Top 10 Diet Mistakes

Published Fri, Oct 05, 2012 10:08 AM
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Submitted by Carrie Riggin — Columnist

Trying to lose weight but the scale just won’t budge? Simple diet mistakes can derail even your best efforts. If your skinny jeans still don’t fit, you could be a culprit of one of these 10 weight loss blunders.

1. Succumbing to Crash Diets: Ever tried living on grapefruit, cabbage soup or a no-carb diet to slash those last 10 pounds? Sure, you might have melted the pounds away, but you’ve also trained your body to live on so few calories (you should never go below 1,200 calories) that your metabolism has come to a screeching halt. This means your body now burns calories more slowly, making it easy to regain the lost weight.

2. Skimping on Breakfast: Skipping breakfast may seem like a quick way to slash calories, but it actually makes you hungrier throughout the day, likely resulting in trips to the vending machine, multiple dips in the candy jar and supersize lunch portions. Prevent mindless munching with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast that will keep you full and satisfied all day long.

3. Not Snacking: Believe it or not, eating every three hours keeps your metabolism spiked and your body constantly burning calories. The best snacks are protein-rich with healthy fats, one portion size and not too caloric. Try nuts, string cheese, apple, organic peanut butter or Greek yogurt.

4. Sipping Your Calories: We often forget to count the sugar content and high-calorie count in the margarita or the cream-filled coffee we down on a frequent basis (I’m certainly a culprit of this). These calorie and sugar-dense beverages, which also include soda and fruit juice, often add up to more than 500 calories.

5. Drinking Too Little Water: Chugging H2O washes the fat away, period. Water is key to burning calories. Drinking water keeps your metabolism up, resulting in faster weight loss. Aim to drink eight or more glass per day.

6. Avoiding Dairy: Most people fear full-fat milk, cheese and ice cream, but research has proven that the body burns more fat when it receives enough calcium. Plus, healthy fats actually promote fat loss, too.

7. Relying on Low-Fat Options: Low fat eats are not only packed with fake ingredients that your body doesn’t recognize or digest properly, but they also pack the same amount of calories as their full-fat counterparts. The “low fat” label subconsciously tricks eaters into thinking they are being diet-friendly, often serving as justification for a second and third helping. If you are going to indulge, choose one serving of the good stuff, i.e. the full-fat option. You’ll be satisfied enough not to reach for more.

8. Weighing Yourself Every Day: Constantly stepping on the scale can be frustrating and counterproductive. Anything can sway the scale: from the time of day to bathroom activity to high-sodium foods and, for women, even the time of the month. So my suggestion: Stick to weekly weigh-ins. It will be much more motivating (and rewarding), rather than seeing the confusing swings that accompany daily scale sessions.

9. Setting Unrealistic Goals: A realistic goal is key to dieting success. Wanting to lose 20 pounds in a month is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, set small, weekly goals: i.e. 1 to 2 pounds per week. At the end of each week, you will much more likely feel accomplished and inspired to keep going.

10. Not Exercising: Relying only on diet creates the “skinny fat” look, and we don’t want that. Plus, it doesn’t allow your heart to be strong or your body to fight off disease. All in all, exercise is crucial to overall health, weight loss and that sexy, strong, toned look that most women and men desire. The more calories you burn while exercising (and eating clean), the more pounds you’ll drop, faster. Simple as that.

From here on out, be conscious of these diet no-nos and you’ll start to see the scale moving in the right direction.

Cheers to a more confident, thinner, fitter-looking you!

Who is Carrie Riggin?
Carrie is the Triangle's go-to health and nutrition guru, sharing the latest trends to help you get in shape. She is a certified group fitness instructor and writes a blog, TheSkinnBuzz.

Twitter: @CarrieRigginFIT and @TheSkinnyBuzz

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