Weight loss mistakes can be scary. You’ll eat something, or forget to do something, and instantly, you wonder — did I just ruin my diet? How many pounds did I just gain? How many hours will I have to spend on the elliptical machine to make up for this weight loss mistake? No worries, love! Most one-time mistakes are minor, but be warned: some of them are pure mind and body sabotage, and they can be serious diet-busters, or worse, cause long term damage. Yikes, right? Here are 7 of the most common weight loss mistakes to avoid. Know them, and dodge them, and you’ll be fine.
1. Skipping Meals
If you think you’ll cut calories simply by cutting a meal, think again. It’s actually a very bad idea to skip meals when you’re trying to lose weight. Why? First of all, you’ll be hungry, which makes you much more likely to snack. Second, your body actually functions better, and more efficiently, if you eat several small meals a day, rather than only one or two big ones.
2. Not Knowing Portions/serving Sizes
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably read more nutrition labels than most normal people would ever admit. It’s a good thing to read labels! But you have to know what exactly you’re looking AT. Serving sizes are key here! Here’s an example. Pour a bowl of cereal… what YOU think a bowl of cereal looks like. Then measure out a serving from the nutritional label on the box of cereal. Most of us pour nearly TWICE the serving size! And restaurant meals are big offenders, too: most meals are more than three times a normal serving size! This is a very common, and very diet-damaging, weight loss mistake.
3. Forgetting to Write It down!
Almost every weight loss expert will tell you it’s vital to write own everything you eat, and how much exercise you do. They recommend this because it helps you track progress, and also because it helps you see patterns. (Hey, I’m always eating salty snacks around 8 p.m.!) If you’re going to follow this marvelous diet advice, then don’t skimp, and don’t cheat! Keep that notebook with you, and record everything! Don’t forget!
4. Leaving out Diet
In order to be successful at weight loss, here’s another key weight loss mistake to avoid: thinking you can do it without modifying your diet. And let’s be clear, here. A diet isn’t a temporary change in eating behavior to lose weight. It’s a life-long lifestyle adjustment to make you healthier overall. The weight loss is just a fabulous perk. *wink
5. Leaving out Exercise
The flip side of that “diet” coin is the exercise. Don’t think you can lose weight effectively without regular, sweat-inducing, heart-racing exercise. If any product claims otherwise, it’s a scam. And again, exercise isn’t something you can do for a while, to lose weight, and then stop. It’s something you have to do, and will enjoy doing, for the rest of your long, healthy life.
6. Giving up at the Plateau
After a few months, you’ll notice your weight loss will slow down or stop. You might be tempted to stop trying, too, and the insistent whisper of the donuts in the kitchen may get louder. Don’t make this weight loss mistake! You’ve simply hit a plateau, which is a normal part of the process. Keep pushing, and you’ll get to your goals, and then some. Don’t give up!
7. Leaving the Lifestyle!
This is a big, horrible, terrible weight loss mistake: stopping once you’ve reached your goal weight. What? Blasphemy! But it’s true. Don’t drop your healthy new lifestyle because you’re in a size 6 jeans. Cut back a little, for sure, but keep up with the healthy diet and the regular exercise to STAY successful. And buy a new pair of boots to reward yourself!
Sidestep these weight loss mistakes and you’ll be successful in your weight loss journey, truly! I know it’s not easy, but once you stop inadvertently sabotaging yourself, it’ll be easier. Which of these weight loss mistakes have you made, and how did you fix it? Or are you weak to another sort of boo-boo? Please share!
Top Photo Credit: Omar Carter Photography