Let’s talk weight loss mistakes today.
Everyone has different struggles when losing weight and changing their lifestyle. No surprise there. So many of us have noticed our bodies change no matter if we are gaining or losing weight or just maintaining. There’s always something going on with our body, health, and weight.
Here’s a list of some of the common mistakes that we make.
1. Not Planning Ahead
There’s not much worse than being hungry, and having nothing to eat. It can mess with our energy levels and our moods. While every minute of life certainly can not be planned out, planning out your meals or snacks for a week or just a few days can help. Hit the store with your prepared list, stick to it, do any prep work that you want, and take on the week. Having the right foods on hand is key when sticking to a plan.
2. Keeping it Secret
So many times you hear about someone on a mission to get healthy, but their spouse, partner, roommate, etc. always brings junk food around or judges you for eating healthy instead of eating what they want. Sometimes this happens unknowingly. Be sure to tell friends, family, coworkers, etc. about your plans. Maybe they will join you for a workout or come over for a dinner party that fits into your diet. Have a strong support group on your side.
3. Protein Portions
Protein is such a hot topic when it comes to diets and nutrition. Yes, it’s a crucial macronutrient, but it should not be all that you consume. Low carb, high protein diets do offer results, but are not very sustainable. Your body needs carbs after all. Eliminating certain veggies, grains, fruits, etc. will eliminate certain nutrients from your body. Protein does not provide all of these nutrients. On the other hand not getting enough protein can also cause weight gain. Protein helps keep you satisfied, so not getting enough can lead to over eating.
4. Compensating Eating with Exercise
You can not out work a bad diet. Just because you worked out does not mean that you can eat as much as you want. Just because you worked out does not mean that you have earned that certain food. Just because you ate more than you intended or something that you regret does not mean that a hard workout will automatically erase it. Do you see a pattern here? Putting food and exercise together like these scenarios will lead to an unhealthy relationship. Do not trade one for the other. Use a workout as a complement or in addition to your diet.
5. Skipping Dinner for Drinks
Raise your hand if you have done this before? My hand is way up there! There are several things wrong with this. First if drinking on an empty stomach those drinks will hit you faster, and may lead to eating something bad later. Even if calories are balanced and not an issue, you are depriving your body of certain nutrients. This can lead to blood sugar levels dropping, among other things. What happens after drinking for dinner? Sometimes skipping that workout due to a hangover, hunger, low energy, etc. Not to mention dehydration and bloating! If having a drink (or more) with dinner don’t forget that they have calories and sugar. Of course this varies by drink choice, but hopefully you get the idea. Good rule of thumb for healthy living is to limit the number of calories from liquids.
6. Swearing off Certain Foods
Skipping out on a favorite food now and then is fine. Swearing off certain foods that you enjoy forever, may not be the best approach. This can lead to a binge later on said “bad” food. Find healthier options. Have a thing for chocolate, go for the dark chocolate pieces maybe with some nuts or drizzled over berries. Have a thing for fries, bake or roast potato pieces with seasoning of your choice until crispy crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
7. Cheat Days
“I was good all week, I deserve a day to let go.” Right? Not so fast. One cheat day can easily undo all of the good and hard work that you did all week. All that weight loss work for nothing. If dedicating an entire day to foods that go against your weight loss plan, you are hurting yourself. Find the balance for you, either a treat each day or one meal a week. Do not commit an entire day to eating bad.
8. Not Keeping Track
Food journals can really help some people. Whether you are tracking calories, nutrients, or just looking at your food choices keeping a journal can teach you a lot. Write it down, find an app, use a website, it does not really matter. Just find a system that works for you. Research has shown time and time again that keeping a journal for a period of time has been a major key in helping people lose weight.
9. Eating “Diet” Foods
Reduced fat, low calorie, added vitamins, etc. So many labels applied to foods these days are for marketing and not health. Even if the diet version has less calories, it does not necessarily mean that it’s a better option. Salt and sugar levels can vary drastically from the original and the diet versions. Remember that something removed means something added. Making things worse, eating the diet version can even lead to more or overeating on something else later. Limiting the processed foods and consuming the real versions of foods is always a great option.