You’ve just stepped on the scale to realize you’ve reached the heaviest weight of your life. You’re frustrated, saddened, and ashamed. You’ve had enough of yo-yo diets, buying larger clothes, and getting winded performing everyday tasks. You decide to make a change and lose the weight for good.
But everywhere you turn, there’s conflicting advice about the best way to lose weight—ranging from from your coworker touting her latest juice cleanse to the magazine rack filled with ways to shed 20 pounds in 2 weeks. With so much information out there, how do you know which nutrition plan is right for you?
For long-term success, it’s imperative to educate yourself and separate fact from fiction so you can make wise food choices. Here are a five mistakes that can hinder weight loss, and how you can better approach them:
- Trying to eat too few calories
Yes, the simple weight loss formula does require people to burn more calories than they consume, but Deprivation Diets aren’t long-term solutions. This type of deprivation often leads to later binging on carbohydrate and sugar-laden foods, derailing the progress you worked so hard to achieve.
Instead: Remember that food is fuel for your body and that your body needs energy to function properly. Instead of shocking it with a sudden drop in food, start with a moderate decrease in daily caloric intake and begin exercising to get your body into a sustainable calorie deficit. Slow and steady wins this race.
- Only having one meal a day
Similar to not consuming enough calories, only eating one meal a day, like a large dinner, is another mistake many dieters make. Doing this actually slows your metabolism and can impact your ability to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Instead: Space out several smaller meals throughout the day to give your body a consistent source of energy. Eating regularly keeps your metabolism on its toes, helps the mind focus, and provides fuel for exercising and other activities.
- Not eating enough protein
Some dieters avoid protein because they believe the body needs to burn its stored carbohydrates and fat in order to lose weight. Protein is important to a healthy weight because it helps us feel fuller longer, fuels our muscles to repair and grow, and aids in balancing our blood sugar. Without it, we may feel weak or fatigued and be tempted to grab “quick fix” foods full of carbs and sugar to satisfy our hunger in the short-term.
Instead: Regularly fill your plate with lean protein, like fish, meats, and eggs, as part of a balanced diet. Need more guidance in selecting a meal plan? The four-step Ideal Protein Protocol available at Plantation Wellness Center includes fresh meals you make at home with low carbohydrate, high biological protein food products. This diet plan is paired with nutrition and lifestyle education and consistent support from a one-on-one coach to help participants reach their weight loss goals.
- Being too hard on yourself
Slip ups happen to even the strictest dieters, and sometimes our best intentions to make healthy choices are foiled. When we’re busy, traveling, or stressed, for example, it can be more challenging to eat right. We may then try to punish or restrict ourselves after a cheat meal to overcompensate for the mistake.
Instead: It’s not the end of the world—or your healthy lifestyle—if you eat one slice of pizza or a cookie. Acknowledge that it happened. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try to figure out why you slipped. Can that situation be prevented in the future? Could you pack a healthy snack to hold you over at the airport next time? How about bringing a reusable water bottle to work so you don’t reach for that soda again?
- Doing it alone
Some people embarking on a weight loss journey try to go solo. While it’s possible to lose weight by yourself, having the support of a friend, family member, or expert can make a powerful difference in your success.
Instead: Tell a friend your weight loss goals or get the whole family on board with eating more balanced meals. If you’re looking for an expert to hold you accountable, the Ideal Protein Protocol includes one-on-one nutrition coaching throughout all four phases of the program. Weekly check-ins and round-the-clock support provide education, encouragement, and accountability for all participants.
You’re ready to take control of your life and make a commitment to better health. Instead of making common dieting mistakes, you can arm yourself with knowledge about nutrition and weight loss to make healthy choices every day.
Ideal Protein, available at Plantation Wellness Center, can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Visit our website for more information about the low carbohydrate, high biological protein protocol and one-on-one expert nutritional coaching. We welcome you to schedule a personal consultation to learn more.