1. Cutting out ALL sugar
As for added sugar, even the strictest guidelines from the American Heart Association allow up to six teaspoons worth per day per woman. This means there’s still room for healthy indulgences like nutrient-rich dark chocolate which has been shown to help curb cravings for both sweet and salty foods. The fact is, cutting out all sugar simply isn’t realistic for most people. So stick with the fruit (without overdoing it) and pre-plan can’t-live-without treats. It tends to be a more manageable and maintainable approach.
2. Obsessively Counting Calories
Just the stress of counting calories can also do a number on your waistline. One study found that women who simply monitored their calorific intake (without restricting it) experienced spikes in cortisol, a stress hormone tied to increased belly fat. A more effective alternative to calorie counting is focusing on healthy portions. For example, you can slash 125 calories by simply pairing a half cup of brown rice with one cup of greens instead of one cup of brown rice with a half cup of greens.
3. Extreme Portion Control
Serving yourself healthy portion sizes is generally a great diet strategy. However, there are a number of methods that take portion control too far, like eating only with chopsticks or stopping after a few measly bites of your meal. Again, while this may result in weight loss, who could keep this up forever? Plus, eating too little can result in a number of counterproductive side effects like weakening the immune system, fatigue and so on.
4. Eating One Single Food
Whether it is bananas or potatoes, there are plenty of diets that involve literally eating one food. While this restrictive approach may indeed lead to weight loss, it is temporary. A healthier method is picking a single balanced meal (a combo of lean protein, healthy fat and nutrient rich carbs) and repeating it on a short-term basis.