Dieting SUCKS. But you know what sucks even more? The fact that sometimes we do things that sabotage our very best efforts to lose weight without even knowing it. If your bathroom scale seems like it's stuck, you may be making one of these 6 mistakes.
1. Weighing Every Day
Weighing yourself every day is a recipe for frustration and doesn't really help you achieve your goal. Instead of hoping on the scale every morning, look for a long-term trend with weekly weigh-ins. The result is more motivating than the swings that often accompany daily weigh-ins.
2. Not Snacking
We ALL know snacking is bad, right? Ummmm...kind of. Mindless snacking WILL add on the LB's, but selective snacking may do the opposite. Research has shown that people who eat several small meals and snacks a day are more likely to control hunger and lose weight. Snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich.
3. Loving Low-Fat
Low-fat isn't the same as low-calorie and it's not a license to eat more. If you pile your plate with low-fat cookies, you may eat more calories than if you had one or two "regular" cookies. The best way to know how much fat, sugar, and calories you're getting is to check the nutritional label.
4. Counting on Crash Diets
Got that class reunion coming up? Time for a Crash Diet! Not so fast. Perhaps your plan calls for nothing but carrots or cabbage soup. You slash your daily calorie intake to fewer than 1,000 -- and sure enough, the pounds melt away. But the side effect is that when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down. Once the diet is over and you've wowed 'em at the reunion, you have a body that burns calories more slowly -- and the weight comes bouncing back.
5. Giving in to Unrealistic Goals
Pledging to lose 20 pounds your first week is a surefire prescription for failure. If you diet and lose 5 pounds in a week, instead of celebrating, you may feel discouraged that you didn't reach your goal. Realistic goals are vital to successful dieting.
6. Ditching Breakfast
Dropping a meal seems like a simple way to drop some pounds, but the result can be powerful hunger the rest of the day. This may lead to bad snack choices at the office and eating a super-size portion at lunch. Instead, eat a breakfast high in protein and fiber and you'll reduce hunger throughout the day. Studies show people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.