Not Losing Weight? You Could Be Making These 6 Dieting Mistakes!
How very frustrating! No one likes being on a diet, and the deprivation, hunger pangs and social challenges are only worthwhile when the pounds fall off. But can you imagine, going through all of that, and not losing weight? Or, worse yet, gaining a pound or two? Oh, that’s impossible, you think? It happens to men and women every day, as they fall into common dieting mistakes. Before making your dieting plans, read and learn how to avoid these 6 mistakes… the frustration you save might be your own!
- Give extra fruit the boot: From the time we are young, we are told that fruits and vegetables were the way to go when trying to lose weight, so it only makes sense to replace chips and snacks with bananas and apples… but be careful! Many fruits contain a great deal of natural sugar, and the body does not differentiate between a banana and a Twinkie! Excess sugar is just that, and sugars not used are stored for future use in, you guessed it, the fat cells! Make sure you count the fruit calories as you do any others.
- Water retained looks like weight that was gained: Increasing water is an essential part to any diet. But our bodies go through frequent changes in a month or less. There are times when we retain water and wonder if there isn’t a camel somewhere in our family tree. When water is retained, we are bloated, unable to zip our jeans, and the numbers on the scale do not budge. Give yourself time for your body to adjust to the increased water; if the problem sloshing persists, try a natural diuretic like coffee (watch the cream and sugar!) or tea… there are also over the counter diuretics for a very good price. Keep that water coming, though, as it is essential to flush out the by-products of burned calories and fat!
- Six meals a day isn’t necessarily the way: When making your dieting plans, you hear that it is better to have six small meals a day, and avoid hunger entirely, so you don’t grab and eat inappropriately at the end of the day to make up for missed calories. But that is just the point… you must miss some of the calories you took in before, or your weight will not change. The weight loss formula is simple; to lose weight, take in fewer calories than you did before, or increase activity if your calorie count remains the same… you must burn more than you take in. If you normally eat three meals a day and have a bed time snack, consider sticking to that, but change the content of those meals. Go low fat, reduced sodium, low sugar and increased fiber… replace soda with water… avoid high calorie alcoholic drinks… snack on air-popped popcorn. Make what you eat more important than how often!
- Organic on the label doesn’t mean low calorie on the table: This mistake is made when people make the decision to become healthy by changing their eating habits. The organic label only refers to the absence of pesticides, or how meats or vegetables were raised. If you went organic and you are not losing weight, remember that this is the same food you consumed before. Calories are the only true measure of whether or not it belongs on your table.
- Diet food prepared? You didn’t know they cared! Yes, in the grocery store, there are frozen meals and prepackaged snacks, “light” versions of all your favorites… seems like the manufacturer really has our health as a top priority! Don’t you believe it! These foods are often more expensive than the full-fat versions, and the labels must be read carefully… low fat can have way too much sodium, or the calorie count is based on a very small portion, leaving you hungry for more. That is the real problem with diet food, thinking we can have more, because it is diet food. Why not get a cook book from the library with healthful recipes? Then do your shopping, and avoid the “diet food” aisle entirely!
- A liquid fast is great, until you come unhinged, and your fast becomes a binge: The popularity in recent years of protein drink fasts or meal substitution drinks is easy to understand… not eating certainly seems like a good way to lose weight fast! The problem with making fasting part of your dieting plans is you don’t realize how much the body needs solid, real food. Your hunger will drive you to get just a little something to hold you over… but that isn’t enough. Then you get a little more, and a little more, and soon you are in a full-on feeding frenzy, trying to make up for the well-balanced meal you could have had. Stick to real meals based on calorie count, and the results will come!
These 6 are only a beginning… keep a food journal, and look for your own pitfalls and weak moments. Nothing is better than knowing what works for you, and seeing it work! Are you ready to start today?