There are so many things that can keep you from achieving success in your weight loss diet plans, and it’s important to be aware of these things before you even begin so that you can avoid them.
In this article, we’re going to go over 10 common weight-loss pitfalls and discuss exactly how you can avoid them so that they don’t prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals.
Many people jump into fad diets without looking at the science behind them. They hear good things about them and assume they must work, so they start in on them.
However, if these diets are not based on science with studies and facts to back them up, then you’re putting your health in the hands of something that may not work.
This is why so many people end up gaining weight back.
Take time to educate yourself about the best diet plan for weight loss. You need to understand how food works with your body before you can know what you need to eat.
Just as you wouldn’t buy a car without finding out more about it beyond what the owner says about it, why would you start a diet plan without finding out how it’s going to work with your body?
Another common roadblock that can keep you from your weight loss goals is food cravings. This is especially true of sugars.
Sugar triggers your brain’s pleasure center which means it can be addictive, and hard to avoid since your body craves it. However, sugar is also the biggest contributor to weight gain, so you have to resist these cravings.
There are a few ways that you can avoid giving in to food cravings. The best way is to make sure you don’t have any junk food in your house, so you won’t be able to easily eat it even if you wanted to. You also need to make sure everything you do eat is filling and packed with nutrients so that you feel full and don’t need to eat sugary snacks to satisfy hunger.
Weight loss is about more than just the total number of pounds that you have lost or want to lose. When you focus too much on the number on the scale, then you run the risk of getting disappointed when it’s not moving as quickly as you want or when it goes up even though you’ve been doing everything right. This is a huge pitfall for some people and may cause them to give up.
Measure more than your overall weight and you may find that you are actually losing fat and gaining muscle, especially if you are also working out to improve your weight loss results. Have your body fat percentage tested regularly to see how much fat you’re actually losing, and measure your body parts (arms, waist, legs, etc.) to see how you’re getting smaller even if the number on the scale isn’t.
It’s also important to realize that the number you see includes everything in your body, like water. If you weigh yourself after drinking a lot of water or while dehydrated so your body is retaining more water, you may see the number jump up by several pounds.
For this reason, you need to regularly track your weight, but watch the overall trend, not worry about the exact number on that day or week.
Many people who are obese or overweight are like that because they don’t have the right relationship with food. They may use food as a way to comfort themselves when they’re sad or to keep themselves occupied when they’re busy.
Still, others eat for the enjoyment of it. This is a problem because when you think of food in this way, it’s hard to change what you’re eating.
If you’re not eating as a way to provide the right type of nourishment to your body, you will get trapped by this roadblock. It takes some time, work, and sometimes the help of a professional psychologist, but you need to make sure you’re eating for the right reasons.
Food should be considered a tool that you use to lose weight, not something you turn to for emotional help.
Think about the people you spend the most time with, and it’s likely that they weigh about the same as you do. When everyone around you is going out to eat unhealthy food and encouraging you to forget your diet just for the night, it’s easy to give in and keep giving in until you’ve completely fallen off track of your diet.
Sometimes, you may need to cut people out of your life or at least spend less time with them so that you can focus on what you need to do and not let their negative influences affect you. You can also try taking the lead when it comes to planning activities and suggest your get-togethers involve more physical activities or healthy restaurants.
If you don’t plan ahead, then you’re likely to get trapped by this roadblock. When you don’t plan ahead for lunch, for example, you will probably find yourself having to go out to eat during your lunch hour and will grab the first thing you can find, which may or may not be good for you. Or, if you get hungry between meals and don’t have a healthy snack handy, it’s too easy to hit up the vending machine.
The more you plan ahead, the better you will do with your diet plan. Meal planning means sitting down once to plan out what you’re going to eat for the next week, two weeks, or month. This will help you know exactly what you need to shop for so you can have the food on hand that you need to cook so you’re not grabbing whatever you can at the last minute.
Another common problem that people run into while dieting is that many healthy foods are more expensive than their unhealthy counterparts. Fresh fruits and vegetables, for example, often have a higher cost than simply buying a canned or dried version. Pre-packaged meals are also often cheaper than buying whole foods to prepare meals yourself.
One way to reduce your grocery bill is to shop the sales. When you do your meal planning for the week, have the sales papers from your favorite grocery stores in front of you and use them as a guide. You’d be surprised at how much you can save by simply taking advantage of sales. Another way you can get reduced prices of whole foods is by buying directly at local farmer’s markets.
Exercising to lose weight will often work against you in a couple of ways. Some people force themselves to get up early to exercise and miss out on getting enough sleep which is vital for weight loss. Others think that spending an hour on the treadmill will make up for the two donuts they had that morning that someone brought into work.
Diet must be your main focus while losing weight, and you can’t expect exercise to bail you out of a bad dieting choice. Getting up and moving regularly throughout the day can help improve your overall health and some strength training can help boost your weight loss, but these should be in addition to a strict diet and should not be the focus of your weight loss plan.
If you cut too many calories at the beginning of your diet, then you’re likely to lose a bunch of weight fast, which sounds like a good thing, but since you can’t maintain such a low caloric intake for long, you’ll soon find yourself gaining everything back. Instead, from the very beginning, you need to keep your caloric intake below your output and at a level, you can maintain for the rest of your life.
Many people set up unrealistic expectations for their weight loss, and this leads them to quit when they’re not reaching their goals. They often expect to lose too much weight in too short of a time period. Or, they may expect to continue losing the same amount of weight that they were losing at the beginning of their weight loss when they near the end.
Setting up goals is an important part of losing weight, but if they’re unrealistic, then they’re going to work against you and could cause you to give up since you’ll get disappointed when you’re not able to reach them. Make sure that part of your research before you begin your new diet is how much weight you can expect to lose so you can set up realistic expectations.
By avoiding these common weight-loss pitfalls, you’ll have a much better chance of losing the weight that you want and becoming a healthier version of yourself. It’s going to take some work, especially at the beginning, but it will all be worth it in the long run.