It may be because you’re consuming more calories than you think.
Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Mistake #1: Forgetting Liquid Calories
It’s easy to forget that the things you drink have calories—some more than you’d think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.
It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you’re adding.
For calories’ sake, it’s best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don’t satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.
Mistake #2 Meal Skipping
Many dieters think they’ll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.
But this is a mistake.
Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you will end up eating even more food later in the day because you’re so hungry.
So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.
Mistake #3: Oversized Portions
Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn’t mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.
Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don’t think you could fit much food into your fist? You’re right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don’t have to eat all the food in front of you.
To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you’re full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.
Mistake #4: Too Many Extras
A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.
These add extra calories fast.
One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it’s no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.
Mistake #5: Blaming Your Genes
Many people give up on dieting or think there’s no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes.
Just like you may share your father’s hair color or your mother’s eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent’s body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.
Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.
Mistake #6: Eating Without Thinking
It happens to everyone. You’re tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it’s not on a plate it doesn’t matter, but every bite you take counts.
When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don’t always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water or tea, chewing gum, or simply don’t put anything in your mouth.
Mistake #7: Eliminating All Treats
Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks, or any high calorie food.
This commitment may last a few days until you can’t tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of.
A better plan is to allow yourself a treat every once in a while.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don’t let these common pitfalls keep your from meeting your weight loss goal!