Are you accidentally sabotaging your diet?
Weight loss is so hard. It can also take so long depending on the amount of weight needed to be lost. Have you been having a hard time losing weight? Here are 9 weight loss mistakes that you might be making, and we’ll tell you how you can avoid them.
- Not counting liquid calories. Did you know that 5 ounces of red wine has about 120 calories? A simple can of Dr. Pepper has 150 calories and is loaded with sugar and not much else. Even Gatorade and other sports drinks have over 100 calories for a small bottle. This may not sound like much but these calories really do add up, especially when you are trying to lose those last 5-10 pounds. Swap out these calorie drinks for water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or seltzer water. You will be able to enjoy your favorite drinks again someday, but they will hinder your weight loss efforts.
- Not getting enough sleep. There is so much research supporting sleep and weight loss that there is no debate. Sleep-deprived people end up consuming more calories for a variety of reasons. Proper sleep habits are essential for weight loss success. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
- Treating healthy foods the same as low-calorie foods. This is a big one and one of the most common weight loss mistakes that we see. An expert will recommend eating a handful of nuts as a healthy snack, but when that handful becomes an entire cup, those calories add up fast. Avocados, nuts, some whole grains, and other healthy foods have pretty high calorie counts, so overeating these foods will cause weight loss to stall. Try using 1/4 of an avocado rather than the entire thing.
- Underreporting calories eaten. This is a tricky one, and calorie awareness is not very common in society. The best way to become aware of portion sizes is to spend some time measuring out everything that you eat. You might be surprised at what a tablespoon of butter really is, which is sad because butter is delicious and we’d love to eat it by the spoonful.
- Overestimating calories burned. Burning calories is great! You may be getting your heart rate up and/or using your muscles thinking you’re knocking off hundreds and hundreds of calories. Calorie burning depends so much on the size of the individual and determining exactly how many calories someone burns can be tricky. Avoid indulging after a workout just because you worked out. Exercise so your body will be healthy rather than punish it for what you ate.
- Overdoing your post-workout snack. If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. If you exit each workout with a 400 calorie protein shake, you may not see the results that you were hoping for. We’ve experienced this frustration; it is real! Try subbing out the sports drink for water and having half a meal bar, rather than the entire thing.
- Eating too few calories. Alright, things are getting weird now. Come again? You read that right. Your body NEEDS calories and it WANTS calories. Avoid making the mistake of becoming too restrictive with your meals. People tend to binge, even if it is a small binge, after a really restrictive diet. This yo-yo of frustration can increase the likelihood of giving up on weight loss altogether. Not to mention that eating too little can stall your metabolism, slowing down your daily calorie burn. Weight loss is a delicate balance of eating enough but not eating too much.
- Being too restrictive. We mentioned this already, but severe restriction diets can lead to binge eating. Binge eating can become a disorder that is hard to control. Sometimes when we tell ourselves that we cannot eat a certain food, all we want is that food. Those urges are so hard to resist. Instead, try enjoying small amounts of these favorite foods – you’ll be less likely to crave them later.
- Snacking or grazing throughout the day. Donuts in the breakroom, a few crackers before lunch, and extra handful of jelly beans in the afternoon – these all add up fast and can sabotage all of your other efforts to lose weight. Small bites matter, and while you don’t need to completely avoid the donuts in the breakroom, work them into your daily food log.
Last of all, don’t get in the way of yourself when it comes to weight loss. This can be tough, and it can be so easy to talk ourselves out of caring or putting in the effort. We all make weight loss mistakes from time to time. Weight loss isn’t perfect and yours doesn’t need to be either. There will be mistakes, slip-ups, binges, and lazy days. There will also be successes, willpower, motivation, healthy foods, and great workouts. Realistically, aim to lose about 1 pound each week. After all, it took awhile to gain the weight, and it will take awhile to lose it as well.
How can we help you lose weight? If you would like to learn more, submit a request for our free consultation to learn more about our medical weight loss programs! They have been hugely successful and we know they will work for you, too!