By Taryn Brooke
Dieting or delving into any kind of weight loss program comes with many preconceived notions of how it’s supposed to be done — whether it’s having overzealous nutritional goals, or all-or-nothing gym requirements for yourself, all of which can be a set up for failure. In addition to being honest with yourself and your capabilities, losing weight requires being in the right mindset, as well as having some level of physical dedication. If you find yourself falling into any of the following traps, realize that you may be sabotaging your weight loss goals. At the end of the day though, remember that the best way to lose weight is to eat a well balanced diet of real unprocessed food, get in any and all physical activity that you can, and make sure that you’re not eating more calories than you’re burning off. Here are four of the most common weight loss mistakes you’re probably making.
1. Going overboard with one particular type of food or ingredient (like protein)
Even the smartest and most savvy dieters are prone to making this mistake: Too much of any sort of healthy food is not a good thing. One of the biggest dieting pitfalls is not being aware of how much “healthy food” you’re consuming. For example, while avocados are considered a superfood, you could be losing the calorie war if you consume too much avocado — and it’s very easy to go avocado crazy because it’s so healthy and delicious. For example, that avocado toast you love in the morning could clock in at a whopping 150 to 200 calories if you’re eating just half of the avocado on a slice of whole wheat toast. If you choose to also add some avocado to your lunch, the calories will start to add up quickly.
2. Making extreme requests of yourself
“All or nothing” is a bad dieting mindset to have. Setting a goal that’s too big, such as cutting out all meat and working out for an hour a day, can be difficult for even the most diligent and perfectionist of us all to achieve — life and other cravings will inevitably get in your way and sabotage your plan. The “all or nothing” goal may end up making you feel like a failure if you can’t achieve it — it may even make you want to give up. Instead, Eat This suggests that you set small, achievable dieting and exercise goals, and once you’ve achieved them, you can then build upon them incrementally with more achievable ones. For example, start with a small one or two day hit-the-gym goal, and if you can achieve it, add an extra day, achieve it, and so on. This, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD tells Eat This, is the best way to slowly build up a healthy habit “that will eventually feel natural, just a part of life, not a struggle you’re making in the name of losing weight.”
3. You’re consistent with the same steady exercise routine
4. Not educating yourself beforehand
Sabotaging your weight loss plan can be as simple as walking into a restaurant and ordering the “healthiest” item on the menu — and you have no idea what’s in it or how many calories it contains. As it turns out, some of the healthier items may have more calories than you’ve bargained for. For example, think about the “healthy” whole-wheat lunch wrap you order — it may have the same amount of calories as two slices of pepperoni pizza, Tara Gidus, RD, a former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics tells Prevention. “My clients think they get more nutrients and save on calories with ‘healthy bread,’ but often that’s not the case,” she says. The fix: If you’re planning on dining out, do your research on the dish beforehand. Many restaurants now list the calorie counts for many of their dishes, but it’s easy to do a quick check online or simply do your research; find out what the ingredients are in the dishes you want, and you can figure out a rough calorie estimate for yourself. Here are some great tips to help when you’re dining out.
Source: Cheatsheet | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide