Losing weight can seem like a real hassle, especially as the winter weather brings the fear of the cold and the couch potato syndrome begins to sink in. It also doesn’t help that holiday festivities tend to revolve around delicious tasting food that’s not always as healthy as they’re tasty. This being said, it’s important to keep in shape and healthy all year round, not only when it’s convenient, and this can mean knowing what kind of dietary mistakes to avoid as well as what conventions to embrace. Knowing where your weaknesses lie can help you stay focused and on track when temptation kicks in, so do a little personal research and figure out the areas you need to work on. In the meantime, take a look at these 5 general mistakes that many people make in the quest for a healthier lifestyle and thinner thighs.
Too Many Morning Carbs
Of course you’ve probably heard that too many carbohydrates, especially the simple ones made from refined sugar and white bread or pasta can be bad for you, but it’s been a general rule that the more complex carbohydrates are good, specifically at breakfast time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a nice bowl of oatmeal or snacking on some multigrain toast and fruit in the morning, but if you want a meal that will keep you feel full longer while giving your body the needed energy, you should trade in those carbs for protein. Shape.com advises:
You’ve been told over and over that people who eat a morning meal tend to have smaller waistlines, but some find that noshing in the a.m. actually makes them hungrier.
Eggs and other lean proteins make great breakfast boosters and if you’re in too big of a rush to cook something up, it’s easy to mix up a quick smoothie with some whey or protein powder and skim milk for the road.
Weighing In Too Often
Weighing yourself can be good motivation if you’re doing well on a weight loss routine, but if you step on the scale too much you may actually set yourself back. The way that weight loss works is that it sometimes fluctuates based on water weight, the time of the day and whether or not you’ve just drank or eaten something, and how much muscle you’ve been working on. This is why it’s best to step onto the scale once a week rather than daily. Dr. Art Mollen of whas11.com explains:
If your goal is to lose one or two pounds a week, you’ll be satisfied to see those full-pound drops when you step on the scale. The result is more motivating.
Getting bad results on the scale could lead to feelings of insecurity and as if you’re a failure where your fat loss goals are concerned. It can give some pretty negative feedback towards all the work that you’ve done so far and make you feel like you’re going nowhere when really it has more to do with the fact that you just finished lunch. Always step on the scale first thing in the morning before you eat and after you’ve relieved your bladder. It’s a good idea to weight yourself naked as well so that different clothing articles don’t make a difference.
Not Planning Before Going to a Restaurant
Heading out for a nice meal with your friends on a special occasion or a random social gathering is fun, and even if you’re trying to lose weight there are bound to be healthy options to enjoy. The mistake you can easily make here though, is heading out without a game plan. Don’t walk into a restaurant with the hopes of eating well but with no idea what you’ll have and what you should avoid. It’s also a good idea not to go on a completely empty stomach because if you feel famished it will be more difficult to control yourself and those fried appetizers will get the better of you. Organicliaison.com writes:
You can take some precautionary steps to limit your caloric intake when dining out: say no to appetizers and desserts, choose vegetables or fruit for sides, and either avoid dressings and condiments altogether or order them on the side.
Have a general understanding of what kind of alterations you may make to your meal, and have a light snack like a piece of fruit or veggie sticks before you leave for the restaurant. If you have some dessert, see if anybody will split something with you, or don’t eat the entire thing and rather just have a few tastes and pack it up for later or to share with your family at home the next day.
A huge problem many dieters face is paying close attention to the calories that they’re eating but not nearly enough to the calories that they drink. Things like soda add obvious size to your waistline, but hidden sugars like those in morning fruit juice, afternoon flavored lattes, and energy drinks all add up throughout the day. You don’t want to waste calories on something that won’t give you any nutritional value whatsoever, so sticking to water or very natural organic fruit juice is best. If you’re fond of hot beverages in the mornings to kick start your day, you could try taking your coffee black, or without sugar, or switching to green tea instead; it still contains caffeine, just far less of it and it is packed full of antioxidants.
Dieting For Long Periods
Finally, dieting for long periods of time can be a downfall in itself, which may seem counter-intuitive, but has been seen to be true time and time again. While a diet can be a great way to kick start your metabolism and get the weight loss ball rolling, eventually you’re going to plateau, which is why it’s important to make a real life change, not just try a fad diet. Shannon Clark of bodybuilding.com states:
Prolonged dieting makes it more difficult to lose fat. A person’s metabolism goes into turtle mode after months of constant dieting.
If you’re going to try a diet, have a timeline in mind and stick to it so that your body gets the most out of what you’re doing without ruining your metabolism and your chances for success.