Healthy Weight Loss Tips

How to avoid the 7 most common dieting mistakes

tall slim glass of fresh water

Doing your best to lose weight but making little progress? These 7 healthy weight loss tips will help you correct the most common mistakes that dieters make.

When you choose a healthy diet to lose weight, you are choosing the best option for long term weight loss success. However, there are several common pitfalls for healthy dieters. Ask yourself the following questions and learn how to steer clear of these hazards.

Do you skip breakfast?

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is not beneficial for long term healthy weight loss. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives you the energy boost that fuels your morning. High protein and wholegrain foods are the best choices for breakfast. Even when you’re in a rush you can eat bananas on wholemeal toast drizzled with honey, wholegrain muesli topped with fresh fruit and yoghurt or simply toast fingers dipped into a softly boiled egg.

Are you still boozing?

Alcoholic beverages are calorie-laden without any nutritional benefit. Don’t be fooled that because alcohol is fat-free those calories won’t turn into fat when they build up inside your body. They will. Find classy substitutes for your usual tipples so you don’t feel like you’re completely missing out. Sparkling waters, fresh juices with garden herbs and exotic herbal teas will nurture you through detoxification much more effectively than alcohol will anyway. Alcoholic drinks weaken the detoxifying potential of your healthy food choices by forcing your liver, kidneys and skin to work overtime.

Do you blow it all on weekends?

Successful dieters have consistent eating patterns seven days a week. Eating healthy Monday to Friday then bingeing on the weekends is the diet equivalent of one step forward, two steps back. There’s no need to completely deny yourself the pleasures of the weekend, but keep your indulgences in proportion. A healthy eating pattern is very important for forming long term habits and maintaining weight loss down the track.

Do you really know what you’ve eaten?

People often eat while they’re distracted, either watching TV, working or reading a newspaper or book. Another common habit is to eat too fast. If you’re not paying attention to your food, you probably don’t even know what you’ve actually consumed. Notice each mouthful, because a nibble here and there adds up over the day. Keeping a food diary for at least a few days will help, even if you’re only taking rough notes. The point is to become more aware and start keeping track more accurately.

Are you eating enough healthy food?

You do need to ensure you’re getting a healthy amount of calories even when you’re trying to lose weight, otherwise your metabolism slows down and your energy levels slide. However, get your calories from fresh, wholefood sources, particularly vegetables, fruit and wholegrain products. Don’t be tricked by diet foods that advertise themselves as “low fat”, “sugar free” or “low cal”. These labels don’t often translate to “healthy” due to the chemicals added in order to mimic the flavours and textures you’re used to.

Do you let yourself dry out?

Your body’s stores of water need replenishing daily. We lose around one 1½ to 2½ litres each day, more during hot weather or periods of heavy exercise. Some fluids are replaced through the moisture content of food but try to top up with 1½ to 2 litres of water. Measure out a jug of water each morning and drink it throughout the day.

A common misconception is that coffee doesn’t count towards your fluid intake. It does, but it’s not the best choice. Try black or herbal teas instead for their rehydrating and detoxifying powers. If you do drink coffee, drink it black to gain maximum benefit from the antioxidants it contains.

Do you have the right supporters?

Unfortunately, some of the people around you may not truly wish for you to succeed with your weight loss plan. These people can consistently sabotage your efforts, sometimes deliberately. Others may simply be in the habit of pushing extra servings or beverages your way. Make it clear to these people that you are committed to making healthier choices and would appreciate it if they supported your willpower, not undermined it. Try, “I’m serious about giving myself the best chance at health and I’d like your encouragement.” Sometimes you will need to be firmer with people who repeatedly offer temptations. Try something like, “Please don’t tempt me again, I only want to make healthy eating choices.”

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