You may eat right and exercise, but have you ever wondered why your diet is failing despite your hard work? There are a ton little mistakes you might not even notice that could sabotage your efforts. An excess of 100-200 calories could be all it takes to keep you from shedding pounds and inches. If you’ve been dieting until you’re blue in the face, but can’t lose those stubborn five or 10 pounds, it’s possible the reason why your diet is failing is one of these nine common mistakes.
1. You Eat Too Much
One of the many reasons why your diet is failing could be due to eating too much. If you started your diet when you weighed 200 pounds and ate 2,000 calories a day, you might need less food to sustain yourself at 130 pounds. Calorie requirements change as your weight changes. Figure out the ideal number for you and you should start to see some results.
2. You Eat Too Little
While some of you may eat too much, you very well could have the opposite problem. Those of you who chronically under eat and restrict calories could also struggle with weight control. Constant deprivation can destroy your metabolism to the point where it feels like eating a cracker will make you gain five pounds. When dieting and trying to lose weight, it’s best to ride the middle road. Don’t eat too many calories, but certainly don’t go overboard and restrict your calories either.
3. You’re Not Consuming the ‘Right’ Kind of Calories
We used to think that a calorie was a calorie was a calorie. For the morbidly obese whose lives depend on weight loss, this theory is partially true. But for the majority of us women who simply have a few pounds we want to shed, you need to understand that all calories are not created equal. 1,500 calories of cupcakes is far different than 1,500 calories of wholesome, healthy food. Your body recognizes these foods as very different and breaks them down accordingly. Try to make sure that a majority of your calories come from healthy items like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based fats.
4. You Use a Ton of Artificial Sweeteners
Tea, coffee, and other calorie-free beverages might sound like a great way to curb appetite and keep you from overeating. But if you reach for artificial sweetener with each beverage or diet soda, you might actually be causing more damage than you think. There’s pending evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners can actually play games with your pancreas, making you crave more real sugar. Other studies indicate that artificial sweeteners can lead to metabolic syndrome, a super scary condition usually reserved for only the morbidly obese! Save yourself the health problems and opt for natural sweeteners like stevia and raw honey instead.
5. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
How much water are you actually drinking? For some of you, the standard eight glasses a day may not cut it. If you’re like me and exercise almost every day, you could need as much as eight additional glasses to the eight you’re already supposed to consume. Invest in a reusable, portable water bottle that you can use anywhere and refill when you need to. Take this water bottle with you wherever you go. This way you’ll have no excuse to not stay hydrated and refreshed all day long.
6. You Don’t Take a Multivitamin
I bet this isn’t something you would naturally think of if you’re trying to lose weight. But did you know that all sorts of factors can trigger hunger and weight gain besides calories? Many dieters who are deficient in magnesium are naturally drawn to chocolate because of its high magnesium content! The point is, you could have a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral that is causing your body to hang on to fat. Try popping a multivitamin every morning and see if you notice a change.
7. You Bite It, but You Don’t Write It
A food diary is a great tool to lose weight and hold you accountable for the food you’re eating. But as we continue on our weight loss journeys, sometimes we tend to get sloppy with our eating habits and fall off track. Did you accidentally forget to record that ice cream you ate the other night? Or how you went out to lunch with your coworkers last week? If you’ve fallen on the bandwagon, try getting back on track with your food log. You might pick up on mistakes you didn’t realize you were making.
8. You Rely on Processed or Packaged Food
Do you live alone or cook for one? Or do you not have a ton of time for food prep? Prepackaged meals and ‘healthy’ frozen dinners might appear healthy, but they’re actually loaded with artificial preservatives and ingredients that could hinder your weight loss efforts. If you’re strapped for time, try making a ton of healthy, non-processed lunches or dinners over the weekend and storing them in plastic containers. Athletes and bodybuilders who work full time jobs do this all the time to ensure they never miss a meal and always eat healthy!
9. You Don’t Work with a Dietitian
If you’ve tried absolutely everything and still aren’t losing weight, it might be good to invest in a dietitian or nutritionist’s services. As pricey as it might be, it’s good to get a professional viewpoint about your diet and why you’re not losing weight. Maybe you’re making a fundamental flaw that you’re not even realizing. Bottom line, a dietitian will keep you from driving yourself crazy over why you’re not losing weight. You might just need a few consultations to help you get on track.
Remember that at the end of the day the reason why your diet is failing is not always your fault. Everybody may be built differently, but everybody is still beautiful! What are some of your struggles with your diet that took you a long time to fix?