Thought Catalog
March 13, 2015

7 Deadly Diet Sins You Need To Avoid At All Costs

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There is no greater selling book in history than the bible. There also isn’t a more stolen book in history than the bible, which is funny. When it comes to distribution, the people behind the bible have figured out exactly how to make a product go viral. People running websites would kill for that info.

The bible is full of useful life lessons. Most of which are pretty basic like don’t be a jerk, love one another, don’t be mean, etc. However there are 7 specific rules that the bible clearly states that everyone should avoid. These rules, known as the 7 deadly sins, have become very well known in culture. Just another example of the bible being super hip and going viral enough to be ingrained in modern culture.

We’re all familiar with the 7 deadly sins. The very things that are the source of so much fun for us in life. We all also know that too much of this fun could wind up in death. Hell, even eating itself is one of the deadly sins. See: gluttony.

There are also diet sins that we all must hope to avoid during the course of a fat loss diet, should we hope to be successful. Otherwise we’ll surely fail, and fail miserably. We’ll wind up in Dante’s version of diet hell. Instead of one of journeying into one of his circles though, we’ll just have a massive circle around our waistline.

Here are the 7 deadly diet sins you’ve got to avoid at all costs.

1. Having unreal expectations of your diet.

Starting a diet can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience. You start a diet because you have a new idea of yourself in your head. You see a vision of yourself that you hope to bring into this world. You may hide this vision of yourself from all others, and keep it closely guarded. But that super hero version of yourself is there.

To get to that superhero version of yourself it’s going to take some work. And time. A lot of time. Unless you’re already fairly lean, getting to the ideal shape could easily mean a 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, or even longer process.

This is also one of the many reasons diets tend to fail. We all create a cause and effect narrative in our heads. It’s an evolutionary thing. We can’t help it. We start eating better and moving around a little bit more, calling it exercise, and we expect the pounds to fly off. Except this cause and effect doesn’t always work as well as we’d like it to. Which really pisses us off. So we quit. Throw our hands up in the air, say fuck it, and order a box of munchkins from Dunkin.

Realistic progress is an important thing to keep in mind if diet success is going to happen.

Realistic progress could be .5lbs per week. It might even not be anything on the scale, but instead the measuring tape is cinching tighter around you.

It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss won’t happen overnight, in one week, or one month. It’s a long term process that requires a ton of work. It will fluctuate and continue to piss you off as progress.

2. Trying a diet just because some celebrity did that diet.

Celebrities, for better or worse, have become visionaries of health in our world. We look to them for advice on vaccines, diets, exercise programs, etc. We see a ripped actor on the silver screen and immediately have to know the program he’s following. If we see an actor make a drastic physical transformation for a role, we immediately have to try and replicate it.

Celebrities also tend to have teams of people behind them to help them out. Nutritionists, trainers, doctors, anti-aging “specialists” (steroid dealers), and whoever else. Last I checked, unless you’ve got so much money people are pitching their business ideas to you on Shark Tank, you can’t afford all of these things.

A celebrity diet isn’t for you. These people generally have to make drastic physical transformations and sacrifices for roles, shows, tours, and other things. They also have the money to pay the team of people to make this transformation and insane diet work. You don’t. You need a more sensible approach. Not some steam your vagina, quit taking vaccines, and eat only raw foods harvested on the waxing gibbous moon phase.

3. Eliminating one macronutrient altogether.

Next time someone tells you they don’t eat carbs, slap the broccoli right off their fork. VEGETABLES ARE CARBS YOU IDIOTS. Carbs aren’t the fucking ass juice of Satan himself. I don’t care what Dr. Oz told you.

Luckily people seem to coming around to whole idea that fat isn’t the devil, thanks to fat evangelists who have a large following. I think most people have figured out that fat is necessary in order for life to happen. Without it your hormone production would be shit. With shitty hormone production you have a shitty body. Fats = not a shitty body.

There’s no need to go off and eliminate some macronutrient that has plenty of delicious components to it just to lose weight. That’s asinine. Why not just lower all the macronutrients a bit and still lose weight? Because that’s sensible, and sensible doesn’t sell diet books.

4. Making any food off limits.

You are no longer allowed to eat bread.

What are you thinking about now? Probably bread, and how in the world you’re going to live without bread. Making a food off limits like this makes you think about this food all the damn time. It’s miserable.

This is the danger of making one food off limits. It’s suddenly at the forefront of your mind at all times. You can only go so long trying to resist the temptation before you cave, and cave spectacularly. Before you know it you’ll eat a dozen donuts, and you don’t even like donuts. You just crave bread and donuts are bread.

Unless you have a specific food allergy, there isn’t any reason that a food should be off limits. Food doesn’t work that way. Foods are delicious, and a joy in life. A joy that should be experienced, in moderation. Making a food off limits doesn’t increase your chance of succeeding with your diet, it increases your chances of binging hard on that food at some point in the near future.

5. Diet hopping.

The American strategy in the Pacific Theater of World War Two was what we called island hopping. Nowadays, the American strategy to weight loss seems to be taking a page straight from a 1940’s wartime play book: diet hopping.

The best diet you could ever hope to be on is one that you can stick to. It doesn’t matter if this diet is paleo, zone, vegan, weight watchers, or whatever else. If you can’t stick to your diet for the long term (think LIFE), then that diet isn’t worth even trying.

It’s fine to try different diets and experiment to see what works for you. Everyone needs to do a little bit of that. It’s dangerous to do that every month though. That’s not diet hopping, that’s a lack of commitment. Your spouse would love to know about your commitment issues, I’m sure.

Dieting is a long term endeavor. Research, read, and find the diet you think best suits your long term goals and needs. Then stick it. Come hell or high water. Stick to the damn diet for at least 12-16 weeks and see what happens.

6. Relying on detoxes, cleanses, or supplements to do your diet work for you.

You don’t need to clean out your pipes, rid your body of evil toxins, or take some fat burner that is just caffeine in a pill. You really don’t. Save your money. Your body is perfectly capable of all of these things through good diet and exercise.

Supplements are meant to supplement a program. That’s actually the literal meaning of the word, by the way. By definition they’ll play a very small role in the grand scheme of things. Far too many people view supplements as something that should be turned to first in a diet program, instead of last.

Fat burners, detoxes, cleanses, and other products are all usually terrible choices to turn to. The benefit that they give a dieter is virtually nil, and most of the effect can be attributed to a placebo effect above anything else. In reality, a dieter would be better off by saving their money and spending it on a trip to the local farmers market for fresh veggies.

7. Not giving your diet enough time.

Dieting is a long process. A really long process. Most of us are in utter denial of the fact that it could take a year or longer to see our diet truly give us the results we want. We’re conditioned to want things as rapidly as possible, despite the cost to our wallet or our health.

Losing as much weight as possible, in whatever manner possible, is a recipe for disaster. Far too few people possess the psychological ability to handle a drastic weight loss, and the ramifications that come as a part of it.

Not only is a drastic weight loss damaging for most people and their psychological health, it makes it nearly impossible to keep the weight off in the long term. This is due to the fact that this rapid weight loss hasn’t allowed the dieter to learn proper habits that will set them up for long term success. When the weight loss goal has been hit, there’s a feeling of “now what.” This is usually when old habits creep in, and the weight begins to creep back up. TC mark

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