Are you making any of these diet mistakes?
There are THAT many diet myths and ‘rules’ you’re supposed to follow to lose weight, but nine times out of 10 these regimens are redundant. I’ve tried them all (from no carbs to carb loading and beyond) and I know how frustrating it is when you’re trying hard to lose weight and failing. There are many reasons why the kilos might not be falling off as you’d hoped, but here are some of the most common diet mistakes you need to change, (and believe us, they’re easy to fix!).
#1 You’re being too restrictive
There is such a thing as too much research. The more you read, the more you think you have to follow every ‘rule’ in the book, (the irony of warning against reading up on diets while writing an article on diets for you guys is not lost on me). However, we spoke to Swisse dietitian Simone Austin who backs us up, “You don’t need to cut out all carbs, not eat after 7pm, go gluten-free (unless there’s a health reason) or cut out any whole food group. Sometimes we can over-research and, read too much, and become confused. Go back to the basics that we know will work to keep you healthy and try to make these your plan for the long term.”
#2 You’re not satisfying your stomach
If you’re anything like me, you’re all too familiar with a good old binge. This is usually because you’re never quite satisfied with the small portions/bland contents of your ‘diet’ meals. However dieting doesn’t have to mean tiny portions – you can still eat a decent (and delicious) meal, just make sure it’s packed full of nutrient nutrient-rich foods. If your meal doesn’t satisfy you, you’re one step closer to eating all your cheat treats on a Friday night while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary.
#3 You’re skimping on veg
Speaking of satisfying your stomach, veggies are a surefire way to do just that. Don’t believe us? Just ask nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box health editor Melissa Fine who tells us, “Veggies are great for weight loss because they’re low in kilojoules but high in filling fibre.” Try to maintain the recommended five serves a day to help keep you full. If you’re not a huge fan of veggies (and I don’t blame you) try using your favourite spices to make them more palatable, or mixing them with other foods you do like.
#4 You’re expecting fast results
The below meme is probably the most accurate when it comes to #dietingfeels. Unfortunately, expecting to drop a bunch of kilos in a short amount of time is unrealistic. Real weight loss takes time and it’s likely that your weight could plateau as your body gets used to its new regimen. The solution? Treat your healthy journey as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
#5 You’re not changing up your workout routine
Doing the same type of exercise all the time has two detrimental effects. Firstly, you’re targeting the same muscles which only improves a single aspect of your fitness. Secondly, you’re likely to get bored rather than motivated if you’re not switching up your routine. Trying new exercises can be fun and has the added benefit of working out different parts of your body and improving your results – so mix it up! Trust us when we say your body will thank you for it.
#6 You’re ignoring weights
It’s a common misconception that weights will make you look ‘bulky’. In fact, if you’re serious about slimming down, weights should be a staple in your regular routine. Using weights actually burns more calories than cardio AND you’ll keep burning them long after you’ve finished your sets. How good is that? Weights will help you get stronger and look slimmer if you keep at it. Learn more about why you should add weights to your routine here.
#7 You’re doing it alone
When you’re only relying on yourself to head to the gym at 5am or stay away from the chips, it’s only a matter of time before you hit the snooze button and grab a handful (unless you have some serious, unrelenting willpower). Having a friend or partner to support you (and hold you accountable when you’re caught with a mouth full of Cheezels) will help you reach your weight loss goal faster. Plus, when your mates know you’re trying to be healthy, they’re less likely to suggest pizza nights and more likely to suggest a morning walk #fitspo!
#8 You’ve cut out snacks
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with cutting out your 3.30pm Tim Tam, but you don’t need to cut out snacks completely. This is what will lead you to overeat at mealtimes or gorge on a cheat meal more often than you should. Instead, keep healthy snacks on hand (like carrot sticks, nuts and fruit) and try not to go more than four hours without eating.
#9 You’re only being good during the week
I am 100 per cent guilty of this one. I convince myself that I’ve been so good from Monday to Friday that I can relax for the weekend (read: Skip the gym and order Domino’s for dinner). Sadly, this is not the case and will seriously slow down your weight loss progress. Weekends shouldn’t be a free pass. Instead, treat yourself regularly but be aware of portions. Feel like a biscuit? Have one! Just don’t have three. Get the gist?
#10 You’re skipping breakfast
A study in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation found that starting the day on a full stomach helps to control your appetite and keep weight down. But the reality is that some people just aren’t into eating early in the morning. If this is you, just take your breakfast to work and eat as soon as you feel up to it. Start with something small and build up to a more substantial meal as your body gets used to it. And no, a coffee doesn’t count as breakfast (guilty)!
#11 You think fat-free means calorie-free
Fat-free seems just too good to be true and most of the time it is! Unfortunately, fat-free products often contain more sugar to compensate for flavour loss, meaning they’re not as good for you as the packaging would have you believe. The lesson? Always read the fine print and understand how to decipher calorie content.
Are you guilty of any of the above? Are there any other weight loss mistakes you’ve fallen for?