There’s an old joke. “Losing weight is easy, it’s keeping it off that’s hard.”
But what if losing weight isn’t easy? What if it seems as if no matter what you try to beat the battle of the bulge your weight loss efforts just aren’t working?
Following are six often overlooked dieting mistakes that could be standing in the way of your finally shedding those stubborn extra pounds.
1. You’re using artificial sweeteners:
Although artificial sweeteners were designed to help us lose weight they actually can do the exact opposite. A growing stack of studies has linked them to weight gain. If your weight loss has stalled work on eliminating these fake sugars from your diet and you might find the numbers on your scale dropping once again.
2. You underestimate your liquid calories:
Fruit juice, your morning latte and your evening glass of wine with dinner all come with calories, of course. But it’s easy to forget them, underestimate them or simply pretend they “don’t count” since you didn’t have to chew them.
A glass of wine can add anywhere from 135 to 200 calories to your bottom line. A medium latte made with two percent milk weighs in at around 190 calories. And a glass of orange juice adds 112 calories and 20 grams of sugar to your count. When you’re trying to slim down keep in mind loading up on liquids could be standing in the way of you reaching your weight loss goals.
3. You overestimate your workouts:
You just finished working out and you’re sweaty, exhausted and feel like you just burned a thousand calories. Don’t be fooled, you’ve likely used up far less than you believe.
A 180 pound person walking three miles an hour only burns about 285 calories, and 30 minutes on the stationary bike will eat through roughly 300 calories. In other words that second helping or decadent desert can entirely undo the effort you put in at the gym. Remember the old adage, you can’t outrun (or outwalk) your fork.
4. You’ve eliminated all fats from the menu:
Going fat free is a dieting fad that does you far more harm than good. Your body craves fats and needs them to stay healthy. And fats are necessary to absorb many vital nutrients including carotenoids, phytochemicals, and vitamins A, D, E and K.
Experts say a good balance of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats reduces your risk of heart disease. And despite years of being vilified there’s no solid evidence that a moderate amount of saturated fats, such as you’ll find in butter and coconut oil, is harmful.
Fat-free foods, on the other hand, could be sabotaging your efforts to lose weight. Fat makes food taste good so when food manufacturers suck palate-pleasing fats out of foods they often dump in extra sugar to make it more appealing. Plus fat-free eating can leave you feeling unsatisfied, leading to overeating.
Returning avocados, nuts, wild-caught fatty fish, olive oil, coconut oil and organic grass-fed meats to your diet could be the key to jumpstarting your stalled weight loss.
5. You’re getting too much or too little sleep:
According to the Mayo Clinic, getting less than five hours of sleep a night, or more than nine, makes it harder to lose weight. According to experts, both too much and too little sleep can mess with the hormones that regulate hunger, so you end up eating more. Aim for seven to eight hours of high quality sleep a night and you may soon find yourself needing to tighten up your belt a few more notches.
6. You’re eating too much healthy food:
It turns out there is such a thing as getting too much of a good thing. If you’ve eliminated added sugars, stick to a moderate amount of whole grains, eat plenty of healthy fats and lean proteins and exercise but you’re STILL not losing weight you might be eating too much healthy food.
When you want to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. Which means even if your food choices are all healthy ones if your portions are too large you still won’t lose weight. Keep making those smart food choices, just cut down on how much of it you’re eating.
Don’t let these common dieting mistakes stand in the way of you achieving your weight loss goals.
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