It can be frustrating to put a lot of time and effort into losing weight, only to find that you’ve actually gained a few pounds. This is especially demotivating when you’ve been reading up on diet tips for weight loss and doing all of the things that you’re “supposed” to do. However, the truth is that there are a number of common diet mistakes most people make when trying to lose weight.
Below, we’re outlining these missteps, so you can reach your goal weight successfully. Let’s take a look!
1. Having Unrealistic Expectations
It can be helpful to have a target in mind to focus your efforts. However, setting unrealistic weight loss goals can be so discouraging that it drives you to abandon your journey altogether. Not only is dropping substantial amounts of weight in a short period of time incredibly difficult, but it’s also extremely unhealthy. Your body needs time to adjust to the changes to continue operating effectively.
Instead of working towards one singular, drastic goal, try setting a series of small milestones that you can reach throughout the year, giving you a better sense of all the great progress you’re making.
2. Letting the Scale Control You
You might be tempted to use your scale as a way of measuring your success, but this is dangerous territory. First of all, your weight can fluctuate by as much as four pounds throughout the day, making it difficult to track. Plus, weight can be affected by all sorts of things beyond eating well and exercising. For example, water retention and muscle gain can both lead to increases in weight, despite being perfectly healthy.
3. Eating the Wrong Amount of Calories
Many people assume that weight loss is a simple “calories in, calories out” equation. The most common issue with this assumption is that people have a tendency to underestimate how many calories they’re eating per day, which leads them to exceed their daily limit. On the other hand, eating too few calories can be harmful to your health as well. If you decrease your caloric intake too drastically, you might start to lose muscle mass and begin storing fat instead.
4. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals is a bad idea for similar reasons. When you deprive yourself of the food your body is expecting, it goes into “starvation mode,” meaning your metabolism slows down, and any food you do consume is stored as fat. Skipping meals also prevents your body from receiving the nutrients it needs and can cause you to have low blood sugar, making you sluggish and unable to focus.
5. Sticking to a Strict, Standardized Diet
It’s no secret that people come in all different shapes and sizes. Still, strict, one-size-fits-all diet plans are often marketed as the secret solution to weight loss. However, many of these diets neglect to include the right amounts of essential nutrients, such as protein. Each body is a unique blend of genetics, so what works for your neighbor may not work for you. Instead of limiting yourself to one specific menu, it’s important to ensure you’re consuming the right nutrients while still treating yourself to a tasty, varied diet.
Instead of letting diet mistakes work against you, take some time to get to know your body and its needs. Familiarize yourself with its unique nutrient and protein requirements, listen when it tells you to refuel, and recognize the small milestones you reach along your journey. In doing so, you can transition away from obsessing over weight loss goals and diet plans and embrace a happier, healthier you.
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