Hints & Hacks:

10 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Don’t fall into the diet trap! Avoid these common diet no-noes.

Weight loss can feel like walking through a never-ending desert towards a mirage. That far-off oasis (aka your target weight) just doesn’t get any closer, despite the fact that you keep walking towards it.

 

The truth is, sometimes we make weight loss harder than it needs to be by taking a few key missteps. Here are 10 common mistakes people make when they try to lose weight.

  1. Restricting calories. When you restrict calories, your body goes into preservation mode: your core body temperature drops, your metabolism slows, and you feel hungry or lethargic all the time. Although you may initially lose weight on a calorie restricted diet, you will regain that weight because restricting calories simply does not improve any metabolic processes.
  2. Breakfast fritatta

  3. Skipping breakfast. You’ve heard it before: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” As far as weight loss goes, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast might seem like a good idea, especially if you’re generally not hungry in the morning (I shouldn’t eat if I’m not hungry right?); however, by skipping breakfast you put your metabolism into a tricky position. Your body doesn’t know when it will be fed next and wants to store all the fat, thus making it harder to lose. However, by eating a good-quality breakfast, you set yourself up for a steady source of energy throughout your morning – no energy dips. You’re also then more likely to make better food choices the rest of the day. Want some great breakfast ideas for weight loss? Check out our FREE breakfast guide and recipe book here
  4. Exercise equipment

  5. Exercising to lose. Although exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, it’s actually not a great way to lose weight. First, exercise makes you hungrier and more likely to overeat later. Second, most people overestimate the amount they burn exercising and end up overcompensating later. Exercise is however great for longevity, overall health, building muscle, maintaining weight once you’ve lost it.
  6. Eating low fat or “diet” foods. For starters, diet, “light,” or low-fat foods often taste terrible and make you crave the real thing that much more. You’re actually more likely to overeat when you select diet foods because they just don’t fully satisfy your cravings. Additionally, not only are they usually full of processed ingredients, but when companies take out the fat, they have to replace it with something to improve the taste - usually carbohydrates and sugar. Carbs and sugar provide a very fleeting source of energy before they cause your blood sugar to drop and make you hungry all over again.
  7. Not enough vegetables. Vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, and water, which makes them an essential part of any weight loss program. Just like fat, vegetables help contribute to a sense of fullness after meals. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to lose weight is not filling your plate with delicious nutrient-packed foods veggies.

    Green Salad

  8. Frequent snacking. Unfortunately, the small frequent meal strategy for weight loss doesn’t work for everyone. Often, snacking between meals promotes eating when you’re not hungry. Make sure you’re eating enough at meals, and next time you feel “snacky,” grab a glass of water instead – thirst can actually feel a lot like hunger. Also consider going for a walk to get away from tempting snacks.
  9. Reducing portion sizes…of the wrong foods. Often one of the first foods groups to be cut in a diet is fat because it’s the most calorie-dense (compared to protein and carbohydrates); however, fat contributes to satiety and will make you less likely to become hungry between meals.
  10. Not tracking or monitoring. Weight loss is a science, and what would science be without data? To see real progress, and to figure out which changes are or aren’t working, you must frequently monitor things like your weight and net carbohydrate intake.
  11. Not drinking enough water. Your body is made up of about 60% water and needs constant water replacement to function properly. Not only that, but thirst can often feel like hunger, so many people end up eating when what they really need is a big glass of water.
  12. Making it temporary. Your weight loss journey is not over when you get down to your goal weight. In fact, your hunger and stress hormones act against you for roughly 2 years after you lose weight. Meaning you will likely find yourself hungry or craving foods you probably shouldn’t be eating until those hormones normalize. This explains why many people regain weight within a year after losing it, especially after embarking on a temporary fad diet or extreme calorie restriction. Losing weight and keeping it off means making sustainable, lasting lifestyle changes that you can continue for at least 2 years.

So, what’s the secret to losing weight and keeping it off? Identify a weight loss strategy that evokes real lasting changes to the body and is something you can stick with (ideally for life).

WellnessFromFood is a lifestyle-based low carbohydrate program that has helped hundreds of people lose weight and keep it off. Check out a free sample WellnessFromFood lesson today!

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Hi there! I’m Gabby, head registered dietitian at WellnessFromFood. If you have questions, please email me! Want to lose weight with me? Click here

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