EATING TOO MUCH:
This one seems fairly obvious, many people underestimate the number of calories they consume and overestimate the number of calories they expend during exercise.
The Fix: If you have no idea how much you’re eating, you should check out the nutrition labels to evaluate the serving size. Also, there are many applications for your smartphone that will help you calculate how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you consume to reach your goal! Many foods that we think are individual servings are actually two or even three portions. Try to use your hand for measuring!
EATING TOO LITTLE:
This is not so obvious. If you want to lose fat, the first rational step is to cut your calorie intake. The more calories you cut, the more fat you lose ‘but this is’t always true. Cutting your calories to extremes may work for a while, but over time your metabolism will slow and your body will switch to starvation mode. If that’s not bad enough, when your body is in a severe calorie deficit for an extended period of time, it can start to use your hard-earned muscle as fuel, in a process known as catabolism.
The Fix: As a general suggestion drop your calories no lower than 20% below your maintenance level and staying around a 10% deficit is even better. Try to eat 5 times a day, but controlled portions and adequate protein intake.
OVERDOING HEALTH FOODS:
Just because something is considered healthy doesn’t mean you can eat endless amounts without consequences. Many people see things like fat-free or sugar-free foods and think this means they’re free altogether. Also, low fat or fat-free products tend to have higher sugar content than full fat or normal products. Then there are foods like organic cookies and gluten-free brownies, and most people think they can have a free-for-all.
A calorie really is a calorie. If you eat excessive amounts of fat-free chips, you’re still going to gain weight. If you eat 16 Paleo cookies, guess what, your body just recognizes that you ate 16 cookies. Not that they were Paleo and supposedly healthy.
The Fix: Use your head when it comes to these so-called â€œhealth foods. Limit yourself to a regular portion, or skip them altogether.
Many times you may find yourself eating when you aren’t even hungry. Your body isn’t telling you it needs food, but you find yourself eating anyway. A handful of nuts here, a few pieces of candy there, an extra spoonful of peanut butter. Sound familiar? We’ve all done it.
If you find your weight loss at a standstill, tuning into your mindless snacking and paying attention to your true hunger signals can help tremendously. Are you really hungry when you grab that extra handful of food or do they just sound good? Do you need the extra 200 calories of peanut butter, or are you just digging your spoon deeper because the jar is there?
The Fix: Pay attention to your mindless snacking, eat when you are truly hungry and your weight loss should be back on track in no time.
YOU’RE ON A DIET:
The diet mentality is never a good one to have, but it’s everywhere. You can’t turn around without hearing about another fad/restrictive diet that has its followers eating a single food group or cutting drastic calories. Since when do we need to be on a diet to lose weight? What happened to just making healthy choices (the majority of the time) and working out? Crash dieting for a few weeks at a time isn’t going to have you losing weight anytime soon ‘ and in fact, it can have the opposite effect.
The Fix: Drop the I’m on a diet attitude and make it a lifestyle. Choose healthy foods, but don’t be afraid to indulge in the occasional treat. Indulging in your favourite foods from time to time fulfils cravings and is more likely to help you stay on track and enjoy!