Losing weight, dieting, call it however you like, sucks. It’s not fun. Well, it can be fun. But only if the alternative is being eaten by a shark. But for the most part, dieting sucks and you can make it even more exhausting and torturous if you do things that you shouldn’t do.
Here are five things that you shouldn’t do when dieting because they will lead to an unhealthy relationship with dieting and possibly, disordered eating.
1. Trying to ”exercise off” calories
Anyone who tried losing weight has been in the situation where the week goes well but one day you somehow end up secretly pigging out on brownies and cookies ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. After a lot of swearing and feeling guilty, your brain goes hey let’s go to the gym tomorrow and burn those calories off, maybe?
The problem is that even if you overate only by 1,000 kcal, no reasonable amount of exercise is going to make up for that. Remember when I said that if you are a female weighing 160 pounds, you will burn only around 300 kcal in a 90-minute intense resistance training workout? Yeah, that. You will be slaving away at the gym for hours while hating the exercise modality you chose for the job.
So in a sense, you use exercise as a punishment to “burn off” all the extra calories you ate. It’s a losing battle every time that makes you feel like shit. Exercise isn’t meant to be a punishment for eating. Exercise is meant to make you stronger, more muscular, and healthier.
So the next time you eat too many calories in one day, the best thing you can do is to (brace yourself here because I’m about to reveal to you an advanced strategy that, I’m sure, no one on Medium has ever written about it) get back on track and follow your usual diet.
2. Restricting your diet even more after binging or overeating
This one is similar to the previous point except that instead of trying to “burn off” calories, you somehow rationalize that water fasting, detoxing, or cleansing is the way to go.
One of my clients had a binge recently and texted me this: