Losing weight is a journey many of us are on. As a nation, we are growing heavier and heavier. Putting on the pounds seems to be getting easier, while shedding them seems to be getting harder. But successful weight loss does not have to be a mystery. In fact, sometimes losing weight has to do as much with what we don’t do as what we do.Oftentimes we make mistakes in our dieting efforts that make losing weight much more difficult. These mistakes are not hard to correct, but not doing so can lead to increased frustration. Consider the follow 4 mistakes that dieters make that sabotage weight loss.
1. Lack of planning. This is probably the number one mistake that dieters make. Without a food plan, you will end up eating whatever happens to be handy, and that usually means high-calorie, unhealthy food. If you are rushed to get to work in the morning, you may be tempted to drive through the closest fast food restaurant for a quick breakfast. If you don’t plan carefully for lunch, you may find yourself eating out of the vending machines.
But with a little planning and preparation, you won’t get caught in the tyranny of the urgent. You will be prepared with a food plan and prepared food. For example, if breakfast is a problem for you because you like to stay in bed until the last possible minute, prepare a quiche the night before. On your way out the door in the morning, just warm up a piece in the microwave and take it with you.
For lunch, consider packing your lunches a couple days in advance. Cook some chicken breasts for a quick salad, or keep the ingredients on hand for your favorite wraps. And never, ever be without healthy snacks on hand, in case you get delayed and can’t get to your scheduled, healthy meals.
2. Unplanned route. Do you drive by places every day that tempt you? If your usual route takes you by your favorite donut shop or Starbucks, you are placing unnecessary pressure on yourself. It is hard to resist the foods that we love. When the temptation of our favorite, unhealthy foods is combined with the feelings of deprivation that dieting brings, the outcome is predictable.
Do yourself a favor and change your driving route. Just refuse to drive by the tempting places and you will find that it is much easier to stick to your diet plan.
3. Unhealthy food in the house. If you do not have tempting food in your house, you cannot eat it. It seems simple, but this is one of the most deadly mistakes that dieters make. Decide now to go through your refrigerator and your pantry and toss out the chips, cookies, sodas and anything else that you might be tempted to eat in a weak moment.
Just be sure to replace those items with healthier alternatives, so you will have something to eat when you need a quick snack. Stock up on whole grain breads, nuts, cheeses, fruits and your favorite vegetables.
4. Mystery eating. Most people underestimate the number of calories they consume in any given day. This means that we generally eat more than we think. The solution is simple: purchase a small calorie counter booklet to keep with you. Before you eat anything, look up the calorie content and make sure that you are within your allotment for the day. Once you have looked the same food up several times, you will remember the number and probably will not have to look it up again.
Avoiding these 4 mistakes will position you for success on your weight loss journey!