by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach
Are you planning to lose a few pounds for swimsuit season? There are a lot of ways your diet can get derailed. Here are ten of the most common mistakes we make on the way to our weight loss goals:
By reporting the food you track and reporting what you weigh to a friend or professional, you will ensure your success. In my experiences over the years, when clients avoid the scale, they gain weight. While losing weight, you should write down everything you eat daily and weigh-in once a week on a designated day.
Expecting to lose five pounds every week is not realistic; 1-2 lbs per week is the healthiest pace. Fast weight loss almost always comes back the minute you return to your old habits.
Hitting a plateau and not staying the course can also derail your efforts. You didn’t gain the weight overnight and you won’t lose it overnight – slow and steady wins the race!
Many studies have proven that people who skip breakfast weigh more than breakfast eaters. Your best bet is to eat six times a day so you are never starving.
A healthy breakfast should consist of protein and fiber. For example, either have an egg with high fiber toast or Greek yogurt with high fiber cereal.
Whether you are drinking alcohol, fancy coffees, juice or other high calorie drinks, be mindful. A recent study found that Americans get about 21% of their calories from beverages.
Water is your best friend. Flat or sparkling. If you are not a big fan of water, add a splash of juice – or add a lemon, lime or cucumber to give it some flavor.
Resign immediately from the ‘Clean Plate Club!’ In the past 25 years our portions have nearly doubled in size; always leave at least a third to half on your plate.
No one will starve because you didn’t finish your meal, I promise! I recommend my clients measure their portions every Monday so they are more mindful when they serve themselves throughout the week.
Do you think having a salad is the best choice when you are losing weight? Not always. Toppings like bacon, avocado, raisins, candied nuts, cheese, croutons etc., can make a healthy salad into a disaster. Keep it simple, and eat salads with lots of veggies. The more colors, the more nutrients.
Forget about the fatty toppings – or use them sparingly. Most importantly, limit the salad dressing. A tablespoon of regular dressing is 75-100 calories – use the “fork method” to minimize the amount you use.
This happens at Costco when they have samples at every turn, when your child does not finish what is on their plate, at cocktail parties when they are passing hors d’oeurves – the list goes on and on. Unless you are sitting with a plate in front of you and you have a fork or spoon in your hand, consider the food off-limits.
You know that cute utensil made up of your first finger and thumb? It just went into retirement. Four random bites a day is 100 extra calories! In a month’s time, that’s nearly a pound of extra weight.
Be mindful that each bite is about 25 calories, whether you are reaching for some nuts, tasting while cooking, picking while cleaning up – there are so many ways food sneaks its way into your day. If you need to nosh, pick on veggies, they are practically calorie-free. Drinking water or other sugar free drinks is another way to feel full without adding calories.
When you are on weight maintenance, you can splurge more on the weekends, but to lose consistently you need to be diligent 24/7. For every lapse, you will set yourself back a week.
Nothing feels as good as watching the scale go south, so minimize the treats and splurges till you can manage them after you reach your goal.
Being tired and not being hydrated can make you think your are hungry when you are not. Studies have proven that getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night will help you lose weight.
If you are thinking snacks and it is after 9 pm, you probably are not hungry. Instead of adding a few hundred calories to your day, simply go to bed!!!
Chocolate is a major food group, in my opinion. Rationing out a small portion to enjoy will keep you from binging or overdoing candy or other sweets.
The way my clients succeed at this is by taking a small portion, about 1-3 squares of your favorite chocolate (approx. 50-100 calories worth) – preferably a high quality chocolate – then breaking it into smaller pieces and eating it one piece at a time.
To truly savor it, put a small piece in your mouth and suck on it (no biting or chewing) until it disappears. It will last longer and you will end up very satiated.
(published March 28, 2012)
Judy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.