When looking to lose weight, it’s easy to lose track of reality in terms of what you want to achieve, how quickly you want to achieve it and what you need to do to get there. Below we list the top 11 mistakes that people often make when adjusting their diet and nutrition to lose weight.
FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT
Too many people embarking on a weight loss journey focus on what they can’t have, such as no sugar, no alcohol, no dessert, no bread, no cheese. We promote focusing on what you CAN have, and tally up all the tasty, filling and nutritious superfoods out there.
ADOPTING AN ALL-OR-NOTHING ATTITUDE
When trying to lose weight, many people develop the all-or-nothing attitude, and cut out EVERYTHING they previously enjoyed. This way of thinking can be detrimental in the long run. Instead of depriving yourself of foods you love, you should learn how to eat them in moderation as part of a long term healthy balanced diet. For example, with carbs, which many people cut or reduce while dieting; if you love pasta, instead of adding a creamy high fat sauce, add lots of veggies, grilled shrimp, and toss in olive oil and garlic. Love bread and used to sandwiches at lunch? Make a healthy sandwich for lunch on 100 percent whole grain bread with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
NOT HAVING A SOLID PLAN
You have probably heard ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’, well it’s true! Set youself up for success by creating a sound plan at the start with small, challenging yet realistic changes to work towards. Start off with a few actionable and specific goals for the first week. Once you master those, keep adding on. Before you know it, those changes will become lifelong healthy habits.
CUTTING OUT AN ENTIRE FOOD GROUP
When people are attempting to lose weight, they often cut out an entire food group based on a fad diet they have seen online. By completely cutting carbs or meat for example, you can just end up with an unbalanced diet and even deficiencies in certain nutrients. For most people, a diet with a complete eradication of a food group is not sustainable for a lifetime. If a diet is too hard to stick to, it’s a diet that’s probably not going to work in the long run.
REPLACING MEALS WITH LIQUIDS
Green juices and smoothies are very popular right now, and a lot of people will use these as meal replacements. Unfortunately, these beverages aren’t made up of the right mix of nutrients. Green juices lack fibre and protein, which are key nutrients in keeping you full and helping you meet your nutrient recommendations, and smoothies are typically loaded in sugar from juice, sweeteners, or too much fruit, and can be really high in calories from oversized portions of healthy fat sources like nuts and seeds. Sure there are meal replacement shakes out there, but these are often only designed for short term use.
EATING TOO FEW CALORIES
One of the biggest mistakes we hear is customers falling into is the calorie counting trap. Many women report struggling to follow a 1,200 calorie per day diet and ask what could help them to feel more full during the day. The answer? Eat MORE but also train more! We live in a culture that is so obsessed with calorie counting that oftentimes we are depriving our body of the very nutrients that will actually help us not only to live healthier, but lose more weight when incorporated with regular metabolic exercise.
STEERING CLEAR OF HEALTHY FATS
Healthy fats are a GOOD thing (in moderation)! Many people are stuck eating low-fat or fat-free versions of food, a holdover from the fat-phobic days of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. A moderate amount of fat is important as it helps with satiety. Plus, people that try to eat reduced or zero fat food often end up replacing fat with refined carbs, which we now know can have a detrimental effect on health and weight. Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, liquid oils, avocados, oily fish, soy, and dairy products. You should aim to have a small amount of healthy fats with each main meal.
DITCHING FRUITS AND VEGGIES WITH HIGH SUGAR CONTENT
Some people dieting cut out certain fruits and vegetables when dieting because they think they contain too much sugar. Sure, some do contain a bit higher amount of naturally occurring sugars, but they also contain fibre, which helps counterbalance the effect on blood sugars. It is similar to natural fats, in moderation they are important and needed in a healthy balance diet and when compared to highly processed but low sugar snacks and drinks, there is little to be worried about.
RELYING ON WEIGHT LOSS PILLS
Quite simply, there is no such thing as a weight loss pill or potion that works long term. If there was, you wouldn’t be reading this, and the country wouldn’t have an obesity problem as the NHS would be giving them out like confetti. Unfortunately there is no quick fix. The long term way to lose weight is simply to eat less than you burn, then when at your target weight, ensure your calorie intake is similar to amount your body is burning through its metabolism and exercise.
TAKING THE WEEKENDS OFF FROM HEALTHY EATING
You should take the weekends off from your job, not your diet. Sure, you can still have fun and go out to eat on the weekends, but make an effort not to stuff yourself to the brim with food or drinks. Simply eating mindfully when you are enjoying good food can be enough to not wreck your hard work during the week. If the weekends are a problem for you, consider weighing yourself Friday mornings and Monday mornings. If you see that number routinely creeping up on Monday, try changing your weekend routine to include more exercise and healthier food choices.
NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Changing this habit is one of the easiest ways to help your health. Bewing well hydrated helps your body in so many ways. Staying hydrated helps prevent headaches and increases concentration, which will help you focus on diet and reduce stress eating. A lot of the time when people think they are hungry or have a craving, a glass of water will significantly reduce this feeling and save on the calorie intake.
The answer? It is simple; Have a well balanced, healthy diet, exercise regularly, and burn more calories than you intake. Looking for equipment to help you reach your weight and fitness goals? Check out our online shop.