Dieting is easy — said no one ever. If you’ve embarked on a new diet but have yet to see any changes, don’t be so quick to blame yourself yet! There’s so many factors that go into the making of a successful diet, and these 10 mistakes may just be the reason why your diet isn’t working for you.
1. You’re eating too little
While the general consensus is that eating less calories is better, it actually hampers your dieting efforts in the long run. Consuming insufficient calories will cause your metabolism to slow down. This results in your body working less efficiently to burn off the excess fat, and thus, you end up not losing weight altogether. As eating extremely low amounts is hard to sustain, the initial weight loss is often temporary. It’s simply not worth it. Eating too little may leave you regaining the pounds, and perhaps even more!
2. You’re not sleeping enough
Ever noticed how much hungrier you are after a bad night of sleep? A lack of sleep can increase appetite by changing hormones. Not only do we feel hungrier, we are also more likely to eat unhealthy foods, causing havoc to our diets! This is why having a good night of sleep is important — aim for 7–9 hours each night!
3. You’re exercising too much
Not exercising at all is one thing, but exercising too much is another. Yes, too much of a good thing does exist! Over-exercising induces stress, potentially triggering overeating, and also causes the body to cling onto fat and burn muscle. To avoid this, make sure you are getting sufficient rest in between workouts.
4. You’re not measuring portion sizes
Eyeballing portion sizes lead to us eating more than the recommended amount — portion sizes are often smaller than we think! It’s harder to be in a caloric deficit if you don’t know exactly how much you’re eating. Using a measuring scale to calculate portion sizes lowers the margin of error, and is a great way to count your calories accurately! Doing this will help you reach your goals more easily in the long run.
5. You’re inconsistent
If you’re dieting on and off, don’t expect to see results anytime soon. Draw up a plan and commit to it. Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean that you don’t need to diet. Remember that consistency is key to everything, and that includes your diet!
6. You’re being too restrictive
If you’re fond of diets that excessively restrict a particular food group (e.g. low fat, low carb), it may be hampering your efforts to drop the pounds. Getting insufficient amounts of a particular food group results in a larger craving for it, inadvertently resulting in an urge to binge. Allowing yourself a cheat meal every now and then helps too, and will help you stick to your diet for longer.
7. You’re not waiting long enough
Chances are your diet is actually working — you’re just not waiting long enough to see the results. You can’t diet for one week and expect to see results the next. Ditch the scale — your weight fluctuates every day due to multiple factors and the scale isn’t the best indicator of bodily changes. Instead, taking progress pictures once every two weeks in the same clothes, same angles and same lighting can help quantify how far you’ve come.
Starting on a new diet isn’t easy. However, don’t give up! The results you desire will come soon enough!
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