These common dieting pitfalls can sabotage weight loss.
The truth, experts say, is that even when you're "on a diet," you may be eating a lot more calories than you think. There's often a disconnect between what we know we should do to lose weight, and what we actually do while trying to diet.
For starters, stop thinking about dieting. Instead, take a look at those everyday habits that could be causing weight gain. Going on a diet can create an obsession with food, heighten cravings, and lead to a "throw-in-the-towel-because-diets-don’t-work" mentality.
You might not realize just how quickly calories can add up. An extra tablespoon of salad dressing can add 75-100 calories, an extra tablespoon of butter adds 102 calories, and that 1-ounce bag of chips with your sandwich at lunch adds 162 calories. Eating while cooking, starting each day with a high-calorie coffee drink, finishing off the kids' plates at dinner, or having one too many glasses of wine -- these are just a few of the sneaky habits that sabotage weight loss efforts.
Yet as quickly as calories can add up, they can be subtracted. Becoming mindful of your diet mistakes -- the subtle ways that calories sneak into your diet throughout the day – can add up to real weight loss.
Check out our list of common diet mistakes people make, and see if any sound familiar to you.
Diet Mistake No. 1: Racing to the Finish
There's no reward for finishing your meal in record time -- unless you're a contestant in a hot dog eating contest! Our hectic schedules have led many of us to adopt the unhealthy habit of rapid eating.
"We need to adopt more of the leisurely, European-style eating so that we can savor our food, taste every bite, and get the signal of fullness before overeating," says Tara Gidus, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Diet Mistake No. 2: Skipping Meals
Research shows that breakfast skippers weigh more than breakfast eaters. There is a misconception that skipping breakfast -- or any meal -- saves calories. The truth is that most people who eat fewer than three meals usually end up eating more calories during the course of the day.