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11 Dieting Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

11 Dieting Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

We all know of dieting as a tedious process. The process of actually motivating yourself and finally convincing yourself that this is finally it, you’re going to start. That is in fact the simple part. The hard part is, of course, getting it right and creating the perfect formula for your dieting efforts. Unfortunately, it is that same formula you are following for your diet that might be sabotaging your results. Dieting is a sea filled with many dos and don’ts but we’ll reveal how the ideas you think might be helping you, are in fact, hurting you.

1. Starting a Diet

Dieting can be a great start to a healthier body, but there are also repercussions with diets that many are unaware of. The one problem you can face with dieting is the aftereffect it brings with binge eating.

The problem with dieting is that you restrict yourself of vital nutrients, micro-nutrients, and healthy fats – this void then creates an imbalance in your body’s chemical processes and hormonal balance, which in turn will lead to post-dieting binge eating. You’ll soon find unhealthy food cravings after coming out of a diet regimen.

2. Reducing Your Calorie Intake is a No-no

Lowering your metabolic weight means your dependency on food becomes lower. This drop will cause a spike in weight, specifically when you return to your normal food intake. You’ll find that once you’re back to your regular eating habits, packing up those pounds will come even faster than before. By reducing calories, your body, to compensate, will start storing away fat, a key for reserving its energy.

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3. Spending Too Much Time on the Scale

The infamous daily scale step in hopes of miraculously shedding a few pounds consumes you. Carefully gauging where the needle sits time and time again can be stressful and misleading. Here’s the thing — muscle has a much greater density, therefore it takes up less volume than an equal mass of fat and this is deceiving. You might be losing your fat from your dieting efforts, but if you are also weight training or exercising, then you might in fact hover around the same weight, maybe even increase in pounds. Not to worry, though because muscle weighs more than fat so this weight might be deceiving to the eyes.

4. Relying on Diet Pills

Usually regarded as the shortcut in dieting, diet pills are known to create dependency and in some cases extreme addiction. You may think that this seems unlikely, but the truth is that diet pills can create ongoing psychological and physiological problems. Some of the more common side effects that come with diet pills are: include insomnia, restlessness, headaches, diarrhea, and dry mouth. Due to their chemical make-up, there is a chance that intestinal problems, diarrhea and cramps can also occur after taking pills, which promise to block carbs or fat. These bad effects perpetuate a dependent cycle. Let alone that over the counter diet pills are unregulated.

5. Not Incorporating Fat into Your Diet

By now you we all know fat is known as a three-letter enemy towards dieting or better known as the “F” word. Unfortunately it has the worst credibility as a compound. But new data has emerged on its great benefits, well, the good fat that is. Fat is a great contributor to making our skin soft, providing essential fatty acids, acting as a energizing fuel source, and mainly acts as a source to help you absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, which are essential for your nervous system. What you should look for are Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats. These types of fats raise good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol and protect against the buildup of plaque in your arteries.

In addition to providing essential omega-3 fatty acids — which boost brain function and may help strengthen your immune system and improve your mood — and omega-6 fatty acids, which in small amounts can keep skin and eyes healthy. At 9 calories per gram, any type of fat — good or bad — packs more than twice the calories of carbohydrate and protein. But the key here is moderation.

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6. Thinking Whole Wheat is a Healthier Choice

Here’s one that does not get talked about often… whole wheat. The bark against whole wheat is the misconception of it being favorably healthy. We all know that refined grains like white bread is digested fairly quick, due to this quick digestion, it basically causes a spike in blood sugar. Although, whole wheat is considered as a healthy alternative with its high fiber content, the problem is that it is usually mixed well in with fine flour, which unfortunately leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar as well.

To measure how quickly food would elevate blood sugar science uses the glycemic index as the gold standard. According to a Harvard study research found that on average, whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of 71, consequently it falls nearly identical to white bread.

7. Lacking in Your Precious Sleep

Sleep is very important and when it involves keep off extra pounds, there’s no exception. When you are catching up on night’s sleep, you affect your body’s production of leptin (a hormone responsible for notifying your body when it is full).

In addition, levels of the hormone Ghrelin are increased when you are sleep deprived. The problem with this is that the increase in Ghrelin secretion can be held responsible for overeating. Therefore getting a night’s rest is imperative, let alone the energy levels you’ll begin to feel when you are all caught up. By tweaking your sleeping habits, you might be a

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Sleep affects levels of the hunger-regulating hormone leptin, which helps your body realize it’s full, and ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Not getting adequate sleep lowers levels of leptin while raising levels of ghrelin, which can cause overeating when you’re sleep-deprived. A recent study found that women who didn’t sleep enough ate an average of 300 more calories than those who got adequate sleep. And, since exercise helps you sleep, revamping your sleeping habits can be the start of a beneficial cycle.

8. Choosing Salads as a Healthier Alternative.

Most of us go with the option of having a salad for lunch, as it is a healthy alternative. This is all great and if eaten with the right ingredients could be greatly beneficial, but the issue lies in what bad choices we make in the decision making of a salad.

For example, adding dressing to your salad using consist of two tablespoons, which could easily exceed 200 calories. There are also disadvantages in adding dried fruits, which conceal sugars.

9. Eating Too Much of the Good Stuff.

It is possible to overdo and overeat on the good stuff. Just because something is healthy does not mean that you can eat excessive amounts of it. For example, nuts contain beneficial good fats, which are heart healthy; the problem with consuming too much is that these fats will creep up on you. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, versus carbohydrates and protein, which are only 4 calories per gram.

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The key is balance and moderation. Spreading your selections of foods with the color spectrum is a great approach. Avoiding portion size will factor in weight gain so no matter how you look at it, if you consume more calories than you burn will cause you to store fat.

10. Missing Out on Breakfast.

Let’s go on the record and say that the breakfast we are referring to do not include your typical dishes, which include, bacon, waffles, pancakes, or anything unhealthy for that matter that is usually associate with a typical breakfast – but rather a delicious and delectable nutrient-dense meal. Well then, if that is the case, you are missing out on a lot. Eating earlier in the day will keep you from starving later in the day. Among other things, when you skip breakfast

11. Not All Fruits are Created Equal.

Fruits are a great for dieting, they really are. The food pyramid recommends us having 2-4 servings of fruits per day. Fruits also provide great nourishment, including essential vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, without carefully understanding fruits, they might be working against you. The reason? Excessive consumption. The cause? Sugar.

Here’s the thing, most fruits are rated low on the glycemic index (which is a good thing), but those that are high, will cause a spike in blood sugar and eventually cause hunger hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance. Fruits like apples and oranges have a low glycemic, whereas bananas, watermelons and pineapples are high in the glycemic index.

Slowly but surely you will find the balance for your body and find what actually does work. But informing yourself with facts is a body’s best friend to concrete weight loss.

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How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

His motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • He riles up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

Becoming the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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