|Don't set your expectations too high - it's very easy to fail!|
1. You set unrealistic expectations
Don't expect to see massive results after a week. Slower weight loss (1kg a week) is most recommended for skin elasticity and muscle structure. Have you ever seen people with saggy skin after losing a substantial amount of weight? They were on the 'crash-diet' shedding weight too fast and the skin didn't have a chance to keep up and adjust!
2. You lose interest after two weeks
I know, first two weeks are a blast, your weight is dropping, you can see a difference in your clothes and all is fun & games. But suddenly everything stalls and you seem to starve yourself to no avail. Hey - that's when the real work starts! You see, first two weeks is the time when you lose mainly water (not fat), as our bodies are made in 60% of water. So that's why you see an immediate change. It's encouraging, and now, with a bit of determination, you will start losing fat. Hang on there, the change is coming!
3. You weigh yourself every day
It relates to the point above - you see a difference on the scale in the first two weeks, and then nothing. Yes, you have lost weight (in water) but don't be discouraged when the scale stops (or worse - when it goes up) - it's normal, and doesn't always mean you gain fat - read more here - Avoid scale when on a diet.
4. You feel guilty after 'cheat-days'
Setbacks happen in life - and diets are no exception. Just take it as a part of the process, and move on with more determination and motivation the next day!
|Don't end up feeling deprived!|
5. You starve yourself
No, no, it's not about torturing yourself, you know? Starving is a double edged sword. You do it until you snap, and have a 'larger-than-life' cheat day (believe me, I've been there). But as your digestive system now is used to really small portions, it goes bonkers and really doesn't know what to do with all the excess food. In the end, it stores it in form of fat to prepare for future starvations - read more about it here: Crash diets - why they never work?
6. You change your diet completely and ditch ALL the food you really love
That's a one way ticket to a disaster town! Come on, don't treat a diet as a torture, you'll end up feeling deprived and excluded. All in moderation, have an ice cream or fish and chips from time to time (make it a reward for losing weight - see point 40). Just have a smaller portion. Read more: Smart girls have their cake and eat it!
7. You eat certain foods together
Tut-tut, no... Meat and potatoes should not be eaten together; it's like a belly-fat producing combo... Either have a chicken with a salad only, or potato cakes with steamed carrots. No more meat-potato coupling!
8. You don't count 'hidden' calories
Yes, I know they're hidden, so it's hard to know they're there - especially if you are eating out. But they count too and can spoil all your hard work. I'm talking about oily salad dressings, cooking with too much butter, having ketchup and mayo in your sandwich. These add to your overall calorie count, so it's important to limit them as much as possible.
|We end up eating more while watching TV|
9. You snack while watching TV
Terrible habit and one that takes you by surprise. Did you know that we end up consuming more while watching TV, as we eat unconsciously and therefore don't really notice how much we eat?
10. You're dining out too often
It refers to the point 8 above. When you are dining out, you can't control how your food is prepared - is it steamed or deep fried? How much of the oily dressing is in the salad? Is the meat in Spaghetti Bolognese lean or with all the trimmings? You don't really want to turn into a control freak and send a waiter with the strict instructions for the chef - believe me, no one will be impressed. It's best to treat dining-out as a reward (see point 40), and avoid the meals you know are full of fat and sugar - we'll cover this subject in the future.
11. You drink too many fizzy drinks
And it doesn't really matter if you go for the sugar-free drinks. These are low in natural sugars, but packed with chemically processed sweeteners. These bad boys attack your taste buds and make them less sensitive to sugars, so you end up wanting sweeter and sweeter things. They also put your system into a fat-storing mode. Zero sugar is not always good news!
12. You don't get enough exercise
It's like a supporting buddy for your dieting efforts. By jogging 30 minutes 3 times a week, you turn your body into a calorie-burning machine!
|Don't give up too easily!|
13 You give up too easily
Yes, hard times will come inevitably; it's a part of life, and definitely part of a diet. What will help you is to have a really strong goal to get you through the set-backs. Read more about it here: Set goals to resist snacking.
14. You punish yourself after 'cheat' days
No, no, give yourself a break. It's absolutely normal to slip, so stop punishing yourself. Simply move on, and change your attitude to the whole process. Maybe reward yourself every time you resist a temptation, and don't acknowledge the set-backs. It will be much more encouraging!
15. You skip breakfasts
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I'm sure you've heard it millions of times. By having nutritious breakfast, you prepare your digestive system for the whole day. Fibre in a wholegrain cereal helps you deal with anything you're about to eat. Protein in milk makes you feel fuller for longer, helps resist snacking and over-eating. Seriously, do yourself a favour!
16. You don't make a shopping list
It's like going to the shop blind-folded! By having a list, you get what you need and stick to the budget - it's a Win-Win!
|Don't buy the food you can't resist!|
17. You buy your favourite comfort food
You know you can't resist it! Seriously, don't do it.
18. You practice stress eating
Thinking about that deadline tomorrow makes you drink litres of strong coffee and snack uncontrollably. It's not the best time to worry about a diet, I know. Promise yourself to go jogging the next day? And maybe snack on carrots with a humus? Ok, I'm hiding from a flying shoe for now.
|Say NO to snacking!|
19. You snack between the meals
Stop it, really. Give your stomach a rest to digest everything properly after each meal. Don't overload it with new batch to deal with - it can get stressed too! Have a 4 hour break between the meals, and leave any snack for the dessert.
