We have heard or said it all before:
“I know how to lose the weight, I just do not know where to start”
“I have lost a lot of weight before, I just recently gained it back and now I cannot lose it.”
‘I have tried everything, and I cannot lose a single pound!”
Losing weight is really tricky. Some people are too busy to make a complete lifestyle change at the moment or do not have the time or opportunity to exercise. Or you might lose your first few pounds easily, but then find yourself plateauing or gaining it back.
Registered dietitians know about the many challenges or struggles people face during their weight loss journeys. Below are 10 of the most common weight loss mistakes people make and how to fix them. For this particular article, we will focus on the first 5 most common mistakes, in no particular order. Next week, we will cover the next five weight loss mistakes.
Focusing on what you can NOT eat
Most dieters tend to stress over things they cannot eat, such as breads, pastas, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Healthy lifestyles have more impact if you let go of what you cannot eat and focus instead on all the yummy, nutritious things you can eat, and make the most out of these foods.
It’s all or nothing: cutting out an entire food group
When dieting, people think they need to eliminate EVERYTHING from that food group. When looking at pasta, or example, you do not need to cut pasta out out completely. Instead of eating a large portion of pasta with creamy, fatty sauce, try a smaller portion of whole grain pasta with grilled vegetables, shrimp and garlic tossed in olive oil. This leads to lesser chance of binge eating. Additionally, cutting out an entire food group may lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients and an overall unbalanced diet
Not having a solid, achievable plan
Not having a solid plan with realistic goals will surely set you up to fail. Map out your journey a week at a time, including meal preparations and designated workout times. Set small goals you know you can achieve, and when you pass these, feel free to add on more.
Liquid meal replacements
Juices and smoothies are the current diet trend right now, but it can also be very dangerous for your health. Even if the smoothie is green, it does not mean that it is packed with many nutrients. And even though we need to incorporate fruits into our diets, many fruit smoothies are loaded with sugar and fats. Juices and smoothies can be enjoyed but should not be used to replace a proper, nutritious meal.
Eating too few calories
Calorie counting puts a strain on you physically and mentally. By eating too few calories, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients. This can prevent you from feeling “full” all day, tempting you into a binge later on. Eating more calories of healthy, nutritious foods is A LOT better than eating the same number of calories in unhealthy, carb-rich, fattening foods.
If you have tried to lose weight and are still struggling, we hope this list will help you. And remember, this is only half of the list of common mistakes. Make sure to check back in next week to learn about the other 5 common mistakes you or someone you might know is accidentally making.
Call our office at 662-280-8222 or email [email protected] if you have questions.
Ulric Duncan MD, Diplomate of Obesity Medicine
9140 Highway 51 North
Southaven MS 38671
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Written by Zeenat Mirza