If you’re having a hard time with your weight loss you might be making one (or more!) of these common diet mistakes.
1. Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is precisely the wrong way to start off your day. You might think you are cutting a few calories but if you wait until lunch to eat that means that you’ve deprived your body of any energy source for 15 hours straight! And now you’re much more likely to buy a bear claw at the bakery, steal the candy bar from your coworker’s secret stash or go overboard at lunch. A survey from NWCR, which tracks more than 5,000 people who have kept off at least 30 pounds for a year or longer, found that 78 percent of participants have a meal every single morning.
2. Relying Too Heavily on ProteinBars
We ♥ protein bars as much as the next guy (or gal!). But, like most good things, too much protein can be a bad thing. If you are already getting enough recommended daily protein* eating protein bars as snacks can add unnecessary sugar, fat and calories to your diet. Instead of overloading on protein bars, you can opt for bean chips that are low in calories and sugar, and packed with fiber that’ll help tide you over between meals.
3. Juice as a Go-To Drink
When dieting, juice is a common swap people make for soda when they’re craving something sweet, but don’t want all the added calories. The problem is, juice is still packed with sugars, and more often than not, people will consume more than the suggested 8–ounce servings, causing more harm to their diet plan than good. A great alternative is to drink water with fruit slices in it, so you can get some flavor without so many extra calories.
4. Not Holding Yourself Accountable
Most people don’t realize how much mindless eating they do everyday. A mindless bite of office birthday cake, stealing a couple french fries here and there can be 25 calories for each mouthful. That could add up to a whole extra pound each month! Keep on track by tracking your calories. You can record them in a notebook or download a calorie counting app on your phone. We suggest LoseIt or MyFitnessPal.
5. Starving Yourself
You can’t lose weight without reducing calories but slashing too many calories, particularly protein calories, pushes the body to conserve calories rather than burn them. It also forces your body to breakdown muscle tissue to fuel its vital operations. But that muscle is the key to your metabolism, or the speed at which you burn calories. More muscle means a faster metabolism and less body fat.
6. Believing that exercise can “make up for” unhealthy eating habits.
How many times have you heard a friend say (or said yourself), “I’ll eat these donuts now but I’ll work them off later in the gym”? It’s an extremely common misconception that you can compensate for a bad diet. Exercise is an ADJUNCT to a healthy diet, not a substitute.
7. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation decreases the odds of shedding fat and keeping it off. Researchers found that healthy men who slept only 4 to 7 hours a night for 6 nights in a row had higher glucose and insulin levels in their blood which means their metabolism is in no shape to help you lose weight because surplus insulin boosts body-fat storage. Hit the sack for 8 hours each and every night. Bonus points if you hit it for the same 8 hours (establish a regular bedtime and waking hour).