Are You Making These 5 Dieting Mistakes?


Trouble losing weight or keeping it off?  Make sure you aren’t making one of these common dieting mistakes.

Are You Making These 5 Dieting Mistakes?

Setting Goals That Aren’t Realistic

Setting an unrealistic goal will almost guarantee failure.  Instead, set S.M.A.R.T. goals when it comes to weight loss.  Donald Hensrud, M.D., weight loss expert from the Mayo Clinic recommends 1-2 pounds per week.  If you lose weight at this pace, you are more likely to keep it off.

Choosing the Wrong Kind of Diet

A diet that doesn’t include any of the foods you like to eat may work in the very short term, but it is unlikely that you’ll achieve you longer-term weight loss goals.  Several studies have found that following a low-fat diet doesn’t make it any easier to lose weight or to keep weight off.   Study participants who followed moderate- or high-fat diets lost just as much weight as those who follow low-fat diets.  Successful weight loss depends largely on one thing — burn more calories than you consume.

Not Planning Ahead

If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll be reaching for the first thing you can get your hands on at lunch or dinner time to satisfy your hunger.  Take the time (maybe on a Sunday morning to plan for the coming week) to make a list of your favorite nutritious meals.  Shop for all of the ingredients and plan your meals for the week at one time.  Bring low-calorie snacks like an apple or a small Greek yogurt to the office to make hitting the vending machines less tempting.

Drink More Water

Drinking water aids weight loss and flushes out toxins from the body.  According to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, obese participants in a six-month clinical trial both lost weight and reduced waist circumference by drinking water compared to participants who drank caloric beverages.

Skipping Meals

Meal skipping is not a successful way to lose weight.  Frequent meal skipping actually reduces your metabolic rate, making weight loss more challenging.  Eating regular meals keeps you energized throughout the day and makes it less likely that you’ll overeat at night to compensate.


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5 Things You Can Do to Feel Better Instantly


Everyone seems to be looking for quick and easy ways to change something about themselves or make their lives better in some way.  Whether it is the latest way to lose 30 pounds in 30 days or the latest book on how to live the life of your dreams, the multi-billion dollar self-help industry in America shows that many of us believe we are dissatisfied with the status quo.

Most of us are living extremely hectic lives trying to balance work and life.  We may not realize how much extra emotional baggage we are carrying, let alone set aside the time to do the kind of soul-searching required to figure out why we are anxious or have become emotional eaters.  There are are few easy practices that you can start right now that will make you feel better instantly!  The more you practice, the more you will see the positive change in your life.   

1.  Breathe.  We take about 20,000 breaths per day, but most of us are shallow breathers.  Breathing is the way we take in oxygen, allowing our organs to function properly.  Increased levels of oxygen in the blood promote good health in many ways, such as reduces stress and increasing energy.  Thich Nhat Hanh said, “breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” 

Try this deep breathing technique:  Lie flat on your back and place one hand on your belly.  Breathe in slowly through your nose until you feel your belly rising.  Gently hold for a second and slowly release the breath feeling your belly sink.  Repeat.

2.  Drink more water.  A large number of us are dehydrated and don’t realize it.  Start your day by drinking a tall glass of cold water (yes… BEFORE your coffee!)  Stay hydrated throughout the day, also drinking a glass of water before each meal.    

3.  Get some fresh air.  When I was interviewed as the featured Community Blogger in Whole Living magazine’s March 2012 issue, I was asked what I did to “rev my energy.”  My answer?  Head outdoors!  If you don’t have time for a 20-minute walk, just walk around the block and practice your deep breathing.  You WILL notice a difference!  


4. Listen to music. Studies have shown that music effects the brain like no other human function.  We know that listening to music can promote relaxation.  I read recently that music therapy has been used in medicine for many years and has benefited patients with chronic pain and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  Put on your favorite song, close your eyes, and let the healing begin!

5.  Smile.  A number of studies have reported that the act of smiling (even when you are not in a good mood) can cause your mood to improve!  Having trouble putting a smile on your face?  Try one of the following:
Play with a puppy or a kitten
Sing like no one is listening
Give someone a hug

There you go!  Five simple things you can do to feel better in an instant!

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