The Biggest Mistakes That Lead To Weight Gain: #2

Get Fit With Kim

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We know that to lose weight and keep it off, we must pay attention to our diet (nutrition) and work out daily (exercise). But what if I told you there are 4 HUGE mistakes having NOTHING to do with nutrition OR exercise that lead to WEIGHT GAIN?!

That’s right! There are things you could be doing right now that are causing you to either GAIN WEIGHT (and not the good kind) or that are dramatically hindering your efforts towards your weight loss and fitness goals.  I don’t know about you, but I want my diet and exercise efforts to work! So, if there are other things I can do—or not do—to help myself out, I want to take advantage of them.

In this series, I will share with you the TOP MISTAKES that lead to (unwanted) WEIGHT GAIN, why they lead to WEIGHT GAIN, and HOW TO AVOID THEM!

The #2 MISTAKE that leads to WEIGHT GAIN…
YOU HAVE A “CHEAT” DAY.

If your nutrition plan is so restrictive that you feel the need to incorporate a “cheat” day or even a cheat meal, you are setting yourself up for a huge binge-eating episode!

I don’t believe in having cheat days or meals because this implies that you are doing something wrong by eating these “forbidden” foods. Designating certain foods or food groups as “off limits” for whatever reason only sets yourself up for failure. Why? Because it’s unrealistic and triggers the rebellious side of your personality. I know. I used to incorporate “cheat” days into my diet plan to my detriment.

Yes, certain foods like sweet treats, chips and queso, fast food, etc. are unhealthy and cause weight gain. I’m not advocating eating foods we know to wreak havoc on our health and waistlines. However, trying to eliminate these foods completely during the week with the anticipation of eating them on a “cheat” day will make you crave them even more!

For instance, let’s say you love cookies. So, you have decided to cut out sugar from your diet because it’s unhealthy, diabetes runs in your family, and you want to lose a few pounds. Ok, great. That’s definitely something you should do. You decide to eat absolutely NO sugar all week, except for Saturdays when you have a CHEAT DAY. You’ve been “good” all week. So, you deserve a day where you can eat anything you want. Besides, the latest fitness guru says a “cheat” day helps you stay on track the rest of the week, right?

Here’s the problem. Because you haven’t had cookies all week, you’ve been dreaming of what kinds of cookies you will “get” to eat. When your “cheat” day rolls around, you decide to eat your fill. I’ve been there. All too often we end up eating a dozen cookies throughout the day (ok, maybe all at once) because we “aren’t going to get to eat them again.” It’s our last hurrah. Had we just allowed ourselves to eat one cookie every day, we would have only had 7 cookies that week instead of 12, and we wouldn’t have felt deprived the whole week! (Or fall into a sugar coma.)

But because you established a “cheat” day where anything goes you end up eating more than you would have normally. Then what happens? You feel bad about it, and we’ve all been in this cycle. I’m guilty of it, too. Eat too much of the evil little fat bombs, feel super guilty about it, and automatically say, “I’m gonna have to really reign it in and be even more restrictive next week to make up for it.” We end up in this big cycle of defeat, guilt, restriction, bingeing, and weight gain, quite frankly.

My advice?

Set yourself up for success, not failure. Don’t get yourself stuck in a cycle of bingeing because you’re being too restrictive during the week (or 30 days or whatever “diet” plan you’ve decided to try). Allow yourself a little wiggle room!

I’m all for cutting out some unhealthy things that we tend to overdo at times. For me it is sugar, but I also realize that food is everywhere and a big part of LIFE.  Food is part of our celebrations. While we should embrace that fact, we can also be mindful of what and how much we are eating EVERY MEAL. It’s the MEALS that add up to either good health or bad health.

If you’re eating nutritious, well-balanced meals EVERY SINGLE DAY, then you have a little bit more wiggle room. The occasional cookie once a week or so won’t derail you. When birthdays, weddings, and vacations come up, you can enjoy them without feeling like you need to go on a diet afterward.

I never recommend to any of my clients designating a “cheat” day or even a “cheat” meal, and I do not do that personally anymore either. To make any improvements in your health and weight loss efforts, you are going to have to make some changes in your diet. However, if you will allow for some wiggle room, you will be less apt to binge eat.

I’m all for cutting out unhealthy foods from your daily diet. But also plan to incorporate a little more flexibility and you’ll be a lot more successful. There are more mistakes I will be revealing in upcoming articles. Until then, check out the recipe in this month’s magazine. Grab the ingredients, log on to my YouTube Channel, and cook it WITH ME!

Here’s the link to the cooking video https://youtu.be/LRjFvDSjUz4.

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