It’s no secret that consuming a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important factors for achieving weight loss in a sustainable way. Creating a calorie deficit that you can stick to in the long term is essential for seeing changes in your body, but it’s necessary to remember that this is not the only facet that matters when working towards healthy weight loss.
With this, there are certain mistakes you may be making that, outside of a calorie deficit, may be stalling your progress or making it more difficult to keep up with your results. We spoke with Amy Goodrich MS, RD to get a sense of what factors may be negatively impacting your progress, and she revealed that focusing too much on calories can actually put you at a disadvantage for weight loss in the long term.
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Although a calorie deficit is an essential factor for weight loss, the quality of the calories you’re eating matters just as much. Over time, if you’re maintaining a deficit but filling your diet with foods which are heavily processed or lacking in nutritional value, your body will reflect that as certain nutrients are essential to your overall health.
Not only this, but overly restricting your calories to make a more significant deficit may be a quick fix, but it can slow your metabolism and put your body at risk over time. “Being overly restrictive with your diet like reducing calories too drastically or cutting out all food groups (i.e. following gluten-free or ketogenic diets) might seem like a good idea at first, but it’s extremely hard to stick to in the long run,” Goodrich says.
If you’ve been heavily influenced by diet culture as many people have, you may be tempted to remove certain food groups from your eating plan in order to achieve results more quickly. However, moderation is key to losing weight, and eliminating your favorite foods will in fact only make you crave them more. “By trying to follow a very strict diet, many people effectively put those foods on a pedestal and give them more power over the mind. This can lead to a restrict/binge cycle …….