I find that if I am not constantly tracking what I eat, I eat a lot more calories than I remember. I know what I should do to lose weight; when I am not conscious about best weight lose practices I stop loosing and I start gaining weight. Conversations with friends and past Google searches tell me this is pretty common.
I’ve stopped using the term dieting; I’m trying to look at weight loss as a life style change. When I look at my world through the prism of a diet I crave certain foods; I crave the high calorie comfort foods from my childhood, or the foods that get me through periods of stress.
Calories add-up quickly; 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 (that bag is never 1 ounce). Tasting what I’m cooking, starting each day with a high-calorie coffee drink, rewarding myself with a favorite snack are all activities that drive the numbers up on my scale and not down.
The good news is that as quickly as calories can add up, they can also be subtracted. Just being consistently mindful of weight and lifestyle goals can add up to real weight loss.
6 Diet Mistakes & Lifestyle Changes
Diet Mistake Number 1: Racing to the Finish
I’m trying to adopt a more leisurely, European-style eating style, savoring every bite, as well as drinking water before and during meals. When I eat in a rush I eat more, I typically make the wrong diet choices, and I lose my sense of a daily plan for healthy eating.
Diet Mistake Number 2: Skipping Meals
Breakfast skippers weigh more than breakfast eaters. There is a misconception that skipping breakfast or any meal saves calories. I find that if I eat three smaller meals each day I get much better weight loss results. It is so important to always start a day with a healthy breakfast; I am trying to choose breakfast options more wisely. A low-fat muffin can have as many as 400 calories and 5 grams fat.
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, it also keeps me feeling full until lunch. Oatmeal is also a really good way to start the day.
Diet Mistake Number 3: Too Many Liquid Calories
Liquid calories from alcohol, smoothies (these can be just loaded with calories), coffee with cream and sugar, sweetened juices, and sodas can really contribute to weight gain. One recent study found that Americans get approximately 21% of their calories from beverages; people who drink diet drinks gain weight.
I have switched from calorie-laden beverages to primarily water, but also club soda, skim milk, vegetable juices, and small portions of 100% fruit juice.
Diet Mistake No. 4: Over Sized Portions
The 16 ounce piece of meat in a restaurant is more than 3 times an actual portion size so when I’m eating at home I measure portion size. When I travel and eat in restaurant I ask for appropriate portion sizes, during the past 2 years I have not found a single restaurant that was not willing to accommodate my requests.
Diet Mistake No. 5: Choosing Unhealthy Add-Ons
Not only have portions crept up in size, I think we all have a tendency to top off our “diet” salads and other favorite foods with high-fat toppings, like bacon, cheese, croutons, and creamy dressings.
Diet Mistake No. 6: What I Call Mindless Eating
Calories in small portions of some of my favorite snacks, can add up when portions are multiplied. I am trying to get out of the habit of eating something while I’m relaxing, or watching the game. I’ve switched to a cup of green tea, or a glass of water.