Part of having a successful diet involves knowing what will hinder your progress. Here are common dieting mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Are you staring at that number on the scale every morning? Trying to fit into your favorite pair of jeans from college again? You're not alone.
In fact, about half of all Americans say they're trying to slim down.
Unfortunately, outdated or misguided advice can do your long-term health more harm than good. You might notice that number on the scale refuses to change.
Don't rush into a weight-loss protocol without a plan first. Otherwise, you could start making common dieting mistakes that can slow you down.
Here are the eight common mistakes you need to avoid. By keeping these mistakes in mind, you can chart an effective weight-loss plan for yourself. Start slimming down by avoiding these dieting errors today!
1. Setting Unrealistic Goals
There are so many different types of diets out there, but not every single one is ideal for your body type or long-term health goals. Before you start dieting, take a moment to consider your unique wants and needs.
Are you trying to lose weight? What timeline are you giving yourself?
Setting an unrealistic goal could do more harm than good. When you fail to keep on track to achieve that goal, you might feel discouraged.
Instead, develop a realistic goal for yourself. Cut that larger goal into smaller benchmarks. That way, you can see your progress as you move forward.
If you're not sure what goal to set, speak with a physician, dietitian, or nutritionist. They can help you establish realistic goals with your health in mind.
In the meantime, try to avoid obsessing over your weight on the scale. The number you see there doesn't indicate other factors that prove your progress. For example, you have to consider how much food is in your system and fluid fluctuations.
Try to weigh yourself at the same time every day. Otherwise, measure your waist with a tape measure. You're probably losing body fat, even if the scale says otherwise.
2. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals and eating too often are both common dieting mistakes you'll want to avoid. It's important to find the right middle ground for your body's needs.
In order to lose weight, you'll need to set a calorie deficit. That way, you're burning more calories than you're eating.
Many people skip meals to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, this can cause you to feel ravenous by the end of the day. You might overeat to compensate.
Eating every few hours can cause you to consume too many calories in a single day. Instead, eat when you're hungry. Instead of using a set schedule for meals, listen to your body to determine what you need when you need it.
3. Too Many Restrictions
About 70% of adults in the US are overweight or obese. As a result, approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. Unfortunately, "dieting" by cutting everything from your diet or placing restrictions are both common dieting mistakes.
Don't restrict yourself too much. Speak with a dietitian if you're unsure how to plan your diet.
Make sure you're eating whole, single-ingredient foods, too. Otherwise, processed foods could impact your gut health.
Signing up for a nutrition challenge could help you lose weight without crazy restrictions.
4. Not Considering Macros
Don't make common dieting mistakes like forgetting to track what you eat. Tracking your meals will help you measure the macronutrient ratios you're consuming.
Macros include carbs (sugars, fibers, starches), proteins, and fats. Your dietitian can help you determine what percentage of each you need in your diet.
For example, if you're choosing a ketogenic diet, you might reduce your carbs and increase your fat intake.
Don't eliminate carbs altogether. Your body uses carbohydrates as a primary source of energy. They also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which you need for healthy digestion.
If you're on a low-carb diet like keto, make sure you're not eating too much fat. Adding too much fat could slow down your weight loss progress.
What sources of protein are you consuming? Protein is essential to any diet. You need protein to:
- Increase your metabolic rate
- Decrease calorie intake
- Feel full
- Protect your muscle mass
- Reduce your appetite
Are you getting enough fiber? Viscous fiber helps your body hold water, which can help you feel full.
Don't forget to read the labels of any processed foods you eat. You could end up consuming unwanted calories (or unhealthy ingredients) without realizing it.
5. Huge Portions
Even a healthy whole food in excess can have a negative impact on your long-term health. Consider your portions:
- A quarter of your plate should include protein
- Half of your plate should include fruits and vegetables
- A quarter of your plate should contain carbs
Use a smaller plate to make these portions look bigger (tricking your mind into thinking you're eating a large meal).
6. Neglecting Snacks
Some people avoid snacking as a part of their diet regimen. It's what you're snacking on that makes the difference, though.
If you're feeling hungry before a meal, have a handful of nuts. Nuts can keep you full. They're a great source of healthy fats and protein.
When choosing snacks, make sure to avoid low-fat or diet foods. These foods could make you feel hungrier. They're often full of sugar, too.
Speaking of sugar, what are you drinking throughout the day? Try to avoid fruit juice, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages. Drinking too much sugar could slow your weight loss progress.
7. Not Exercising
Regardless of the different types of diets you consider, make sure to add exercise to your routine.
If you don't exercise while you're cutting calories, you could lose more muscle mass. At the same time, your metabolic rate might drop.
Exercising will keep your metabolism from lagging behind!
Try lifting weights to boost your metabolic rate and muscle mass. Weight and resistance training is great for improving your body composition.
8. Trim and Slim: Common Dieting Mistakes You Don't Want to Make
Want to set yourself on the path for success? Make sure to avoid these seven common dieting mistakes first. By dodging these mistakes, you can start slimming down and achieving your long-term health goals!
Want to develop an exercise routine with your goals in mind? Consider speaking with a pro!
Learn more about our personal training services today!