by Babs ‘O’ Reilly
(Miami Beach, Florida, USA)
When the scale doesn’t budge or moves in the wrong direction, something has gone wrong with your diet. It’s normal to hit an occasional plateau, but when the scale doesn’t move despite your best efforts, it’s time to check for these hidden mistakes that can sabotage your weight loss plan.
Not Keeping a Weight Loss Diary
Your weight loss diary is the key to finding hidden calories and looking for clues as to where you went off track. It is common for calories to sneak back into your eating patterns even when you are making a serious effort to stay on your diet. A weight loss diary will quickly show you the culprits.
When you cut your calories to less than 1000 calories a day, you are training your metabolism to get by with less. Soon your body adjusts to the new calorie intake and goes into starvation mode. It begins hording fat against the possibility of continued deprivation. Crash diets only work for very short periods and can be dangerous to your health.
Do you sample “only a bite” without counting the cost? It is ok to take the occasional taste of high calorie snacks, but if you do it often the calories can add up fast. Keep a diary and write down every bite. As soon as your weight loss slows, examine your nibbling habits for hidden calories.
Not Reading Labels
Don’t trust the advertising to inform you about a product. Low-fat products sometimes have more calories than their high-fat counterparts. Manufacturers often use sugar to replace the flavor lost by removing the fat. “All Natural” does not necessarily mean healthy. Read the labels carefully.
While you are reading the label, note the serving size. The calories are listed per serving, but the serving size may be only one cookie or a few chips. Even a small package might hold several servings.
Drinking Your Calories
Some of the popular coffee, lattes and smoothies can have a substantial calorie count. Even a glass of fruit juice is concentrated in natural sugars and sometimes has sugar added. High calorie drinks don’t curb your hunger. The best drink is water, it satisfies your thirst and helps purge toxins from your body.
Skipping the Dairy
Cheese, milk and ice cream certainly contribute to the calorie count, but studies have shown that eating calcium-rich dairy products aids weight loss. When you eliminate these from your diet, your weight loss may slow or stop. Instead, stick to low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk.
Choosing the Salad
Salad seems like a good choice for a healthy diet meal. Take a second look at the dressings; many are loaded with sugar and fat. When eating out, choose the low-fat dressings and read the nutrition data whenever possible. Even better, order the dressing on the side and use it sparingly.
Another problem with salads is that they are often topped with high calorie ingredients. If the chicken on top is breaded, assume it was fried unless you know better. A few nuts are healthy, but a lot adds significantly to the calorie count. Enjoy the fresh flavors of leafy greens and vegetables and watch out for high calorie additions.
When you take the time to write down what you eat, it makes you more conscious of every bite and helps you find hidden problems. Evaluate your food diary whenever your weight loss slows and look for hidden calories, sugar and fat. Following these tips can help you stay on track and reach your weight loss goal.
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