by Matt Weik
When trying to lose weight, there are some common mistakes that many people make. These mistakes keep you from seeing results on the scale and in the mirror. Don’t allow yourself to stall your progress. This article will lay out some common mistakes you’re making with your diet, so you can correct them and reach your goals.
1. Cutting out food groups
So many diets out there try to completely cut out food groups, and it’s asinine to be completely honest. You have diets cutting out carbs, diets cutting out fats… for what reason? Stop thinking you need to completely cut things out of your diet. If you’re used to eating a variety of proteins, carbs, and fats, do you really think you’re going to be able to simply cut one of them out entirely? The chances of you sticking to that diet are slim to none. Your nutrition plan needs to be a complete lifestyle change. Don’t make it just about certain food groups that are deemed the enemy.
Rather than eliminating food groups, either try changing the foods you consume in each group to a healthier option or try to lower the number of total calories consumed in a given group. Elimination is not the answer to your problems and the success rate over time will continue to drop.
2. Weight loss pills and drinks
Do they work? Some. Will the results last? Rarely. The main thing everyone hopes for with these types of products is that they can simply take a pill or drink a product and it will magically do all of the work for them and help them lose weight. Will some weight come off? Probably. Unfortunately, most of it will be water weight. And as soon as you get off the product and discontinue use, the weight will creep back up.
Why is this? Because your lifestyle and choices suck. You’re trying to bypass the main issue which is your decision making. If you’re not exercising and eating a healthy diet, how would you expect changes to be made? You’re putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole. Put the weight loss pills and drinks down and buckle down on your lifestyle. Start exercising (or increase the intensity if you already are) and clean up your diet. Eliminate the food choices that are halting your weight loss progress and replace them with healthier options.
3. Not consuming enough water during the day
I’ll be the first to say that drinking water is pretty boring. There’s no real flavor to it. Many people opt for zero-calorie beverages in its place, but you really can’t replace the health benefits associated with good old water when consuming other options.
Water has the ability to curb your appetite—allowing you to put the fork down and step away from the table easier than when you aren’t satiated. Carry a water bottle around with you everywhere you go and sip on it throughout the day. When it’s empty, fill it back up again. Your body is made up of primarily water, so you’re doing it a favor by providing it with what it needs to function optimally. When you limit your water intake, you also risk becoming dehydrated.
4. Not eating enough calories
There are those who extremely reduce their caloric intake. They drop down below 1,000 calories in an effort to lose weight. While it might work temporarily, once your body catches onto what you are doing, it’s going to believe you are starving yourself and will start holding onto and storing every little morsel of food you eat. Not only that, but your metabolism is going to take a shot to the gut as well. In an effort for survival, it’s going to slow down so you don’t burn as many calories during the day. For that reason, it’s imperative that you make sure you’re consuming the correct number of calories daily.
Not eating enough calories will also put you in a mental fog, you could suffer from headaches, and you’re going to have some pretty awful cravings throughout the day.
5. You’re focusing on all the things you can’t eat
When you’re cleaning up your diet, there are those who focus solely on the things they can’t eat. They walk up and down the aisles at the grocery store feeling defeated that they can’t have this or that, rather than focusing on all of the healthy and delicious food options they CAN eat.
They will look at all the delicious candy and drool over the mounts of sugary goodness in front of them. When in actuality, they can fix that craving by consuming a piece of fruit such as an apple—and get in some fiber while they’re at it.
6. Not having a nutrition plan in place
People who come to me for help generally all have one thing in common—they have no plan. I ask them what they eat on a daily basis, how many calories they are consuming, etc. Their response is like a deer in headlights. If you don’t know where you’ve been, how do you know where you’re going?
You need to have a plan in place to ensure you are on the right path to hitting your weight loss goals. You can either write everything down to provide a visual, or you can use an app like MyFitnessPal to enter in all of your meals. It’s quick and simple and gives you a great look at how many calories you’ve consumed for the day along with macronutrient breakdowns. You also have the ability to adjust your calories based on how much weight you wish to lose, and it even helps you stay on track with your water intake. Having a plan is extremely important to your overall success—don’t keep going through the process blindly.