If you are trying to lose weight but feel frustrated that the numbers on the scale are not going down, you are not alone! You might be sabotaging yourself with some of these common dieting mistakes:
1. Trying to change everything at once. Instead of cutting out everything good and forcing yourself to go on a super-restrictive diet, trying to make small, healthy changes that will last a lifetime. You need to find a diet that you can stick to, not one that takes entire food groups off the menu. Choose a diet that is best for your body and lifestyle.
2. Doing it their way. Just because something worked for your best friend, doesn’t mean it is right for you. Don’t feel pressured to try it their way or be disappointed if you achieve your weight-loss goals at a slower rate.
3. Not eating enough. Your body needs a certain amount of calories each day. This number is based on your age, gender, weight, health goals, and how active you are. Not eating enough calories can lead to dangerous health problems, such as brittle bones, anemia, and hair loss. Instead of going on a super-low calorie diet, begin a regular exercise program and set a calorie-goal that is appropriate for your body and lifestyle.
There are plenty of online calorie-goal calculators that can help you come up with a realistic number. Be sure to talk to your doctor about changing the amount of calories you are eating, before you begin.
4. Eating Too Fast. You don’t get a prize for being the first to finish at the dinner table. Your busy lifestyle might be causing you to rush through meals. Eating too fast can make you miss the signals your body is sending to tell you to stop eating because your stomach is full. Slow down and enjoy your food, one bite at a time and pay attention to your body’s signals.
5. Eating when you are not hungry. Diet plans often tell you when to eat: never eat at night, eat immediately after waking up, or eat eight small meals each day. However, you need to eat when you just start to feel hungry and until you are almost full. For some that might mean six small meals throughout the day, but for you it might mean three meals and two snacks. Listen to your body and let it tell you when to eat.
6. Eating too much fruit. Even though fruit is healthy, it is full of sugar. Don’t take fruit out of your diet, just eat the recommended daily amount and portion-size for your age and gender. Moderation is the key. Eating too much of any one thing can be unhealthy and stop you from losing weight.
7. Following the recipe exactly. Don’t stick with the same high-calorie, high-fat ingredients in your favourite dishes or take the dishes you love off the menu completely. Keep preparing your favourite dishes, just swap healthier ingredients for the less healthy ones. Include lower-fat dairy or leaner meats, add more veggies, use whole grain pastas, or use lighter cooking oils.
8. Thinking that low-fat automatically means healthy. Low-fat is not always the best choice. Foods that carry the low-fat label are often full of sugar so that they taste good. Check the nutrition information on the regular and low-fat versions of the foods you buy to make sure you are making the healthiest choice.
9. Wasting calories on extras that you don’t need. Ask for your salad with the dressing and toppings (like croutons, cheese and bacon) on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and pick up a bite. Put a little bit of cheese and other toppings on your salad, enough to get the flavour, and leave the rest behind. Eat your sandwich open-faced and get rid of one of the slices of bread. Ask for the toppings of your baked potato on the side and only add half. Cutting back on extras can save you calories that you could be spending in other ways, like on a small square of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate!
10. Eating more calories than you realize. Calories can really add up throughout the day. You can easily blow right past your calorie goals before you realize it. To keep your calories in check, be careful not to: snack while you are preparing meals, grab a high-calorie coffee drink on the way to work, or drink an extra glass of wine with dinner.
SOURCES: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/life/5-diet-mistakes-that-tip-the-scales-against-success.html/?a=viewall; http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-201404220000--tms--premhnstr--k-c20140423-20140423,0,1733219.story; http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-mistakes-6-reasons-youre-not-losing-weight; Image courtesy of pong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net