1. Expecting Too Much, Too Fast
Often, we eat better and exercise for 3 days, and expect pounds to roll off immediately! In reality, it takes weeks of better eating and regular exercise to see results. Expect to lose 4 pounds in 4 weeks if you eat 300 calories less a day and walk off 200 calories daily with a brisk 30 minute walk. Managing expectations with a realistic time frame for seeing results, keeps us motivated to continue healthy moves.
2. Losing Too Much, Too Fast
If you cut calories sharply and lose 5 pounds in one week, most likely you’ll see those pounds return the next week! Why? The weight loss is mainly water! Even more, sharp calorie cutting slows metabolism (fat burning), which slows weight loss in the long run. And quick weight loss causes muscle loss, which slows down metabolism further, making it even tougher to lose weight or keep it off. To lose body fat, combine exercise with eating less, do not cut calories too severely, and lose moderately…1/2 –2 pounds a week. Slower weight loss tends to be more permanent.
3. Starving & Stuffing – Too Little/Too Much Eating
Do you try to go as many hours as possible without eating, then find yourself over-indulging? Or, do you cut calories as much as possible (just eating 600-1000 calories daily), only to quit in 3 days … hungry, frustrated, eating out of control… and losing only your patience?
Either way, “starve-and-stuff” eating is a recipe for weight gain, not weight loss. By spacing your three meals and snacks 3-5 hours apart, you avoid getting overly hungry and eating out of control. You eat better, feel better, lose weight better, and stick with this healthy eating pattern longer, reaping long-term results. And don’t skip breakfast! Numerous studies, including those from National Weight Control Registry, show that breakfast helps us lose weight better and keep it off.
Whether it’s too much protein, too many carbs, or too much fat , any one nutrient in excess throws off the others, impacting your health, sense of satisfaction, and ability to stick with a plan long-term. You need a balance of nutrients for your best health and easier lifelong weight management.
5. “All or None Thinking” – Two Extremes
This dieting mentality says “I am either on a diet, 100%, no cheating! ” or “I am off”, meaning “I am out of control, eating anything and everything”. “ If I make one little mistake that knocks me off my intended diet plan, I might as well keep over-eating.” This type of thinking is doomed for failure. Eating better does not mean eating perfectly. Aim for improvement, not perfection…and keep moving forward, even with detours.