When I was a kid I wanted to build a body like Arnold.
Back then, we got our dieting plans and weight training info from magazines. My favorites were Muscle and Fitness, and IronMan.
I’d read cover to cover multiple times and couldn’t wait until the next issue came out.
Part motivation and part muscle building tips.
As most kids did I believed in Santa, WWF wrestling was real, and those bodybuilders on the cover got hyoooge from chicken and broccoli.
I hope I didn’t just burst anyone’s bubble. I just found out about the Santa thing myself.
A few years into my obsession, I remember picking up a new magazine called Muscle Media 2000. It was the hot new publication because it was different. I believe it was the first magazine to admit that these guy’s were on something besides “special protein powder”, and exposed the truth in the industry.
These magazines flew off the shelf. Everyone wanted to know what really went on- and you had more legit exercise and diet info to boot.
Then came the Lamborghini issue.
Muscle Media 2000 was running a 12 week “Physique Transformation” contest in which you could win a red Lamborghini Diablo. You’d send in before and after pictures along with an essay about why you should win, and the person with the biggest change in muscle and body fat would win it.
I entered. I didn’t win the contest, but still came out the other end of 12 weeks looking damn good.
I learned a lot about how to manipulate my body composition (building muscle/losing body fat) from the magazine and put it to good use.
Namely- treat your body like a $250,000 luxury sports car. Fuel it with nothing but the best, and regularly push it to the max.
And that brings me to the point of today’s piece: If you’re trying to get rid of that spare tire around your midsection, chances are your diet is riddled with dietary potholes.
The winning philosophy is “most things in moderation”. Life wouldn’t be fun if we spent all our time avoiding stuff. At the same time, if you’re eating junk more than occasionally, it can impact your health and put a big ol’ monkey wrench in your fat loss plans.
So let’s get rolling…
Here are 21 Diet Plan Potholes to Avoid
1) Eating processed foods- In order to extend shelf life and improve taste, processed foods are packed with chemicals and trans fats. They also tend to be loaded with sugar or sodium.
2) Overcooking or boiling vegetables- The nutritional value (key vitamins and minerals) are leeched out in the process.
3) Boxed snacks- They can cause insulin levels to skyrocket, making you hungrier and turning your fat-storing mechanisms on. They also decrease satiety, causing you to eat more to feel as full. Key tip- hunger can undermine any dieting plans you have in the bat of an eye.
4) Trans- fats- All the cookies, cheezy poofs, and potato chips on the shelves have trans-fats in them to make them last for months and months on the shelves of your local Kwikie Mart. Trans fats are a no- go for countless health reasons.
5) Eating high carb/ high fat foods- Foods such as fettuccine Alfredo or donuts stimulate large insulin spikes, virtually guaranteeing fat storage where you least like it.
6) Eating carbohydrates alone- Carbohydrate- only foods such as a bowl of pasta or rice without a protein component will cause insulin surges followed by hunger.
7) Meals devoid of protein- Get some protein in every meal. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, which are the foundation of your metabolism. Higher metabolism = faster fat loss.
8) Skipping breakfast- This may be somewhat controversial, as there are actually some benefits to occasionally skipping meals. However, going too long between meals can potentially trigger binge eating later. Also, if low blood sugar interferes with concentration or being productive at work, you’re better off eating.
9) Alcoholic beverages- Alcohol contains empty calories and actually shuts off the bodies’ fat burning pathways.
10) Fried foods- Such as hash browns, and fried chicken. Another set of foods that screw up your digestion, and wreak havoc on your weight loss endeavors.
11) “Pretend” health foods such as the fruit smoothie. Commercially made smoothies typically contain chemicals and sweeteners that you simply don’t need. They also blast your blood sugar sky- high, then rebound, stimulating voracious hunger.
12) Foods or drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup
13) Excess sodium- salt is found in almost all foods you eat, even if you can’t taste it.
14) Sugar- laden soft drinks- Instead, opt for a refreshing green tea, seltzer with lemon or lime squeezed in it, or plain ol’ water.
15) Coffee with “dessert” toppings- Such as caramel, whipped cream and sugar. (Yes, even if it’s “natural” sugar). I don’t know how many people have failed dieting plans because they don’t take these calories into account. I also know people who’ve lost 10 pounds by eliminating them.
16) “Instant” foods- those convenient and easy to make instant oatmeal’s or rice. They’re instant because all the valuable nutrients and fiber have been eliminated. These foods can trigger hunger- especially if they’re not paired with a quality protein.
17) Sugar and calorie- laden dressings on salads- More calories = tougher to lose weight.
18) Flavored, salty snack chips- These things stimulate hunger and actually make you crave more. “You can’t eat just one”.
19) “TV dinners” and foods with baked crust like pot pies. These are loaded to the brim with calories and chemical junk.
20) Over- eating even good, healthy foods like nuts and seeds and fruit. They may be healthy, but those calories add up!
21) Reliance on synthetic vitamins and fat burning supplements. You’re much better off getting your nutrients from whole food, plus most fat burning supplements on the market simply make you shed water weight and get your heart cranking.