Are you unwittingly making some of the most common weight loss diet mistakes?
If so, you might be struggling to see noticeable, satisfactory results. But you could turn that frown upside down with a few changes.
Whether it’s your first time attempting a weight loss diet, or your hundredth time, there are several mistakes to be aware of. Understanding why these mistakes occur and how to prevent them is crucial. But please do not stop your research with me. You should also check out what some board-certified specialists like Dr. Amy Lee have to say. They can also explain why some of these mistakes are not helpful.
After you know what not to do, you can confidently attempt your weight loss diet and enjoy the results.
1. Giving Up Too Soon
A weight loss diet might seem like an exciting new idea when you’re planning it. But it might become a terrible monster of an idea when the first diet day arrives.
Anxiety about starting a new diet can make you give up too quickly. But it’s impossible to judge or measure any results if you’re giving up on your new diet within the first few days.
To make the most of any diet, you need to stick to it for at least one week. At most, you’ll want to maintain a weight loss diet for three months or twelve weeks. Your health and happiness are worth the effort!
2. Drastically Restricting Your Food Intake
On the flip side, it’s not ok to restrict your food intake to a drastic point. The average person needs at least 1,200 calories to maintain their most basic metabolic processes. Anything less than this is dangerous.
Now, to lose weight, your daily caloric intake should be less than the number of calories burned each day. If you’re not an active person, you may be tempted to eat less. Don’t fall into this trap.
Not only can too few calories be dangerous to your overall health, but it can actually trigger the body to hold onto fat. If your body thinks that you’re struggling to find consistent food, it won’t burn body fat.
Always consume at least the base amount of calories you need to survive, if not more. You can always burn calories by enjoying some exercise. You may want to create a meal plan to help you keep track of your caloric intake.
3. Failing to Create a Daily Meal Plan
Keeping track of what you eat might not be the most fun activity, but it could change the way you think about dieting. When you have a daily meal plan that excites you, it’s easy to stick to a diet.
So, instead of buying a lump sum of healthy ingredients and letting them rot in your fridge, create a detailed meal plan. Write down what you’d like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. If your diet allows, add snacks.
When you’ve finished writing your meal plan for the week, you can create a shopping list. So long as you pick meals that cater to your likes and tastes, you won’t dread your diet-friendly dinners ever again.
4. Setting Impossible Weight Loss Goals
Some folks just want to watch their fat burn. And while this is a normal wish, it’s not a normal reality. Losing weight takes time, effort, and consistency.
If you’re attempting a get-slim-quick weight loss diet, there’s a good chance it won’t work. This could make you feel like you’ve failed, and you may not want to try going on a diet again.
Setting reasonable weight loss goals is crucial to enjoying the best possible results. In most cases, you should plan to lose between 1lb and 8lbs each month, or about 1.5lbs on average each week.
5. Choosing the Wrong Types of Diets
One of the most frustrating mistakes that weight loss dieters make is choosing a bad diet. If you’re planning on taking on some of the most extreme diets, here’s a word to the wise: Don’t.
Many of the most popular weight loss diet crazes are unhealthy, dangerous, and ineffective. For example, some of the most common types of diets that people try for weight loss are carb-free vegetarian diets.
When done correctly, there’s nothing wrong with these types of diets. But many of these diets restrict protein intake to a minimal daily amount, and can quickly become a problem.
Understanding the benefits of protein and complex, wholesome carbohydrates is key to choosing a worthwhile diet. Remember, without protein, your body cannot repair itself and create new tissue.
6. Avoiding Exercise While Dieting
Some dieters think that all they need to lose weight is to eat less. But this simply isn’t true. If your body thinks that food is scarce, it won’t want to burn your body fat reserves.
Instead, it’s important to eat plenty of food each day and get lots of exercise. You don’t have to join a gym or start a specific workout routine to get your blood pumping and your body fat burning.
You could take a hike, take a walk, play an outdoor sport, or enjoy a fitness-based video game! Gardening, dancing, and swimming are also excellent calorie-burning activities you may want to try.
7. Forgetting to Stay Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, your body struggles to perform basic actions. Even digestion can come to a halt if you’re too thirsty. Notably, poor digestion can contribute to weight gain.
If you’re attempting a weight loss diet, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking between one and three liters of clean water each day. While you might gain a temporary amount of weight from water, you’ll also be helping your body.
The more water you drink, the more clean fluid your body has to help flush out toxins and keep organs healthy. If possible, avoid sugary sodas and alcoholic drinks when eating your meals. Plain water will work just fine.
8. Misunderstanding Your Body Type
Though you may not like to hear it, everybody’s body is unique. Not everyone is genetically designed to become a six-foot-tall bodybuilder. And that’s OK.
No matter how much weight you hope to lose, it’s crucial to remember that a weight loss diet won’t change every aspect of your appearance. Dieting likely won’t help you get incredibly long legs or thin thighs.
But a weight loss diet can improve your health and help you enjoy a healthier, slimmer figure. Just be sure to understand that some women have no thigh gap, and some men naturally have larger pecs.
9. Ignoring Strength Training
If you’re exercising while on a weight loss diet, you’re already doing great! But if you’re primarily focusing on cardio routines, you may want to rethink your workout program.
Cardio can help burn fat, but strength training is just as important. Not only can weekly strength training sessions help you gain muscle mass, but they can also help your body shape transition.
When you lose weight quickly, your skin may struggle to keep up. Many people with successful weight loss journeys develop saggy bits of skin. But when you replace fat with muscle, you’re keeping your skin and body firm.
As such, strength training can make you feel and look good. And when you look good, you’ll feel more confident about continuing to lose weight.
10. Getting Stressed Out
When starting a new weight loss diet causes you to stress, it could also be causing you to hold onto stubborn fat. That’s because the human stress response (often called the fight-or-flight reaction) impacts fat storage.
The human stress response triggers the brain to release specific hormones and chemicals. These chemicals help the heart beat faster, dulls pain perception, and helps us hold onto useful body fat.
In the past, this stress response was always useful. If our ancestors encountered a predator, they could fight it or run away. If they couldn’t find food in harsh winter weather, their body fat could help sustain them.
But modern threats are far more challenging to overcome. You can’t run away from an angry boss or fistfight against heavy traffic. And excess stress can cause your body to store too much fat.
Don’t forget to add de-stressing activities to your daily routine. A calming bath, relaxing half an hour with a book, or few minutes of meditation can do wonders. Resist that fight-or-flight instinct and lose weight in no time!
Avoid These Weight Loss Diet Mistakes and Achieve Your Goals
Now that you’re familiar with the most common weight loss diet mistakes, you can avoid them! Remember to choose a weight loss diet that offers plenty of daily calories. It’s also a good idea to create a daily meal plan.
Don’t set impossible goals for yourself, or you may want to give up. And whatever you do, remember to exercise, stay hydrated, and de-stress. By following these simple rules, you can maximize your weight loss results.
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