Are you making one of these 5 common mistakes that may be sabotaging your weight loss goals or preventing you from seeing progress?
Read on and find out:
1. You're not eating enough!
Yes it’s true that losing weight requires you to cut calories, and be in an overall deficit (i.e. burning more than you are taking in), but not to an extreme. If you cut your calorie intake too low, your body will think it is in starvation mode and instead of letting you lose fat and lose weight, it will hold on to all your fat and even produce more, because it is not sure when it will have enough calories again.
If it feels like your weight loss has become stagnant and you are staying the same, this may be what is happening. Increase your caloric intake slightly to put your body out of starvation mode and continue to maintain your other healthy habits and lifestyle choices.
2. You buy “diet” & “low fat” foods!
There was a fat phobic time, where we were told that the answer to weight loss was low fat or no fat. New research shows that fat is necessary for good health, and for weight loss, and more than that, the fat free alternatives being offered likely contain a lot more unhealthy ingredients and fillers than their unaltered counterpart, putting you no further ahead. Instead, aim to consume 2-3 servings of healthy fat a day, including essential fatty acids, and then opt for lean protein or plant-based protein options and stay away from deep fried foods.
3. You think gluten free is always more healthy
Needing to be gluten free on account of an allergy or sensitivity is different than just choosing to be gluten free because you think it will help you lose weight. The issue with this occurs in that many people assume that gluten free equals healthy, and that by being gluten free you will automatically be healthier and lose weight as a result.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
While it is indeed very possible to be healthy on gluten free, choosing gluten free alternatives and losing weight, if you are simply going gluten free and then buying all the pre-made gluten free alternatives at the store (like the cookies, cakes, breads and crackers), this may not be what you experience. Many of those packaged gluten free products use starches and refined carbohydrates, as well as additional sugar or salt to fill the gluten void and make the product still taste as good as the gluten filled counterpart. If you are looking to avoid gluten, and be healthier, your best bet is to also avoid most products labeled gluten free, and either make your own, or check the ingredients to ensure they aren’t heavily processed and loaded with sugar.
4. You take 'cheat days' because experts say they're allowed
The concept is simple: one day a week you get to eat whatever you want, forget all your healthy lifestyle habits, have your treats and junk food and call it a day.
Here’s the reality: In that one day, you are likely consuming way more calories than you realize, and having deprived yourself all week, and now feeling like you “deserve” your day, your body is craving everything, making you want it even more.
Instead, allow yourself one treat per day, and don’t deprive yourself of what your body is asking for. After you get used to this method, you will be satisfied with just the one daily treat and enjoy it more, without finishing the day feeling guilty that you ate too much like you would if you had a cheat day.
5. You relying too much on exercise
Exercise alone will not help you lose weight. It is the combination of cleaning up your diet and engaging in regular exercise that will allow you to see success on the scale, and maintain it long term. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to make a lifestyle change. Commit to regular exercise and to eating healthy food. Fill your pantry and fridge with clean eating items, do some healthy meal prep at the beginning of the week and learn to cook some healthy meals. And even more important, keep food out of the house that you know will derail you and get you off track with your goals.