In the world of weight loss there is as much conflicting information as there are shows about Real Housewives.
And then there are the tidbits of advice or old wives tales that you get from your friends, coworkers, or your crazy Aunt Nancy.
With all of this (mis)information floating around, it can sometimes be difficult to know if you are doing it right.
With that in mind, here are a few of the most common weight loss mistakes that you may not realize you’re making…
Low Fat Frenzy:
This is a tricky one. Do you automatically gravitate toward products that are labeled as “low-fat” assuming that they are the best options for weight loss? The sad fact is that a lot of these products aren’t any better for your diet at all.
In most cases, when manufacturers remove fat from a product, they replace it with sugar or other additives, which can make it even less healthy. Also, research has shown that when something is labeled as low fat or non-fat, people tend to take larger servings which negates any benefits.
Realize that it is ultimately the calories in your food that cause weight gain, not just the fat content.
Every now and then I have one of those days when I run out of the house in the morning without eating breakfast, and the by noon I am ready to eat my lunch AND everyone else’s. Have you been there?
Well, breakfast really may be the most important meal of the day. It gets your body and your brain going, and kicks your metabolism into gear for the day. And people who eat a healthy breakfast have been shown to lose more weight than those who don’t, and to keep it off.
Need a little breakfast inspiration? Here are a post to give you some ideas:
Not Enough Sleep:
I write about this one a lot because it seems to be such a common theme among many people I know – not getting enough sleep. Burning the midnight oil might be a part of your routine, but if you are serious about losing weight it could be holding you back.
Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night is essential to controlling the hormones that stimulate hunger. Without it you are likely to feel hungrier and have a harder time not giving in to unhealthy food cravings.
I love dining out – a lot – and so I do. But I only do it occasionally. Learning new recipes and making my own meals has been instrumental in my own weight loss story.
If you are dining out, ordering in, or driving through for the majority of your meals, chances are it will be much more difficult to lose weight. Portion size, cooking techniques, and ingredients are just too difficult control unless you are cooking for yourself.
If you are daunted by the kitchen, don’t be. There are a number of resources for simple recipes that anyone can make and it is a great skill to have. I try and cook healthy meals most nights of the week, and then package up all of my leftovers for lunch the next day or an easy reheated dinner in the future.
Bonus: Cooking your own meals will fatten your wallet while it trims your waistline.
Sipping It Up:
Many Americans get as much as 25% of their daily calories just from things they drink. This is a huge amount of extra calories that you may never even consider. Sodas, coffee drinks, alcohol, and energy drinks are some of the worst offenders, but even fruit juice is not as healthy as it may seem. Ounce for ounce, a glass of orange juice has as many (or more) calories, and the same amount of sugar as a glass of soda. Also, the body doesn’t register liquid calories the same way that it does with food, so you can drink a high caloric drink and still feel hungry.
Drinking more water, and swapping out some of these high calorie beverages for better options (ever tried Wu-Long Tea?) can make a huge difference. So, if your weight loss seems to be at a standstill, take a close look at what you are drinking and see if it may be part of the problem.