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9 Weight Loss Mistakes

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It's easy to get wrapped up in myths about losing weight (cookie diet, anyone?), but it can be challenging to change habits even when you know they're sabotaging your weight loss efforts. We can help by showing you how to lose weight in a healthy way with simple suggestions that you can put into action now. By avoiding the nine common mistakes that follow, you'll make your weight loss obtainable (and maintainable). So you'll drop pounds, feel great, and be less likely to fall back into old habits.

1. Following fad diets

The newest calorie-burning drink or pound-shedding plan might be tempting, but it won't get you anywhere. No matter what they promise, there is no healthy way to lose 20 pounds in a week. It's a waste of your time, money and sanity. Go back to the basics by eating clean, eating in smaller portions more frequently, and combining your nutrition plan with a training program.

2. Panicking over a less-than-perfect meal

Indulging in an extra snack or eating out one night doesn't mean your day is lost. Get back on track at your next meal. By being sensible and eating by the 80/20 Rule (80 percent of the time eat your cleanest and the other 20 percent you eat what you want), you'll get better results.

3. Boozing

Alcohol is filled with calories. Not only that, but once your inhibitions are low, you're more likely to reach for an extra slice of pizza or other junk foods. Even a glass of wine each night can add extra calories, interrupt sleep, and leave you dehydrated. Use our plan to cut back on booze.

4. Traveling without a plan  

Airports, restaurants, and room service can be detrimental to a balanced diet. Instead of skipping out on healthy eating when you travel, pack snacks such as fruits, shake mixes, nuts, bars, and green tea bags. Read What to Eat at the Airport for more ideas.

5. Skipping meals 

Eating less means you'll lose more weight, right? Not necessarily. Starving yourself typically backfires. By decreasing your calories too much for an extended period of time, your body perceives it as starvation and responds by slowing your metabolism. A healthier approach is to start your day with breakfast and eat small meals every three hours throughout the day. You'll also be more satisfied and therefore less likely to binge at night.

6. Forgetting to train 

Dieting alone won't help you reach your goals. Working out with a combination of cardiovascular training and strength training will help you see maximum results in the shortest amount of time.

7. Cutting out food groups 

Whether it's kicking carbs to the curb or dropping all dairy products, cutting out food groups only hurts you. You'll be unsatisfied and, worse, fighting non-stop cravings. Balance every meal with healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein for a more effective weight loss plan.

8. Not eating enough whole grains, fruits and veggies

They're the go-to choice for weight loss because they're low in calories, but many of us don't eat enough. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies are packed with nutrients and fiber. Eating them more often will help you feel fuller, lower cholesterol, and keep your digestion on track.

9. Not getting enough sleep

People who sleep more are typically thinner, according to research. A 2007 study in Hormone Research found that people who are sleep deprived have less control over their appetite. If that weren't bad enough, sleep deprivation also decreases your body's ability to control glucose levels. Higher glucose levels lead to an increase in insulin production, which can cause weight gain. Balance your training and nutrition by trying to get eight hours of sleep so your body can rejuvenate.

About The Author

Amanda Carlson-Phillips – Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.

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Tags: Eating Out, Weight Loss, Food, Sleep, Breakfast, Beverages, Health