Diet Mistakes: 6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
These common dieting pitfalls can sabotage weight loss.
Are you dieting and not losing weight? More than likely, some common diet
mistakes are tripping you up.
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
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
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.
Strive for three meals a day. Always start your day with a healthy
breakfast, but be careful to choose wisely.
"Even a low-fat muffin can have as many as 400 calories and 5 grams
fat," says Joanne Lichten, PhD, RD, a nutrition consultant and the author
of Dining Lean.
A healthy breakfast should contain both protein and fiber. An egg, a piece
of whole-wheat toast, and half a grapefruit has only 250 calories and will keep
you feeling full until lunch.