Wonder why your diet doesn’t work? Do you eat lots of fruits and vegetables but your efforts are in vain? What about exercise? Nutrition and physical activity are equally important. Common mistakes, such as skipping meals and doing too much cardio, can slow down your metabolism. Healthy eating is particularly tricky.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest diet mistakes that keep you from losing weight:
Loading Up on Healthy Foods
Healthy eating isn’t the same as eating for fat loss. You can eat healthy and still gain weight. Almonds, walnuts, honey, coconut oil, and other nutritious foods pack hundreds of calories per serving. For instance, there are over 600 calories in 100 grams of walnuts. It’s easy to eat two or three servings at once.
Just because you’re eating healthy, it doesn’t mean you’ll drop weight. Track your portions and stick to your daily calorie goals. If you’re always hungry, choose low-calorie, high-volume foods, such as cabbage, celery, and leafy greens.
Eating Too Few Calories
A diet that’s too low in calories will affect your metabolism, causing your body to enter the “fight-or-flight” mode. As a result, it will store fat and burn fewer calories. This is known as metabolic damage. Crash diets also elevate the stress hormone cortisol levels, causing further damage to your metabolism. To stay safe, never go below 1,200 calories a day.
Skimping on Protein
Many dieters load up on veggies and cut back on high-protein foods, such as meat, dairy, or fish. Protein plays a key role in weight loss. This nutrient keeps your metabolism up, curbs hunger, and preserves lean muscle. When combined with regular exercise, it promotes muscle growth. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. Regardless of what diet you choose, maintain a high protein intake at all times.
Drinking Empty Calories
Sports drinks, energy drinks, soda, and commercial fruit juices contain nothing but empty calories. These beverages are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and lack nutritional value. The same goes for cocktails and caffeinated beverages. For instance, a frappe boasts over 500 calories per serving. Energy drinks deliver about 35-40 grams of carbs. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, you really don’t need those extra sugars. Stick to plain water, fruit-infused water, coffee, and unsweetened herbal tea.
Are you making any of these common dieting mistakes? Share your story below!