Sustainable weight loss requires changes in your daily habits. But before you jump right in and begin cutting calories & eliminating food groups from your diet, we want to help you avoid these 7 common diet mistakes.
1. Not eating enough calories: Approximately 60%-75% of the daily calories consumed are used for metabolism. If you do not provide your body with enough fuel, your body will compensate by slowing your metabolism so it can conserve it’s energy source for survival. Instead, focus on eating a healthy amount of calories from a wide variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables.
2. Severe restriction of carbs: Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. Low-carb diets work on the belief that if carbs are restricted, the body will burn fat for energy which can lead to weight loss. Instead of eliminating carbs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests going for healthy carbs. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.
3. Unrealistic expectations: Diets that claim a quick fix should be avoided. Successful weight loss and keeping the weight off requires life-long, healthy-eating habits versus “quick fixes” over a period of days or weeks. Healthy weight loss is about 1 to 2 lbs. per week. (Healthy being the key word here.) #BeTheTortoise
4. Relying on diet pills: There are many pills on the market that claim to speed up the weight loss process. Diet pills work by either speeding up your metabolism, blocking the absorption of fat, or suppressing your appetite. Because of their effect on the body, diet pills are not recommended for long-term use. Truth is, diet pills may help to provide a jump start to weight loss, but they are not a substitution for healthy lifestyle choices.
5. Focusing only on total calories: Cutting down your total calorie consumption is an essential part of successful weight loss. However, when you focus on calories alone, you limit the consistency & effectiveness of your long term weight loss. Remember, QUALITY is just as important as quantity. #EatMoreVeggies
6. Trying to out-exercise a bad diet: No matter how much you workout or how hard you work out, you will never out-exercise a poor diet. Get out of the bad habit of exercising to eat. Remember, this is a journey more about your overall health than it is about weight loss. If you are going to do the work, why not put that same effort & energy into providing your body with the right fuel that will SUPPORT your efforts. The goal is to create a balance between your daily nutrition & daily activity. #LifestyleBalance
7. Avoiding weight lifting: Cardio is an essential element to weight loss & heart health, however, weight lifting/strength training is just as important. In essence, if you want to burn fat, start lifting weights regularly.
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.