Are you finding it a battle to lose those excess pounds? Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge for most people. There are so many tasty food temptations to sidetrack even a motivated dieter from their healthy eating plan. Plus, it can be a challenge to find time to prepare healthy meals and exercise on a regular basis. Despite the best of intentions, some people struggle to reach their ideal body weight. While there are a variety of reasons why reaching an ideal body weight can be a struggle, there are certain commonalities that seem to underlie these failures. Much of the problem arises from selecting the wrong types of food. Here are the top food mistakes most well meaning dieters make and how to correct them:
1. Food mistakes: Believing that exercise gives you the right to eat what you want.
It’s a common scenario. A slightly overweight person decides to start exercising. She diligently visits the gym and performs her exercises to near exhaustion. After three weeks, she’s shocked to step on the scale and find she’s gained a pound. Unfortunately, many people unconsciously increase their food intake in the belief that they’re burning it off through exercise. While exercise does burn calories and boost the metabolism slightly, the effect isn’t dramatic enough to compensate for that extra cream filled doughnut eaten as a reward for exercise. The way to overcome this common food mistake is to have a healthy eating plan and stick with it. Plan your splurges carefully and keep them within reason. It’s fine to reward yourself for exercising but don’t always make food the reward.
2. Food mistakes: Not keeping a food diary.
Most people are not good judges of how much food they eat on a daily basis. Those little snacks and samples at the grocery store which are eaten almost subconsciously can add up to a significant calorie intake over time. The best way to avoid this food mistake is to keep a regular food journal where you right down everything you eat. Every morsel you put into your mouth counts, so write it down. At the end of the day add up the calories and do an honest assessment. Did you exceed your planned calorie intake? This will make you more aware of how much you’re eating and give an additional layer of accountability.
3. Food mistakes: Not planning your meals well enough.
When you don’t plan your meals, you end up falling victim to the easy allure of fast food. When you leave for work in the morning, carry a lunch along with some healthy snacks. If you have a few healthy snacks in tow, you’ll be less likely to reach for those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies a well meaning co-worker brought in. You’ll also be prepared when everyone at the office is sending out for McDonald’s or some other fast, unhealthy option. Planning gives you the power to resist those high calorie temptations.
4. Food mistakes: Not reading labels.
When selecting foods at the grocery store, don’t fall for misleading statements on food containers that say “low fat”, “healthy”, or “low sugar”. Learn to read and understand a food label so you don’t fall victim to misleading advertising. Just because a manufacturer labels its product as “healthy” doesn’t make it necessarily so. Learn to be a food detective if you want to eat healthy. Better yet, stick to fresh produce and unprocessed grains where you can control what ingredients are added.
By correcting these four common food mistakes, you can gain more control over your eating habits and make some real progress towards reaching your weight loss goals.