There are many different programs, diets, supplements and recommendations for weight loss although they are not all equal in terms of quality. Sometimes advice from friends or what you read on the internet may not always be best for weight loss even if it’s popular. Some known or unknown diet mistakes could be hindering your weight loss efforts despite your best efforts.
Check to see if you are falling into some of these biggest diet mistakes women make.
Mistake #1: Relying on packaged food
Many diets and weight loss programs include pre-packaged meals and snacks. The idea for most of these programs with their own food is that this can help give you an idea of how much food to eat per day. While this may be useful for portion sizing, packaged food doesn’t have the same nutrients as fresh food.
Don’t fall for the mistake of relying on heavily processed food from a wrapper, box or other container just because it’s from a weight loss company. All packaged foods contain added preservatives, added sodium and are often low in naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Instead of relying on packaged food, eat real fresh food. You may not always know the calories from fresh food, but there are other things to consider besides just calories for successful weight loss. The quality of those calories is just as important.
Mistake #2: Mindless eating
It’s very easy to mindlessly put food in your mouth every day, as this is part of the American culture. When people are not focusing on the food they put in their mouths, people consume more calories than what they are aware of.
Eating at your desk, in front of the tv or eating snacks straight from the bag are ways we can mindlessly consume more food than we intend or need to. Enjoying your food can help you feel more satisfied and in tune with your body when you really are full or hungry.
Mistake #3: Not focusing on exercise
Changing your diet is a crucial component for weight loss, but exercise is crucial for not only weight loss but also weight maintenance and building muscle mass. Emphasis should be put on a healthy diet, but you also need to focus on your exercise.
Even if women exercise already, more than likely if you are trying to lose weight you will need to increase your exercise time and/or intensity. Be serious about your exercise plans; don’t neglect your exercise goals and just focus on your diet.
Don’t be scared of lifting weights. Women are afraid they will bulk up if they start to lift weights, but that is a myth. Doing different types of exercise and varying intensity levels is not only beneficial for overall health, but it can greatly help for fat loss.
Mistake #4: Only counting calories
Estimating calorie requirements is just that: an estimate. Sometimes women can fixated on a specific calorie number that they need to stay under. This is very practical for some people and can help with weight loss. However, your overall calorie number is not the only thing to focus on. The quality of calories is very important.
For example, if you have a choice between a packaged snack pack that is about 100 calories or a piece of fruit that is 150 calories, which would you choose? You may think you’re “saving” yourself 50 calories if you choose the snack pack, but you will be missing out on many nutrients that are found in the fruit. Also, your body uses more energy to digest whole, unprocessed foods compared to processed foods.
Don’t get caught in the mistake of only worrying about your total calorie number. Focus on the quality of your calories.
Mistake #5: Falling for fad diets
The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. They know how to make weight loss products and diets sound appealing. However, don’t fall for fad diets that are not healthy to stay on long term. Sometimes people think the stranger the diet the sounds, the more likely it is to work. This is not true!
Keep in mind testimonials are not sound research for weight loss. Testimonials can be made up or embellished. Eating a variety of foods is always recommended (unless you have certain health issues or food allergies); don’t fall for diets that say you can only have certain fruits, vegetables or need to cut out whole food groups. Don’t focus on a 2 week diet, focus on a lifestyle that you can stick with for your life.
There are many mistakes women can fall into while trying to lose weight. A general principle to remember is that every individual is different, and what works for someone else may or may not work for you. Avoid falling into the mindset that you need to rely on packaged food to eat. Your energy and nutrients should be coming from fresh food, not highly processed packaged food!
Mindlessly eating is very common and can be a big mistake during weight loss. Focus on your food when you are eating and avoid mindlessly grabbing handfuls of food straight from the package. Diet is important for weight loss, but your exercise routine should get equal attention and priority. Doing a variety of exercise and varying intensity levels is beneficial for fat loss.
Keep in mind there are other important things to think about besides just over all calories. Your quality of calories is just as important as quantity! The body handles calories from processed food different than unprocessed food.
Don’t fall for fad diets or companies who are trying to sell weight loss products. Fad diets won’t help you in the long run, and the crazier the diet does not mean the more it will help for weight loss.