1. Eating Too Few Calories
Only a few percentages of people in the world estimate their daily calorie intake correctly. For example, if you slash your daily calories to fewer than 1200, and sure enough, the pounds melt away. But when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down. Once the diet is over, you have a body that burns calories more slowly, and you usually regain the weight.
Reducing portion sizes is one of the most common pieces of advice for people trying to lose weight. When done right, it really works.
However, you should never eat portions so tiny that you’re constantly feeling hungry. First, it’s obviously unhealthy. And second, when your calorie intake is too low, your metabolism slows down in trying to preserve limited energy, making it harder for you to lose weight.
Advice: eat sensible-sized portions that won’t make you feel too full. Allow yourself a cheat meal once a week.
2. Focusing Up on Low-Fat
Extremely low-fat products can play an important role in your diet.
Just remember that low-fat isn’t the same as low-calorie, and it’s not a license to take second and third helpings.
If you pile your plate with low-fat cake, you may end up eating more calories than if you had a smaller slice of regular cake.
Advice: the best way to know how much fat, sugar, and calories you’re getting is to check the nutritional label.
3. Drinking Too Little Water
This is one of the simplest diet mistakes to fix. Water is essential for burning calories.
If you let yourself get dehydrated, your metabolism drags, and that means slower weight loss. Because water contains no calories, filling your glass with H2O instead of higher-calorie alternatives such as juice, soda, or sweetened tea or coffee can reduce your overall liquid calorie intake.
Drinking water facilitates the production of urine, which is largely made up of water, and the movement of feces, since water keeps stools soft.
In other words, the more hydrated you are, the easier it is for your system to move things along and the less likely you are to suffer from constipation and bloating.
Advice: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
4. Do you sleep enough?
At first glance, it doesn’t look like sleep and losing weight have anything in common, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sleep deprivation leads to the levels of leptin (the “fullness hormone”) to plummet down, while ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) gets overproduced. As a result, you’ll always feel hungry, so you’ll eat more and your body weight will increase.
Besides, the less sleep you’re getting, the more you crave high-fat and high-carb foods. And since you’ll be feeling so tired, you find it practically impossible to say no to those cravings.
Advice: make sure you get enough sleep. Adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep to stay healthy. If you have trouble falling asleep, try creating a bedtime routine and sticking to a schedule.
5. Setting Unrealistic Goals
“What about starting small and doing one thing at a time and then build up to bigger things that result in bigger changes across time?” asks Lesley Lutes, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.
Lutes research shows that a series of small steps can add up to a bigger goal.“Goal setting is absolutely key,” she says, but you can spread them out.
For example, your first goal could be to buy a fitness tracker, then you can start tracking your activity. Next week’s goal can be to increase your activity by 10 minutes. Maybe your next goal is to add a weekly yoga class.
If those goals are unrealistic, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Advice: “So instead of doing everything at once, you have smaller goals each week that get you towards those bigger goals that you have which is weight loss,” Lutes said.