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That’s it. You’ve had enough. This is going to work this time. You’re on a mission to lose the weight for good, and do it right! You start exercising and eating right, you may even start to drop a few pounds. But then it all comes to a screeching halt. The scale isn’t budging. You think “What am I doing wrong? I’m being so healthy!”
Does this sound familiar?? Sometimes you can be doing all the “right” things, but the results just aren’t there. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of tweaking a few habits that could be stalling your progress. Here are some common dieting mistakes that are easy to fix!
1. Drinking too many calories.
This one little habit can easily derail the best of intentions. No matter how you frame it, liquid calories are never going to be as satiating as chewing and digesting real food! A can of soda is roughly 150 calories of pure sugar. Eating something with the same amount of calories such as two eggs, or a small apple with almond butter, will provide healthy fats and protein to keep hunger at bay for much longer! Even the so-called “healthy” juices and smoothies at your gym are going to be packed with calories and sugars, which will spike your insulin levels and lead to fat storage. And unless you drink straight up coffee or tea, those fancy concoctions at Starbucks can add up to HUNDREDS of calories. I mean, you could probably eat an entire steak dinner for the same amount of calories that are in a Grande Frappuccino with
Then there’s alcohol – not only does it add empty calories, but it’s technically a toxin, so your liver makes it a top priority to metabolize the alcohol first to get rid of it. Meanwhile, anything you eat is getting stored for later as fat. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely more likely to order nachos after I’ve had a drink or two!
WHAT TO DO – choose water or sparkling water! If that’s simply too boring for you, find ways to jazz it up with lemon, lime, or infuse any fruits you like! Order regular coffee, tea, or espresso drinks without any added sugar, and take a break from the booze (sorry!).
2. Eating too often.
Have you ever been told you should eat several small meals throughout the day to “keep your metabolism running”? Well here’s the thing: your metabolism isn’t going to suddenly quit on you if you don’t eat every two hours! Our bodies are designed to go much longer than that without food, in fact, it’s the reason we are able to store so much energy (fat!) on our bodies.
Think about our hunter-gatherer ancestors, they didn’t exactly have a granola bar at their disposal for an afternoon snack! They often had periods of food scarcity, but the human body has the capacity to tap into our stored body fat to use for fuel – this is why the Ketogenic diet and Intermittent fasting is so successful for weight loss! But if you’re constantly providing easy access fuel (food) your body has no need to turn to fat stores for energy, and so it hangs around on your waist!
WHAT TO DO – Eat enough at your main meals to get you through until the next one and try to limit snacks. Make sure to get enough protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated, and avoid refined carbohydrates. Stop eating a few hours before bed so there’s at least a 12-hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast the next day (when you BREAK your FAST!) Don’t be afraid of a little hunger pang, drink some water, keep yourself busy doing other things and it will likely pass. PLEASE NOTE: I am not referring to REAL hunger. If you’re feeling light-headed, lethargic, and like you’re about to pass out, EAT!! I am by no means suggesting you starve yourself.
3. Eating too quickly or mindlessly.
Eating too quickly or with too many distractions can sabotage your healthy eating efforts. Rushing through a meal, eating in the car or in front of the TV means you’re not truly enjoying your meal and
WHAT TO DO: Before you eat, take a deep breath or two and relax. Really focus on the meal you are about to eat without any distractions. Take your time and chew your food thoroughly, take a pause between bites, and enjoy the experience!
Of course there are many habits that can sabotage your health and weight loss efforts, but focusing on simple changes that have a big impact (like these three strategies), can steer you in the right direction without feeling deprived, or overwhelmed!