If you’ve made the decision that you’re going to start working towards the goal of leaning out your body, losing body fat and defining your muscle tissues, it’s time to get your diet I order.
While the workouts that you complete in the gym are definitely going to have a significant influence on the rate of progress you are making, your diet is really going to play a key role in determining whether you realize true success or whether you spin your wheels and end up looking very similar to how you do now.
One of the biggest mistakes many people make however in their quest for a leaner body is picking the first diet they see that promises fast results.
They are tired of being in the body they’re in and will do just about anything to get that fat off – even if it means near starvation.
This leads them to consider diets that are not at all sound and are likely to just do more harm than good.
Understanding the main things to look out for then when going about your diet selection process so that you don’t end up selecting a fat diet that’s going to do you in will be vital for success.
Let’s have a look at the main indicators that any diet you’re looking at is a fad diet approach.
The Calorie Intake Is Extremely Low
The first dead giveaway that a diet is very likely a fad diet and one that you should be staying away from is if the calorie level is extremely low.
You must remember that while lower calorie diets are required to see fat loss success, if you take your calorie level too low, your body will start to slow down the metabolic rate, causing fat loss to come to a screeching halt.
Instead, keep your calorie intake at a more moderate level that produces a steady rate of weight loss but also keeps your metabolism humming along and you feel better overall as well.
Generally speaking, women should avoid diets that have them eating fewer than 1200 calories per day and males will do best at 1500 calories or more.
Remember the heavier you are, the more your calorie intake should be.
Whole Food Groups Are Removed
The second signal that the diet you’re considering is a very poor choice is if entire food groups are removed.
Are carbs banished from the plan? Chances are this isn’t a good choice for the long term.
Dietary fats not permitted? You need dietary fat to sustain proper health so this too is not a wise move.
And protein – if your diet is low in protein, that diet is definitely going to cause you harm because you will start losing muscle mass, not body fat. After you come off that plan, rest assured that you will regain the weight you lost and likely more.
There Is Zero Room For Flexibly
The next sign that you’ve selected a bad diet and should look elsewhere is if there is zero room for flexibility in your plan.
It’s important that your diet can be adapted to go with you wherever life takes you and is not so difficult to maintain that you feel like it’s a downer on your day – every day.
Those who have diets that are ultra-rigid are never going to last long on them because life will get in the way and once they’re thrown off the diet plan, it becomes that much harder to get right back on.
A good diet is one that does have some guidelines and rules in place so you have a firm sense of what you need to be eating throughout the day, but also allows for some degree of flexibility in terms of meal timing and food choices.
Remember that each and every person is unique in their preferences, so if a diet doesn’t account for this, it’s not a wise set-up.
Exercise Is Discouraged
One major problem that many diets have going for them is that they discourage exercise. Exercise and dieting go hand in hand to produce the best results possible.
While your diet is going to be the primary thing that produces fat loss results since it’s far easier to create a calorie deficit through good food choices than hours spent in the gym, it’s the gym sessions you do that are going to allow you to make a complete body transformation.
If all you do is diet, you’re going to end up looking like a smaller version of your current self.
If you really want to look different, toning up and adjusting the overall appearance of your figure, weight lifting is necessary.
If a diet is so low in calories that they tell you not to exercise, clearly this is a problem.
You’re Bound By Strict Food Rules
Another problem is if you are bound by strict food rules. It’s human nature to do what we are told not to do. If you put a child in a room with six toys and tell them they can play with any toy but one in particular, the toy they are going to want the most is the one they can’t have.
It’s the same principle with dieting. If you’re told you can’t eat X food and can’t eat Y food and must eat at this time of the day and so on, you’re going to want to defy that.
The fewer rules, the better. While there are some people who really need firm rules in place, most people will do best with a less rigid plan.
So there you have the most important things that you absolutely must be watching out for as you go about your diet selection process. If you are seeing any of these present in a diet that you are considering, really think hard about whether that is in fact a diet that you should be continuing.
More often than not, you would get better results by searching elsewhere.