You've changed your lifestyle for the past couple of weeks, cutting out the bad habits of too much junk food and switched to eating healthier by adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, and yet you still aren't seeing the results you'd expect after weeks of dieting. So what's the deal? If you've been dieting and aren't seeing any type of decrease in weight when you step on the scale, then you might want to check out these 10 common nutrition and dieting mistakes below.
1. Skipping Meals
If you think that skipping meals is a surefire way to lose weight, think again. Skipping meals during the day can be just as bad for your metabolism as eating meals that are too large. You want to keep your metabolism going by making sure you aren't skipping out on breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you are one of the many breakfast dodgers out there, you need to stop. There are numerous health benefits for eating breakfast that can lead to weight loss that you aren't taking advantage of.
2. Eating Too Many Calories
You've finally decided you're going to eat healthier by loading up on fruits, veggies and whole grains, while cutting out all the junk food. The problem is, you're actually gaining weight rather than losing it. So, what's the deal? While it's much harder to gain weight from eating too many vegetables, the whole grains and fruits are the likely culprits. You have to understand that just because they are considered healthy, doesn't mean they're free calories you can consume all day. You still need to track your calorie intake and manage your portions properly if you want to lose weight.
3. Not Reading Nutrition Labels Properly
Often times, people get tricked into believing certain packaging labels claiming "less fat" or "fat free" means they are eating something healthy. What they don't realize is they still need to read the nutrition label properly. Another common nutrition label flub is confusing the "serving size" information on the nutrition label with the entire package.
4. Destroying Your Diet Foods with Condiments
Although you've been sticking to mostly salads and fruits for your meals and snacks, you're still not losing any weight. Why? Most people forget that the condiments and dressings they're adding to their diet food are just as bad as the junk food they're eliminating from their diet. Coating your entire salad in Ranch dressing can defeat the entire purpose of eating a salad in the first place. If you need to add a little something to your fruits and veggies to help them go down, think of healthier dips and spreads like hummus or Greek yogurt.
5. Drinking Extra Calories
A major dieting mistake people tend to make is forgetting about the stuff they drink. When you're going into diet mode, you need to include your beverage selection with the rest of the process. Powering down two, giant cups of orange juice with your oatmeal can actually destroy your diet meal. If you want the vitamin C, you're better off eating the actual fruit. Iced green tea looks like a diet drink right down to the packaging, until you find out how many calories are in one serving. When you're dieting, water should be the main drink of choice.
6. Eating the Wrong Foods
You're eating more veggies in your diet, but don't forget the protein. Lean meats like chicken breast, and fish like salmon or tuna are healthy sources of protein, which is crucial for weight loss. Protein helps you stay full longer, and can help build muscles that are beneficial for slimming down. If you're a vegetarian, you should at least be supplementing your diet with protein-rich foods like tofu and peanuts.
7. Starving Yourself
A major nutrition mistake for people who are dieting is starving themselves. Starvation is not a healthy way to lose weight, and can lead to vitamin deficiency and serious health problems like anemia and heart failure. Starvation also causes the body to go into survival mode, retaining fat because it feels it is not getting enough nourishment. Your metabolism also slows down due to starvation. You also run the risk of binge eating after starving yourself, which can completely destroy your dietary goals of losing weight.
8. You aren't Planning Your Meals
When you're dieting, it's important to plan your meals with a regular eating schedule and healthy portions. By planning your meals, you can track the amount of calories being eaten and types of foods you need to eat to gain vital nutrients, and you avoid the risk of overeating. Eating on a regular schedule also helps you avoid the temptation of eating excess calories by snacking all the time.
9. Not Cheating on Your Diet Every so Often
Dieters need to allow themselves to indulge every so often. That doesn't mean they should go on a junk food bender, eating anything they want on certain days of the week. Try having a guilt-free snack or dessert every so often, and use it as a motivational tool for your diet. For example, promise yourself a scoop of ice cream at the end of the week, just as long as you've been good and stuck to your diet plan. Cheating on your diet every so often can reduce the anxiety that accompanies dieting, and keep you from completely falling off the diet wagon.
10. Being Impatient
Remember that weight loss through proper dieting takes time. You aren't going to see instant results from your dieting efforts, but don't let the measurements on the weighing scale discourage you. Try sticking to your diet because you want to do something that will benefit your health, and because you want to make a positive change in your lifestyle. If you want to speed up the weight loss process, or you want to lose a significant amount of weight, then you need to do more than just dieting. Regular exercise and physical activity is crucial to losing weight.