When it comes to weight loss tips and tricks, you could spend hours each day scrolling through web pages, and never read them all. Everyone has a “trick” that they swear worked for them. And maybe it did. But they’re not called “tricks” without good reason; they’re awfully tricky to use correctly!

For every person who swears these things worked for them, and they lost ten, twenty, or a hundred pounds, there are probably ten people for whom they did not work. You just don’t tend to read those stories online, do you?

So as you put together your weight loss plan, keep in mind that these three common “weight loss tricks” might be more tricky than helpful.

Cheat days. The idea is that you get to reward yourself for a week of had work, by eating anything you want on your “cheat day”. The problem is that using food as a reward wires your brain to see junk foods as “good” and healthy foods as distasteful or miserable.

Plus, most people go so overboard on their cheat days, that they undo the progress they made all week. Remember that healthy weight loss is slow and steady, so you should be cutting just a few hundred calories per day. It’s quite easy to over-indulge by a thousand calories or more in a single meal on your cheat day.

Instead of cheat days, learn portion control and indulge in small amounts of your favorite treats here and there. Even better, try not to view food as a reward at all.

Six meals per day. It’s true that small, regular meals can keep your blood sugar more even, prevent cravings, and keep your metabolism burning more steadily. However, if you schedule yourself to eat six meals per day, you might end up eating more than you really need to. You should still follow your hunger cues. Are you mildly to moderately hungry? If not, then don’t eat a meal simply because you scheduled it.

Cutting calories too low. Your friend swears she dropped 20 pounds in time for her high school reunion, by eating only one boiled egg per day. That’s certainly possible, but what happened after the party? Most likely, she gained all that weight back very quickly. Starvation diets are not only unhealthy; they can also wreck your metabolism and make it harder to keep the weight off in the future.

Now that you know what not to do, how do you put together a weight loss plan that really works in the long term? Give us a call, and we’ll set an appointment to discuss your goals, your body type, and your health status. Then together we can create a realistic and healthy weight loss plan, without all the tricks and gimmicks.