into survival mode because it imagines that you're in the desert, dying of thirst! Well not quite... but your body DOES hold on to water because it knows it needs a certain amount to maintain blood volume and keep you going.
So if you don't want to retina water while dieting, drink more! That way your body will easily release any excess water in the tissues. It will also release any toxins that may be stored in your fat cells, making your weight loss quicker.
This only works, though, if you're drinking pure, clean water - not tea, not coffee, not diet soda, not juice. And keep an eye on how much salt you're ingesting, since the more sodium you ingest, the more you'll retain water.
Solution: Drink at least 64 ounces of purified water every day.
STRESS and NEGATIVITY
Unfortunately, your subconscious beliefs and hidden attitudes could be messing with your body "under the covers" and preventing weight loss. It could be that deep inside you're afraid of losing weight, or maybe you get some sort of "secondary gain" from being heavy. If you lose weight, will your family resent you? Will people accept you? Will you finally have to "get out there" and experience life?
Stress can also play a big part in being overweight. When you're stressed out, your body releases hormones that can flood your system and actually make you gain weight. This is science, not theory... so if you're experiencing a lot of stress in your life, this may not be the best time to try and lose weight.
Try this exercise to see if your internal beliefs are messing up your weight loss. Go to a quiet spot, close your eyes, and try to think about what your life will be like when you're thin and trim. How does this make you feel? Then imagine how the most important people in your life will react to you... if you feel any discomfort during this exercise, your mind is probably getting in your way!
Solution: Try to address those underlying emotional fears. Writing in a journal is an easy and very helpful thing to try.
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3 Delicious, Easy Low-Calorie Mini-Meals
Hungry? Got the munchies? Tummy growling? Eating mini-meals throughout the day can keep those hunger pangs at bay and give your metabolism a boost, too. Here are three mini-meals that are tasty, satisfying, and good for you, too!
Raw veggies (with or without non-fat dip)
If you're just dying for a crunchy snack, don't reach for potato chips or nacho chips, which are loaded with salt and fat. Instead, try some crunchy raw vegetables to satisfy your need for crunches. Most raw veggies have negligible calories so you can eat a lot of them. And they're satisfying because they have so much fiber.
Try cucumber spears or slices, bell peppers of all colors cut into strips, carrot sticks, raw cauliflower or broccoli florets. A little sea salt may be all you want on them, but be careful not to overdo the salt.
If you're craving "crunchies and dip," try hummus, tomato-based salsa, or non-fat yogurt mixed with your choice of herbs and spices. Some good spices are a little onion or garlic powder, lemon pepper, chili powder, or dill. It may take some trial and error to find a blend you like, so start with 1/2 teaspoon in 6 ounces of non-fat plain yogurt. Let it sit for about half an hour to mellow the flavors, taste, and season with more spice, lemon juice, or even some pickle juice.
Fresh fruit (with or without non-fatm no sugar dip)
Fruit are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth with natural sugars and plenty of fiber. The lowest calories choices are grapefruit, berries of all kinds, cantaloupe, peaches, and apples. Be sure to eat the peel of the peaches and apples, which have lots of fiber that slows absorption and reduces any spikes in blood sugar.
You can also enjoy your fruit with a non-fat dip made of 6 ounces of plain non-fat yogurt, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a couple of individual packets of stevia, a natural sweetener made from the stevia plant. Or make a slushie-smoothie with non-fat yogurt, ice, and two packets of stevia.
You can make these on the outdoor grill or in the broiler... but however you cook them, they are delicious. Alternate chunks of boneless skinless chicken breast, shrimp, or very lean beef with chunks of onion, firm tomato, and bell pepper. Grill gently until done, then enjoy! If you wish, you can marinate the protein in lemon juice, lime juice, or red wine plus some herbs and spices.
As you can see, it's not difficult to enjoy snacks and mini-meals that taste great and fill you up, too!