How to Avoid Diet Mistakes

If you have failed at losing weight, it could be you have fallen prey to several easy-to-make diet mistakes. Review the following missteps and renew your efforts. That can make the difference between extra pounds and a lighter you.

Having unrealistic goals

Many people who try to lose more than a reasonable amount of weight end up feeling frustrated when they can’t make it happen. A healthy, realistic weight-loss program can help you lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, or 12 to 25 pounds in three months.

Not counting liquid calories

They’re easy to forget. A can of regular soda has 150 calories, but a super-size version from a fast-food restaurant can reach 600 calories. A bottle of beer has 150 calories; a fancy gourmet coffee, 300 or more. Over time, these beverage calories can add up to a significant weight gain.

Skipping meals

Forgoing a meal and the calories it contains will not help you lose weight. When most people skip a meal, they more than make up for it at their next meal by overeating. Skipping a meal also causes your metabolism to slow down. 

Not reading food labels

The information printed on food products contains a wealth of knowledge that can help you cut calories. Reading and comparing labels of foods you typically eat and choosing products with fewer calories per serving can help you shave hundreds of calories a day.

Confusing fat-free with calorie-free

Many fat-free foods have as many or even more calories than regular versions of the same foods. The only way to know for sure is to read the product labels and compare similar serving sizes. That's because the fat is often replaced with sugar or other carbohydrates. 

Not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your health as you knock off pounds. That’s because they contain plenty of water, fiber, and nutrients.

Eating too few calories

Starving yourself to lose weight often backfires when you binge eat to make up for deprivation. A healthy plan provides at least 1,200 calories daily for women, 1,500 for men.

Not exercising

You can lose weight by cutting calories alone, but it’s more difficult and not as likely to be permanent. As you cut calories, be sure to make time for more physical activity. At a minimum, plan to walk briskly for 30 minutes most days of the week.