Starting a new diet or healthy lifestyle plan will probably bring about a lot of change in your life. If you’re starting over again like many of us dieters do, there are things and mindsets you have to avoid this time around to be successful.
Today this infographic shows some of the most common diet traps and failures and how to avoid them. Avoiding these common dieting errors will help you change your old habits and help your weight loss efforts.
Here’s the list recapped with some of my thoughts too!
10 Diet Traps and How To Avoid Them
Feel like you’ve done everything you can lose weight, but it’s just not happening? Take a look at the most common diet errors and find out how to stop them from sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
#1 Your portions are too big
Weight and measure out your portions.
Don’t let hungry eyes dictate your portion size. Even if you’re eating healthily, you’ll struggle to shed pounds if you’re having large portions.
This is incredibly important when you are trying to lose weight. Eating a diet of moderation is super important because calories matter. You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods but you do need to eat them in moderation. I recommend getting a kitchen scale and measuring cups to make sure you know how big your portions are… chances are they are bigger than they need to be!
#2 You’re not paying attention to the foods you’re eating
Always check caloric content and guideline daily amounts before you buy.
Low-fat doesn’t always mean low calorie. Some low-fat foods contain extra sugars to improve their taste. Find out your GDA’s for calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt for average adults.
Guideline daily amounts:
- Each day (calories): Women – 2000; Men – 2500;
- Each day (fat): Women – 70g.; Men – 95g.;
- Each day (saturates): Women – 20g.; Men – 30g.;
- Each day (salt): Women – 6g.; Men – 6g.;
- Each day (sugars): Women – 90g.; Men – 120g.
These days lots of restaurants list their calorie information on the menu and most have a nutrition guide. You can also check your foods via calorie counting websites like My Fitness Pal. It helps to pay attention to the nutrients in your food and limit things like salt and added sugar.
#3 You feel like giving up
Get back on track and don’t lose hope!
Overeating or indulging in naughty treats can guilt-trip dieters into giving up. At any one time, 31% of Britons are dieting so no one’s perfect.
31% of UK adults are permanently on a diet.
Staying motivated to lose weight can be hard when it takes a long time. Giving up only makes it take longer so try to stay the course and realize that healthy living is forever, not just for a couple months.
#4 You’re doing less exercise
Exercising helps keep weight loss on track.
Adults should do a minimum of five days a week x 30 minutes per day (moderate-intensity physical activity) = weight loss.
People tend to move less when they start dieting. Research shows that people’s activity levels tend to drop by 40% when they try to lose weight.
Don’t let your goal of weight loss stop you from exercising. Exercise has a ton of extra benefits besides weight loss so it is worthwhile to continue exercising while dieting.
#5 You skip breakfast
Eat three regular meals a day to stabilize your overall calorie intake.
A specific study by Imperial College London revealed that when skipping breakfast, high-calorie foods topped the list of favorites that test subjects chose to eat later in the day.
You are 43% less likely to become obese if you eat breakfast.
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of your day when you are living a healthy lifestyle. Trying starting your morning with a healthy breakfast like a bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds or a breakfast egg sandwich.
#6 You’ve stopped snacking
Listen to your body and keep hunger pangs at bay.
Regular, healthy snacking can help maintain your energy and blood sugar levels.
The ideal snacks are high in protein and fiber-opt. for a small handful of nuts, a few dried apricots or some carrot sticks.
While you don’t have to snack, it can be a great tool at keeping your hunger reasonable and for keeping blood sugar even. Whether you eat 3 meals a day or have snack between, remember to eat when you are hungry.
#7 You’re not eating enough
Aim to lose no more than 1 kg. (2 lb.) a week.
Don’t deprive yourself of meals or cut back on calories too much! This can slow down your metabolism and even end up burning your muscles for energy.
Not eating enough is occasionally a problem for people when they try to overcorrect and eat too little. It can lead to a binge and starve cycle that is unhealthy and not good for weight loss.
#8 You’re not getting enough vitamins
No food provides all the nutrients that we need so it’s important to eat a wide variety of different types of foods, especially if you’re dieting.
Vitamins and minerals are important for keeping your energy levels up and for making sure your body is functioning properly:
- Vitamin B: Important for the release of energy from the food we eat. found in wholegrain cereals, fortified breakfast cereals, green leafy veg and dairy foods
- Vitamin D: Important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body helping form strong bones and teeth. Found in oily fish, eggs, and butter
- Calcium: Vital for the growth and strengthening of bones. found in broccoli, nuts, dried fruit, pulses and green leafy vegetables
- Iron: Important for maintaining healthy blood and fighting infections, tiredness and low mood. Found in red meat, dried apricots, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet can make a huge difference in how you feel. My vitamins and supplements routine makes me feel so much better, gives me energy, and relieves a lot of anxiety
#9 You use food as a reward
Are you too attached to calorie-laden meals? Think about how you view your food.
Take a step back and consider rewarding yourself in other ways, such as a long bath or spa treatment:
86% of people eat comfort foods when happy 74% of people eat to reward themselves
Most people celebrate with food but it’s something you have to limit when you are using food as fuel to lose weight and live better.
#10 You’re drinking too much
Count the calories in your drinks too.
Many people forget how many calories are in their drinks, even a glass of healthy orange juice can contain around 100 calories:
- Large latte (with milk) – 250 calories
- Glass of red wine – 90calories
- Smoothie – 500 calories
- Pint of beer – 170 calories
- Glass of water – 0 calories
Drinking your calories is a very common diet trap but also one of the easiest to correct! You can avoid high calorie drinks my drinking water and lower calorie drink options. Drinking more water is very important so here are lots of tips to drink more water.
These are just a few of the traps you might fall into when trying to eat a healthier diet. Avoiding them will help you make progress on your healthy living goals much faster!