20. You think 'Healthy' means low in calories
So you can have more of it? Not really. Just because it's healthy, means it's not chemically processed. This food still has got calories, so better refer to a calorie chart on the packet.
21. You reward yourself after the gym by eating more
Yes, we know you are starving, and you probably lost thousands of calories in the gym, so having 400 calorie chocolate bar will hardly make damage? Not really. Having a snack is ok, some are even recommended after a work-out (like a banana). But don't overdo it. Stick to a small healthy snack, nothing too crazy. An hour of cycling burns 600 calories - same as a Snickers!
22. You treat a diet as a closed-end 'torture' period
So you deprive yourself of all the things you love to lose weight. And can't wait to go back to your old eating habits? No, no, it's not about a short-term diet. It's more about adjusting your eating habits for good. Don't feel like you have to suffer, it's not fair, and won't work on longer scale. Treat yourself from time to time to a take-away or have a favourite snack as a dessert - it's about variety and moderation!
23. You always clear your plate
And I don't mean washing up! If you have a habit of eating all that's on your plate, make sure to have smaller portions. We always think we can eat more when hungry. If you serve yourself a smaller meal, you won't be over-eating!
24. You eat until you're full
I've been guilty of it for too long. But then I realised that only about 20 minutes after a meal, I start feeling full. It seems like my stomach plays a catch up with a brain. It needs the time to register all the food that's coming in, before sending up the signals it had enough. So work with it, stop eating at the moment you feel like having one more bite. You will thank yourself in 20 minutes!
|Watch out for those calories...|
25. You don't count the calories in alcohol
These definitely count and can ruin all your efforts.
26. You always take a lift
We underestimate the value of the simple everyday work-outs - climbing the stairs or taking a 20 minute walk. Every little helps when it comes to burning the calories!
27. You eat sugar-free and fat-free products
No, it doesn't mean you eat less calories. We have covered sugar-free items above - see point 11. But fat-free doesn't mean guilt-free. To produce a fat free food, manufacturers have to modify it and pack with carbs and sugars for it to taste nice. All that means, that we end up eating similar, if not higher amount of calories to the original full-fat product. Let's not forget that our body needs some amount of fat to process essential A,D,E,K vitamins we get from vegetables and fruits.
28. You make excuses
You had a long day, you're tired and definitely not in the mood for steaming your veggies and skipping to the gym. Take-away again? That's a one-way ticket to the lazy town and I'm sorry to tell you, but no pain = no gain! You need to make an effort to see a positive change. If you can't be bothered to cook dinners every day, prepare the meals in advance and freeze them up. Go to the gym in the morning instead of evening. Go jogging on your lunch break? To quote a wise man: 'To have a life like no other, you have to live like no other'...
|Don't rely on the weight loss tablets|
29. You take weight loss supplements
These are not miracle workers. They might leave you feeling fuller for longer, because they're based on proteins, but if you don't put in an effort yourself, they won't shed the weight for you.
30. You don't stock up on healthy snacks
You know, when the hunger strikes... Have some healthy low-cal snacks handy, so you don't end up reaching for the biscuit tin
31. You don't share your weight loss plans with family and co-workers
They will support and motivate you on your journey. And guess what, you're less likely to cheat, as they're watching! That's why the group weight-loss programs are so effective, by the end of the day you want to impress your group and prove them you can do it!
32. You stick to a boring diet with little variety
Of course you will be more likely to cheat to break the monotony! Nobody eats the same steamed veggies and grilled chicken everyday, you need some zing. Don't deprive yourself of your favourite foods, as long it's all in moderation.
33. You don't drink enough water
Water is your friend and support - we covered this subject here: Will drinking water help me lose weight?
|Bring your own healthy snacks!|
34. Snacking with friends and family
Peer pressure hey? It's hard to resist the bowl of crisps on the table, while everybody enjoys them watching TV. Maybe next time bring some of your own snacks (trail mix, rice crisps), so you don't feel left out?
35. You don't get enough sleep
It's amazing how much it can affect your diet - read more about it here: How does lack of sleep affect your diet?
36. You eat standing up, rushing around
It makes you lose count of how much you eat during a day. Take 10 minute break, and sit by the table. Have a proper meal, when you can clearly see how much you have on your plate. It really does make a difference!
37. You wear stretchy / slacky clothes
They're comfy and forgiving, that's why we love them. But they won't let you track your weight. You could lose or gain weight and not even notice! Jeans are much better, you see a difference once you put them on. And it's such a rewarding feeling to see your jeans getting loose!
38. You don't cut your food into smaller chunks
By cutting food into small pieces you make the food appear bigger on your plate - and fool your brain to think you had more to eat then you really did
39. You don't keep a food diary
It's surprising how much we go through during a day, it's scary sometimes and definitely eye-opening
40. You don't reward yourself for your efforts
So you've done it - you worked really hard for many weeks and finally lost 5kg yay!!! That's amazing feeling, and well done. You definitely deserve a treat. How about a night-in with the girls, rom-com evening with wine and Ben & Jerry? Enjoy :)