Losing weight seems like a far-fetch dream since you don’t see the scale moving an inch despite rigorous exercise, strict diets, and following all the advice anyone ever gave you. It can be heart wrenching to see no results even when you seem to be doing everything right. Did you ever think that perhaps you are doing something which may be hampering your progress? Here are the most common mistakes that dieters are prone to when trying to lose weight.
Not Reading Labels
A lot of packaged foods lure you in with resounding health claims on the front of the package, but in reality, their nutrition labels don’t reflect don’t claims at all. If you scour through the list of ingredients, you are likely to come across hidden sugar being disguised words like ‘sucrose’, ‘maltose’, ‘glucose’, ‘and fructose’. Also, most people misunderstand one package to mean one serving, and end up devouring the entire package. Did you know that one serving of chips mean only 13 chips, and not the entire ‘extra-large’ bag? Before buying packaged goods, be sure to scan the nutrition label as well as the serving size, so that you are mindful of what you are putting in your body!
If you are looking to lose weight, you should create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you eat! Even though many people believe that in order to lose 1 pound each week, you should restrict your calorie intake to 3,500 calories per week, this amount depends from person to person, as well as their lifestyle. If you are not calorie conscious, you may feel like you are eating less calories just because you are controlling portions. You may be consuming small portions of very calorie-laden foods, such as cheese and nuts. However, on the other hand, eating too few calories is also counterproductive to your weight loss journey. We have numerous studies to prove that eating fewer than 1,000 calories per day, leads to muscle loss and significantly slows down metabolism.
Not Eating Enough Protein
When you are struggling to lose weight, incorporating more protein in your diet may be the secret sauce you needed. In fact, there are several ways that protein can help you lose weight. For starters, a dietary regime high in protein is known to curb appetite, protect muscle mass during weight loss, enhance metabolic rate, decrease calorie intake, and boost feeling of fullness. People consuming a high protein diet in a 12-day study were found to consume 575 fewer calories per day than people whose diet included only half the protein. To kick-start your weight loss journey, make sure to consume a diet high in protein.
Not Practicing Portion Control
It’s not just about what you eat, but also how much you eat. For instance, nuts, chocolate, and avocado are touted as weight loss foods, but they are also calorie-laden, and should only be consumed in moderation. Portion control cues help you cut down on portion size, for instance, you should limit your serving of fruits and veggies to a baseball size ball, while cheese and nuts should be measured against a golf ball, and a fist for pasta and rice. Also, use smaller dishware since larger dishware makes it too easy to underestimate portions and, therefore, overeat.
Not Eating Enough Fiber
It’s important to incorporate fiber-rich foods into your diet if you are looking to lose weight, especially soluble fiber that absorbs water and turns to gel, which slowly moves through your digestive track and makes you feel fuller for a long term. Fiber also helps keep your blood sugar levels in check and slows down fat absorption, which helps your body store less fat in the long term. If you are looking to lose more weight, eat a fiber-rich diet, rich in beans, peeled fruits, nuts, oatmeal to gain ample amount of soluble fiber, as well as fruit skins, leafy vegetables, brown rice, and whole grains for insoluble fiber.
Replacing Meals with Liquids
Smoothies and green juices are all the rage these days, and people are starting to use them as meal replacements, thinking that they can lose more weight by turning to liquids. However, these beverages don’t contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. For instance, green juices lack protein and fiber, both of which help you feel fuller for longer and curb appetite, while smoothies are laden with sugar from all the fruits and sweeterners, as well as calorie-intensive due to addition of buts and seeds.
Not sleeping enough
You must be wondering what weight loss has to do with how much you sleep, but it does. Sleep deprivation kicks your hunger hormone, “ghrelin”, into overdrive, while causes your “fullness hormone” to plummet down. When you are always hungry, you will inevitably eat more, including unhealthy junk, which will never let you lose weight. Not to mention, you must have noticed how we crave more high-carb, high-fat foods when we are hungry. Worst of all, you will be exhausted to fight your cravings and just give in! Remember that adults need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep to function. Create a bedtime routine and try meditation techniques to help you sleep well!
Drizzling Salad Dressings on your Food
If you are adding more salads to your diet, kudos to you, but when you drizzle calorie-laden sauces and salad dressings on your otherwise healthy fare, you are just consuming hundreds of excess calories, all the while thinking that you are eating healthy. For instance, oil contains around 2000 calories/cup and you are using at least half a cup to sauté your veggies or drench your salads in olive oil. If you want to add a kick to your meal, why not go for oil-free, lighter dressings and sauces, or maybe use vegetable broth for cooking vegetables.
Drinking Your Calories
Weight loss gurus tell you to stay hydrated but we often turn to different beverages to quench our thirst. We often forget how many calories can be concentrated into a sugar-laden beverage. Why not opt for sparkling water, unsweetened tea, and water to save calories, instead of consuming sweetened tea, sugary beverages, sodas, and processed juices. Alcohol also contains a lot of calories. Did you know that a large beer has 180 calories and a glass of red wine around 140 calories? Beware of alcoholic drinks when you are tryin3g to lose weight.
Eating Out Frequently
Do you frequent restaurants? Even if you are choosing whole grain, lean proteins, salads, or broiled meats, you may still end up taking 200 more calories than if you had cooked the meal at home. If you eat out twice a day, every day, expect to gain an upward of 3 pounds every month. On the other hand, if you start eating more at home, see your weight drop significantly.
You Add Artificial Sweeteners to Your Beverages
For a long time, we have been using artificial sweeteners in beverages and desserts to mimic the sugary flavor without adding any calories. However, health professionals are concerned about these additives’ possible link to obesity. If you want to add flavor to your coffee without the icky sweeteners, try adding cinnamon or vanilla extract.
You Trust Vegan Products
Just because that bourbon pecan swirl or chocolate chip cookie says its vegan, you automatically think it’s a healthier choice? If so, you are only tricking yourself. While vegan products are generally healthy, they may use dairy or meat substitutes that are considered high-fat and high calorie. Take a vegan cookie for instance; it contains more calories, sugar and fat than a regular cookie. Not everything that is vegan is healthy.
Choosing Low-fat Food Options
We satiate our craving with low-fat versions of our favorite foods, thinking that they will help us lose weight. However, these so called diet foods can have the exact opposite effect. Especially because these products contain a high amount of sugar to improve their taste. For instance, one cup of low-fat flavored yogurt contains 12 teaspoons of sugar! Even worst, these low-fat products make you even hungrier, so that you end up eating more than usual. Instead of resorting to these low-fat substitutes, you can practice portion control or eat a more healthy nutritional mix of minimally processed foods.
Cutting Off Fruits and Vegetables from Diet
Some people make the mistake of eliminating certain fruits and vegetables from their diet since they believe them to be high-sugar. While some vegetables do contain naturally occurring sugars, the truth is that they also contain fiber which helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. What you need to worry about are those processed drinks and snacks that will wreak your weight loss journey. Try to boost your intake of vegetables and you will feel energized as you move ahead in your weight loss journey. For instance, I keep a bag of baby spinach in my refrigerator that I just toss in almost everything; eggs, soups, smoothies, spaghetti, chili, and salads.
Depending on Weight Loss Pills
Despite what those ads may tell you, there is no weight management magic potion that actually works in the long run. If there was, nobody would be fretting about shedding pounds right now. When it comes to weight loss as a goal, what works for some people may not work for others. The weight loss industry thrives on the desperation of people looking to find a quick fix. Instead of letting these shiny ads entice you, just concentrate on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and the rest takes care of itself.