Committing to a diet is something that should be rewarded. Usually, that reward comes in the form of weight lost. However, sometimes people find that they just aren’t dropping the pounds no matter how hard they are working. If this has happened to you, you’re probably making a mistake with your diet.
Don’t feel bad. It can happen to anybody.
These mistakes typically take the form of sneaky little details that most people don’t think of, and some are even downright counterintuitive. However, by taking the time to make sure that everything you do is actually productive to your final goal, you can go a long ways towards making your diet even more efficient and effective. Keep reading to learn about the top 10 dieting mistakes so you can avoid them.
Only Focusing on Scale Weight
Believe it or not, there is more to dieting than the number on the scale. While it provides a nice, simple measure of your success, it is possible to have a successful diet without losing much weight.
There are all sorts of reasons your body may be playing tricks on you. It is possible that you are burning fat but holding onto water, or gaining muscle, which adds pounds. Whatever the case, don’t be discouraged if you are following your diet adamantly but not losing weight at the rate you’d like to.
Exercising Too Much
Doesn’t really sound like a problem, does it? You feel like you have been kicking your diet’s butt by getting to the gym every day and putting 100% effort into every workout. How could that be a bad thing?
Take it easy, Hulk. While the attitude is great, excessive exercise is unsustainable and can cause you problems such as increased stress levels. You want to burn off as many calories as you can at the gym, but you’re going to have to make your diet a part of the equation to get optimal results so you don’t overwork your body.
Eating the Wrong Low-Fat Foods
Switching over to the diet version of your favorite foods is a sacrifice that everybody has made at some point. You feel like you can’t give up your soda, your butter, your whatever-unhealthy-food-floats-your-boat, so you convert to the diet version even though it tastes a little bit funky and you can totally tell the difference.
So why aren’t the pounds falling off, even though you made the noble sacrifice? Many of these low-fat products are loaded up with sugar to help improve the taste which can result in you getting even hungrier and eating more. Rather than focusing on diet foods, try setting your sights on more nutritious options.
Picture this: you’ve tailored your diet to be the perfect weight loss system. You have found all the right foods to balance it out and make you a lean, mean, weight-losing machine. But after a few weeks of not losing any weight, you have to set down your apple juice and wonder what is going wrong.
While most people know to keep soda out of the mix, there are a lot of drinks that seem innocent enough, yet actually contain gobs of sugar. Remember, your diet involves everything that goes into your body. That means drinks, too! Don’t overdo it with fruit juices and bottled smoothies.
Not Reading Labels
You know how you could have avoided the apple juice conundrum? Reading the label! The fine people over at the FDA worked extra-hard just to make sure that everybody would put those detailed labels on their packages, so the least you could do is check them out. It might even be good for your health!
Sometimes you will be shocked to find out which foods aren’t that good for you, but sometimes you may be surprised to find out that some of the foods you love actually are! It goes both ways, but you’ll never know exactly what you’re signing up for unless you take a moment to read the label before purchasing.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Believe it or not, one of the best things that you can do for your diet is to spend eight hours a day lying around not doing anything. Bet that sounds a lot easier than going to the gym, right?
There are several reasons that this is the case. Missing out on sleep can lower your metabolism, which results in higher weight retention. It can also increase your appetite while lowering your ability to be productive when you go to the gym. If you really want to make the most of your diet, get in bed!
You Eat Too Many Salads
Good for you, you salad fiend, but it is time to diversify the palate a tad. While salads are good for your health and can be a pivotal component of weight loss, if you never eat anything else you will probably find yourself hungry. This is because salads generally do not contain enough carbohydrates to help control hunger.
One solution that many people go to is filling up on high-calorie salad options like candied walnuts. The problem is, those can add up deceptively fast. A better solution is to just mix in more healthy options like a healthy sandwich or an omelet.
You Eat Too Much Healthy Food
Hey, you have a right to be proud of yourself for finding a full menu of healthy food items that you enjoy but that doesn’t mean you can chow down whenever you want. Contrary to popular belief, portion control is still a major factor in weight loss when you are eating healthy food items.
A great way to combat this problem is to find healthy foods that are also filling, particularly if your healthy options are not of the low-calorie variety. By finding a nice balance to what you eat, you can still eat plenty of food that you love. Just be mindful of how hard you go at the nut jar.
You Don’t Snack Enough
Snacks have been the downfall of many diets, so it may surprise you to find that cutting them out is actually harmful to a successful diet. However, snacks are a good way to keep your metabolism active. That doesn’t mean you get to eat a bag of potato chips every hour, but you can still treat yourself.
Try fighting off a hunger craving with something small and satisfactory like some healthy Greek yogurt or a serving of blueberries. The trick isn’t to quit snacking–it is to fix snacking. Find small, healthy treats to enjoy throughout the day in order to keep your metabolism ticking.
You Don’t Keep a Diary
You don’t need to write your crush’s name a hundred times on every other page, but it is important to track the progress of your diet. Keep a diary (if that term freaks you out, you can call it a “food journal”) in order to better keep yourself in check.
Admit it: sometimes when you are dieting, you let things slide as if they can occur off the record. You let yourself indulge in a candy bar or a soda as if it is a secret between you and the treat – your body doesn’t need to know about it. Well, your body knows. Keep a journal so that you can more easily see how much this is really adding up and decide if you can afford the splurge. Keeping track of your intake may even lead you to find room in your diet for a splurge item here or there.
Dieting is hard work, so why make it any harder by making one (or more) of these mistakes? They can happen to anybody, which is why it is so important to know what they are and nip them in the bud. With a little bit of extra care, you can give yourself a more effective and fulfilling diet than ever before.