According To A Celebrity Trainer This Is The Most Common Mistake People Make When They’re On A Diet

*takes notes.

Food flatlay

Here at STELLAR, we don’t particularly like the word ‘diet’. After all, it suggests cutting calories and in many cases, banning some of our absolute favourite foods.

Instead, we like to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle, and we reckon healthy eating is about creating a balance that’s sustainable in the long run.

And that’s something celebrity trainer and bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese agrees on. In an interview with Business Insider, she explains that one of the most common mistakes dieters make is cutting out food groups and following a lifestyle that isn’t sustainable in the long term.

Autumn Calabrese

“I think the biggest misconception is that it has to be a diet — that you eliminate something for a period of time and that’ll get you your result,” she explains. “And that does work for that period of time, and it might get you your result, but usually the backlash from it is 10 times worse than before you started.

“Like, you can cut it out for a period of time, but you’re never just gonna cut it out forever. So the second you come off of that quote unquote ‘diet,’ not only is the weight gonna come back on, usually even more [weight] comes back on.”

So what should you be focusing on instead? Well, two things, really: allowing for indulgences and exercising portion control.

Many Irish fitness bloggers are fans of the former, and incorporate regular cheat meals into their diets, to help them stay on track throughout the week.

Chatting to us back in October of last year, fit blogger Sarah Murphy tells us how allowing for indulgences ensures she doesn’t fall off the wagon completely.


#IrishFitFam member Sarah Murphy

“I do try to make healthy choices and I’ve definitely tried to educate myself about healthier food options but there are still times that I love nothing more than a bar of chocolate or a Dominos, and I do give myself that,” she explains. “I think a great rule is the 80:20 rule, where you eat clean 80% of the time and you give in to yourself the other 20%.

“[Cheat meals] give you something to look forward to and I think you’re less likely to fall off the wagon when you give yourself leniency,” she continues.

As for portion control, Autumn warns that overeating healthy food can be detrimental to your efforts.

“The biggest issue I was seeing with all of my clients was that they were working out really hard and they weren’t seeing the success that they [wanted] to see and we couldn’t quite figure out why,” she explains. “And the long and short of that was going out to lunch with a client with mine and both ordering salads, but very large salads and [she ate] all of hers and [I ate] a fraction of it and [I] kind of looked at her and [realised] that’s the problem right there … You can overeat on every healthy food, too.”

The conclusion? “It’s just about eating clean foods and in the right portion sizes,” Autumn advises. Yes, you can still eat chocolate, have a glass of wine or order a takeaway, but it’s about figuring out how you can fit that into your lifestyle without going overboard that counts.

Like this? Roz Purcell shares her top tips for making a healthier lifestyle stick