1. Unrealistic Eating Plan
Once we decide to lose weight, we have a tendency to start with large changes to the way we currently eat. We slash our caloric intake, eliminate our favorite foods and basically take an “all or nothing” approach when we start a new diet.
An eating plan that is too restrictive will cause most dieters to swing from feelings of deprivation, to feelings of guilt when they don’t follow the plan. These emotions are not conducive for making a long-term behavior change. Almost any of the popular diets work for people who stick with them. The trick is finding an approach that you can envision following the rest of your life and then, start with small changes.
2. Underestimating Calories Eaten/Overestimating Calories Burned
Having a flexible eating plan is key to successful weight loss. That doesn’t mean you can eat as much you want, even when you choose healthy foods. Portion control and understanding your caloric needs are also essential skills to learn.
Most of us underestimate the calories we eat. We forget to count the cream used in our coffee, or think a serving size is three times what the label states. We also tend to exaggerate estimates of our physical activity. Use your own real data to determine your calorie budget, calories consumed and calories burned. You will know when you get this right when you see the results you want.
3. Poor food choices
In terms of weight loss, a calorie may be just a calorie. But, in terms of health and making your weight loss journey more enjoyable, be selective about the foods you eat. Highly refined foods and sugary drinks do not provide the same sense of satisfaction you can get by eating a whole foods, plant based diet.
A healthy eating plan moves you in the direction of making healthier eating choices. Eating right means focusing on what foods you can eat and choosing foods that nourish your body.
4. Failure to plan ahead
If you determine in advance what you are going to eat, you are far more likely to stick to your caloric budget and not be tempted by quick-fix foods. Establish your weekly caloric budget and plan meals and activities for each day in order to meet your goal. The time spent on planning at the beginning of each week allows us to take into account special events, like weekend parties, and still maintain our caloric balance.
5. Not focusing on why you want to lose weight
So often our weight loss goals are focused only on the number of pounds to lose each week, or the ideal number on the scale. Sometimes we focus on the potential health benefits of losing weight, but rarely give enough time to thinking about why we really want to lose weight. We must find our “want to” and use that to inspire us to make lasting changes. Write down how you will feel when your reach your goal weight and use those emotions to power through the times when you want to give up.