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