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dieting mistakes

When it comes to weight loss, we're all guilty of telling a few lies from time to time.

Whether it's the skinny jeans that 'probably shrunk in the wash' or the 'few biscuits' that were more like a full packet, sometimes it's just easier to ignore the truth.

But being unrealistic about your weight loss efforts could be having a long-term negative effect. If the number on the scales is going up and you know it's time to address the reasons why, then the following are a good starting point.

Here are a few of the lies we should all stop telling ourselves if we really want to see weight loss results…

1. "Healthy food is way too pricey for my budget"
Stock up your cupboard with basics like tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, brown rice and seasonings and all you need to do on a weekly basis is to buy whatever fresh items you need. Buying fresh meat, poultry, fish and veg on a weekly basis is FAR cheaper than that regular takeaway habit.


2. "I just hate the taste of healthy food"
If you have memories of being forced to eat broccoli or Brussels Sprouts as a child, it's no surprise you've sworn off veggies. But so much of the taste of food is in how it is prepared. Go for a crunchy Asian broccoli salad rather than a plate of mushy green veg and we guarantee you'll taste the difference. 


3. "I usually skip breakfast, so I can eat what I want later"
A healthy breakfast not only sets you up to stay focused all morning, but it also balances your blood sugar to reduce cravings later on. If you can't stomach much food in the mornings, try something light like eggs, a green juice or some sliced apple and nut butter.


4. "Being overweight runs in my family, so there's nothing I can do"
Yes, in some cases being overweight or obese can have a genetic link. But in many other cases, it's bad eating habits and lack of education about nutrition that have been passed down to you, not genes. 


5. "My appetite is too big for me to eat healthily"
If you find you're hungry ALL the time, the food you're eating is the most likely cause. High-carb, high-sugar meals lead to blood sugar spikes which mean we're craving food again within an hour. Eat meals that are packed veg, fish, lean chicken and turkey and wholemeal grains to stay satisfied for longer.


6. "I do cardio at the gym, that's enough"
Running at the same speed on the treadmill for 30 minutes might burn some fat, but high-intensity training that uses more muscle groups is a far more efficient method. Use your gym time wisely and break up cardio seasons with weight lifting, HIIT training and core work like Pilates and yoga.



If you're trying to drop a few pounds before the Christmas party season, you're probably hyper-aware of what you're eating and how much exercise you're getting.

No matter how hard you're working though, there are certain simple mistakes that could be tripping you up without you even realising. Don't let the little things ruin your weight loss progress – keep these common mistakes in mind!

1. Not eating enough vegetables
The recommended daily amount is five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – but aim for more if you can, especially when it comes to nutrient-rich foods like kale, spinach and brocolli. Try to fit veg into every meal, including breakfast. Keep it simple – blend some kale into a green smoothie or add a tomato and some spinach to a morning omelette. Easy!

2. Skimping on breakfast
A glass of OJ or a black coffee by itself does not make a balanced breakfast. Try to eat foods that are high in protein, fibre and slow-release carbohydrates so that you're not craving sugar come 11am. Museli with added mixed seeds is a great morning option that'll fill you right up, or if you want something hot try porridge, or eggs and spinach on wholewheat toast. Whatever you do, don't skip breakfast entirely – it's just not going to help in the long run.

3. Getting discouraged when your weight loss drops off
It's natural that you'll lose more weight at the beginning of a diet, as water weight drops away. Reaching a plateau a few weeks in is not a sign that things aren't working, so don't give up just yet. You'll get back on track next week as long as you stay motivated and focused.

4. Slacking on healthy eating after a workout
A killer session at the gym is not a licence to dig into the Ben & Jerry's – well, not all the time anyway. Your body burns food faster after a workout, but keep to high-protein meals that'll help your muscles recover and will re-energise you. 

5. Blaming your lack of time
Try to make healthy eating and regular exercise a solid part of your lifestyle rather than something you just do when you have the time. Even if you were rushing out the door and had no time to make lunch, avoid the Spar chicken fillet roll and go for a healthier option like a wrap or hearty soup. Likewise, if you can't make that hour-long spin class, try to integrate exercise into your day in other ways – taking the stairs, getting off the bus a few stops early or going for a twenty minute walk after work.

6. Not getting enough sleep
When you're tired and cranky, you're far more likely to reach for that high-sugar snack. The hormones that control hunger and appetite are heavily influenced by the level of sleep you get – so try to get at least seven to eight hours per night where possible.

7. Ignoring weights at the gym
Weight loss isn't all about cardio, ladies. Lifting weights gives your metabolism a serious boost, meaning you'll get fitter faster and will burn more energy while you're at it.