For many people, it only takes a couple of weeks before the resolution to diet crumbles away. Only a small percentage of people who decide to start this long-term health change stick with it. It takes a lot of dedication to stay with a dieting plan, but it also takes a little bit of know-how. Several common diet mistakes that make the entire thing more difficult if you don’t know what to keep an eye on.
That’s why we’ve collected seven of the most frequent beginner mistakes so that you can tackle your diet with as much support as possible. Find out more down below.
1. Not Pacing Yourself
Learning how to lose weight takes a long adjustment period. If you force yourself into all of these changes without pacing yourself, it’s overwhelming. It’s much easier to fall off the wagon if you feel like there’s too much you’re giving up at once.
That’s why pacing yourself and introducing small changes in increments is the best way to make a lifestyle change. You want these to be things that you’re able to continue the rest of your life. Change a few things, find a new groove and new favorites, and then make more changes. It’ll make the transition a whole lot easier.
2. Underestimating Buzz Words
When you see a label that says ‘organic’, most of us feel like that it must be a wholesome and healthy food choice. The problem is that sometimes buzz words like this don’t have any real meaning behind them. They hide detrimental ingredients to try and make the food more appealing to the masses without advertising the additives.
Be skeptical of any foods labeled as ‘diet’ or ‘low-fat‘. They often have a lot of added sugar to try and make the flavor more appetizing, which undercuts all of your efforts. Instead, pay close attention to the nutritional facts and the ingredients list. When in doubt, stay far away from anything highly processed and go for whole foods.
3. Focusing Too Much on the Scale
The number on our scale is what helps keep us in line. When we weigh ourselves, we see a clear definitive answer as to whether or not we’re on the right track.
Try not to get too obsessed with checking this number. Our weight fluctuates a lot, even more so when we’re first beginning to learn how to lose weight. If you’re hyper-focused on that scale, it’s only going to wear down your confidence. This number doesn’t matter as much as you might think. The most important thing is how you feel as you continue on this journey.
Get into the habit of checking your weight on set days. Once a week or even every two weeks is often enough to get a simple gauge if you need to adjust your dieting plan. Instead of tracking your weight, try tracking how you feel every day to get a better idea of the changes in your wellbeing.
4. Skipping Cheat Days
We all deserve a bit of a break from time to time. When you’re going hardcore into a diet, a cheat day is the perfect little break. It’s a way to indulge and treat yourself after you’ve worked so hard all of the other days.
The trick is to only stick to your pre-planned cheat days and nothing else. Don’t have them too often or else it’ll be a lot easier to fall back to old habits. Try to not go overboard, either, as this might leave you feeling nauseous at the end of the day.
Switch out the poached chicken for a slice of pizza, but have a nutritious superfood soup instead of the breadsticks. Eat some fruits and vegetables before diving into that slice of cake. The best thing is to always find a good balance between the good and the bad, even on your cheat days.
5. Eating Only One Meal a Day
Eating fewer calories is the key to losing weight. So many beginners take this information and decide that skipping some meals must be the best way to offset their caloric intake.
That’s a big mistake, as we tend to eat a lot more after having fasted the whole day than we normally would. You’ll end up taking in more calories in one go than you would have if you’d eaten at normal intervals. It’s better to stick to your regular meals with small snacks throughout the day rather than eating only a single meal.
6. Ignoring Exercise
Dieting is the most important part of losing weight, but it’s much better when you add in a workout regimen. It speeds up the weight loss and it helps ensure that you’re not losing any muscle mass at the same time. It’s not an easy thing to keep up with both dieting and exercise but the rewards are worth the effort. After the first two weeks, you’ll be amazed at how much stronger you feel and it’ll give you extra motivation to continue onward.
7. Setting an Unreasonable Goal
Losing weight and getting healthier is a long-term commitment. The hard truth is that you won’t reach your big goal in a single month. It’ll take time to get to that goal. That’s why setting yourself with an unachievable goal is a big mistake that many beginners make.
We all want results right away but set aside that urge. You want this to be something you’ll continue with for the rest of your life. Instead of one large goal that’s impossible to reach, set smaller and more achievable goals that lead up to your ultimate goal. This makes it a lot easier to keep up with the diet plan without any setbacks.
As a beginner, it’s okay to make diet mistakes. It’s all part of the learning process. With the help of this list, you’ve already made a lot of progress in the right direction. Continue on your journey to better health and refer back to this list whenever you need an extra helping hand. You’ve got this